Rishad Bathiudeen case: Writ decision on 31 July

The decision on the writ application against former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen over the construction of houses in the Marichchikattu Forest Reserve near Wilpattu has been set to be delivered on 31 July.

The two-judge bench of the Court of Appeal (CA), consisting of Justices Janak de Silva and Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, heard the petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) yesterday (24).

The Central Environmental Authority Wildlife Department Director, former Minister Bathiudeen, and several others had been named as the respondents in the petition.

The CEJ had lodged the petition in 2015, stating that reforestation and illegal resettlement at the Wilpattu National Park have caused massive environmental destruction, and sought an order of writ of certiorari and mandamus to remove illegal resettlements in a forest reserve area.

The hearing of the petition was set to be concluded in August 2019. However, it was postponed as CA Judge Mahinda Samayawardhena declined to deliver its verdict.