In a bail application filed on behalf of suspect Kasun Palisena regarding the magisterial inquiry into the bond scam, Senior Counsel Jeewantha Jayathilake said today that both suspects being incarcerated for ten months is on its own sufficient to be considered an exceptional circumstance to grant them bail.
Citing a precedent he said when considering someone's bail application, granting bail should be the rule and refusing it the exception.
Counsel said the Court should not reject a person's bail application so as to punish him, as it would amount to a violation of the constitutionally protected right of 'presumption of innocence' of that person.
He said though both suspects could not be deemed to be guilty at this stage, they have been denied their rights by being incarcerated for ten months.
Observing that the Attorney General and the CID had ample time to inquire into the facts in this case, the counsel said his clients had nothing to do with the first suspect Arjuna Mahendran absconding court had no relevancy with regard to suspects Aloysius and Palisena.
He said during the revision bail application at the Court of Appeal, one of the reasons set out by the Court in rejecting the application was that the 'current stage is premature to decide or consider on the inclusion of the Public Property Act as the suspects were not yet charged in any court specifically as per Prevailing law'.
However, he brought two exceptional grounds on behalf of his client (Kasun Palisena) as the law requires for suspects who were remanded under the Public Property Act.
He said firstly, being incarcerated for ten months can be regarded as exceptional ground on the basis of objective observation as the suspects were remanded for a long time and secondly, he sought bail pointing to a situation that suspect Kasun Palisena was undergoing at the moment on humanitarian grounds.
The counsel said suspect Palisena's second child, who is nine months of age, is currently suffering from a special disability due to premature birth and as a result the child is in need of a great degree of interaction and support from parents while under treatment.
He said child's mother was also suffering from various health problems, which resulted in her being incapable of taking care of the child alone and that the situation was quite exceptional as the mother was jobless while her husbands bank accounts have been frozen due to the inquiry.
The counsel moved to consider the exceptional bail application on humanitarian basis as everyone in remand custody did not have children with a special need with similar conditions.
Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne subsequently, directed the prosecution to file their written objections with regard to the bail applications filed on behalf of both suspects on or before December 18.
Meanwhile, Perpetual Treasuries Ltd owner Arjun Aloysius and its CEO Kasun Palisena were also ordered to be re-remanded till December 18 by the Magistrate in the magisterial inquiry in which they are accused of conspiring with Arjuna Mahendran to misappropriate public funds to the value of Rs.688 million at the bond auction held on February 27, 2015.
Perpetual Treasuries Ltd de facto owner Arjun Aloysius, its CEO Kasun Palisena were also re-remanded by the Chief Magistrate till December 18 over the parallel magisterial inquiry into the Bond scam on deleting phone call data from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd voice recording system and fabricating evidence to the Bond Commission. (Shehan Chamika Silva)