Contempt of Court charge; SC re-issues notice on Ranjan Ramanayake

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The Supreme Court has directed to re-issue notice on Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake returnable for 21 November in respect of two petitions complaining of him having committed the alleged offence of contempt of court.

Pesident's Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for Deputy Minister Ramanayake submitted that his client has not received the court notice and appeared before the court on the information received from media. However he would like to show cause for the charge before the court issues summons to his client. Journalist Victor Ivan has written a book claiming that the judiciary is corrupt. He would like to present the facts on the case.

In this matter, Sunil Perera and Ven. Magalkande Sudaththa Thero are petitioners seeking contempt of court action against the Deputy Minister for Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage Ranjan Ramanayake for alleged statements/insults made at a press conference held on 21 August allegedly damaging the reputation of the Judiciary and lawyers.
The Petitioners allege the statement amounts to disrepute and insult to the Judiciary and the lawyers of the country.

Petition stated that respondent Ramanayake is liable to be punished under Article 105(3) of the Constitution. Article 105(3) reads: The Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall each be a superior court of record and shall have all the powers of such court including the power to punish for contempt of court itself, whether committed in the court itself or elsewhere, with imprisonment or fine or both as the court may deem fit.

Counsel Rasika Dissanayake with Sandun Senadhipathi under the instructions of Sanath Wijewardena appeared for the complainants. President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appeared for the respondent.

Vanakkam23

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