By Sheain Fernandopulle
The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ), which filed the petition against deforestation and illegal construction in the Northern sector of the Wilpattu National Park yesterday said that they were perturbed over the judge recusing himself from delivering the judgement.
We are disappointed and sad to note whether the system had collapsed
CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage told Daily Mirror that the verdict had to be delivered on three occasions but it got delayed. “We don’t think that it was the judge’s decision to recuse himself from delivering the judgement, is not something personal,” Withanage said.
“We are disappointed and sad to note whether the system had collapsed. However, we can’t blame the courts because the judge who handled the issue from the outset has retired. When he retired, he reserved the delivery of the judgement” he added.
He said they had been waiting for years to witness the judgement being delivered with some positive intention as they were confident of what had happened in the Wilpattu National Park. Justice Samayawardhana informed Appeal Court President Justice Yasantha Kodagoda on Monday that he was recusing himself from delivering the judgement on the case.
Thereafter the Appeal Court President referred the case to a bench comprising Justice Janak de Silva and Bandula Karunaratne for a fresh hearing.
The writ petition was filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd, citing the Conservator General, Central Environmental Authority, Director General of Wild Life Department, Commissioner General of Lands, Commissioner General of Archaeological Department, Mannar District Secretary, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and several others as respondents.
We don’t think that it was the judge’s decision to recuse himself from delivering the judgement, is not something personal