Sri Lanka’s judiciary divided on Court Martial inquiry against Fonseka

[TamilNet, Friday, 29 October 2010, 04:50 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal Thursday referred to the Supreme Court for a constitutional interpretation whether the Court Martial is a legally bound court in respect of Article 89(d) of the Constitution. Meanwhile the two-member Bench of the Court of Appeal Justices Ranjit Silva and Upali Abeyaratne also on Thursday directed its Registrar to inform the President of the Court of Appeal Sathya Hettige to nominate a fuller bench to hold inquiry to hear the interim relief plea of Sarath Fonseka in view of the division of opinion among them on issuing an interim order.

The Appeal Court made these orders consequent to the Writ petition filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka seeking the Court for an order directing the Respondents- the Secretary General of the Parliament and the Commissioner of Elections to take all necessary steps according to law to enable him to sit and vote in Parliament and to exercise his powers, privileges and immunities as a Member of Parliament.

The Appeal Court also ordered to issue notices on the respondents cited in the Writ application and put off the inquiry into the Writ Application for mention on November 3.

Fonseka has complained that the Court Martial was biased, evidence was not substantial for a conviction and the reason for the conviction was not mentioned in the judgment of the court martial.

Fonseka wanted the conviction and the consequent sentence of 30 months rigorous imprisonment to be quashed by the Court of Appeal.

 

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