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Inter-Parliamentary Union writes to SC, seeks permission for Observer to follow Bathiudeen’s hearing

By Aazam Ameen

Secretary General of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Martin Chungong, has written to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka requesting for permission for an international observer representing the IPU to follow remotely the hearing on the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition of MP Rishad Bathiudeen.

As of now, the hearing is scheduled to take place on 08 July.

“The Committee would like to seek your leave for an international observer representing the IPU to follow remotely the hearing on the Fundamental Rights petition which will take place before the Supreme Court on 8 July 2021 in the case of Mr. Abdul Rishad Bathiudeen, a member of the Sri Lankan Parliament. I understand that arrangements can be made to follow the proceedings online,” Chungong stated.

Accordingly, the Committee has requested that leave is granted for its observer, Barrister Mark Trowell QC from Australia, to follow the hearing remotely.

Chungong further urged for the Registrar of the Supreme Court to inform the Committee on how Trowell may connect himself to the court proceedings.

The inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world organization of national parliaments of sovereign States, to which the Parliament of Sri Lanka is Affiliated.

This request comes after another Supreme Court Judge recused himself from the case of Parliamentarian and Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Rishad Bathiudeen, who is currently being detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The latest recusal brought the total number of judges who had rescued from the case to four. Earlier, when The Morning spoke to Bathiudeen’s lawyer Rushdie Habeeb, he noted that this many recusals of Judges from hearing a case in a Supreme Court setup is very unexpected and has delayed the primary review of Bathiudeen’s detention.