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Sumana Premachandra files FR before SC, claims Duminda’s pardon was for collateral purposes

Sumana Premachandra, wife of slain former Parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition in the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday (22), challenging the constitutionality of the Presidential pardon granted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to former MP Duminda Silva, who was convicted and sentenced to death over her husbands’s killing.

Through the petition, she has also sought a declaration from the Court that the purported pardon of Silva is null and void or invalid in law and/or has no force or avail in law. Premachandra also seeks to have Silva’s passport impounded, thereby preventing him from leaving the country.

The petitioner states that the decision to pardon Silva, who since his release has been appointed National Housing Development Authority Chairman, is arbitrary and has no basis in law. She further highlights that the pardon has been done for collateral purposes.

The Attorney General, Duminda Silva, Minister of Justice Ali Sabry, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Saliya Peiris and Secretary of the Same Rajeev Amarasuriya have been named as respondents.

Meanwhile, Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and herself a former MP, filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition in the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday (21), challenging the legality of the Presidential pardon granted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to former MP Duminda Silva.

President Rajapaksa granted a Presidential pardon to Silva on 24 June, leading to an avalanche of criticism from the family of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, the Parliamentary Opposition, the legal community, and foreign nations.