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There is serious lacuna in law regarding contempt of Court, Parliament must enact a law … Sumanthiran pleads in the House

Sumanthiran Parliament

Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran has pleaded that Parliament must take steps to enact a law on Contempt of Court for the country, as there was a very serious lacuna in the law in this regard.

He made this plea while addressing the House on Tuesday, Jan 19. Sumanthiran said:

“I want to flag several points in this regard. Before doing so, I am bound by the law and tradition to disclose my interest in the matter as the counsel who appeared for Ranjan Ramanayake in his case at the Supreme Court. I was privileged to appear for a clean and honest politician in court and I am proud of that. Nevertheless, he has been convicted and sentenced.

The sentence of four years rigorous imprisonment (RI) is unprecedented and exceptionally severe. Parliament has a responsibility in this regard because we have not enacted a law for contempt of court. There is nothing prescribed in the law on sentencing of those found guilty of a contempt of court charge because Parliament has for a long time failed to enact a legislation with regard to the matter. There have been instances in the public realm when even drafts have been made. By failing to do that, it is like the freedom of the wild ass. Anything can be given as a sentence. And that is not a good thing.

English Law is supposed to be the substantive law because we don’t have statute law now. In English law itself, scandalizing the court is no longer an offence of contempt of court. There is a serious lacuna in the law with regards to a statute for contempt of court that has resulted in this unprecedented injustice to an honest Member of Parliament.

I like to bring to your notice a serious lacuna in the law with regard to statute for contempt of court in this unprecedented injustice to an honest member of parliament.”

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