Sri Lanka Supreme Court to decide on legality of Court Martial

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 December 2010, 02:52 GMT]
The Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Monday put off its determination for Thursday about the legality of the Court Martial under the Article 89D (d) of the Constitution on the Writ Application filed by the former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Sarath Fonseka filed in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal sought a determination from the Supreme Court in this regard sequel to a Writ Application filed by the petitioner Fonseka seeking it to issue an interim order enabling him to sit and vote in the parliament and to exercise his powers and privileges and immunities as a member of parliament, legal sources in Colombo said.

Fonseka was convicted by a Court Martial and sentenced to 36 months rigorous imprisonment in a case in which he was charged for some irregularities in tender procedures in procuring arms while he was the Commander of Sri Lanka Army.

The prison sentence was later reduced to thirty months by the Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse.

The petitioner has challenged in his writ application that the Court Martial is not a ‘court” referred to in Article 89(d) of the Constitution.

The Court of Appeal requested the Supreme Court to determine on the question on whether the words ‘any court’ referred to in Article 89(d) of the Constitution refer to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the other Courts of first instance, to the exclusion of tribunals and institutions or whether the words ‘any court’ included a Court Martial.

The Supreme Court earlier decided to announce its determination on the question on Wednesday but later it put off for Thursday as the Chief Justice Asoka de Silva , heading the five member bench could not attend the proceedings since he had to attend another state event.

 

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