Justice Sisira J. De Abrew today recused himself from the Bench hearing the contempt of court allegation against former chief justice Sarath N.Silva when the matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Vijith K. Malalgoda and P. Padman Surasena.
The court postponed the hearing for September 30.
Justice Priyantha Jayawardane recused himself from being a member of the Bench on May 8 while Justice Prasanna Jayawardena also recused himself from the Bench.
Justice Prasanna Jayawardena recused himself for the reason that the alleged contemptuous statement is said to have been made against an Interim Order issued by a Bench of which he was a member and not for any personal reasons.
Respondent Sarath Silva is alleged to have made these contemptuous statements during a speech he made on December 3, 2018.
There were number of petitions against the dissolution of Parliament by the President.
In case No. SC FR 351/2018 filed by former opposition leader R.Sampanthan, the Bench comprising Former Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Priyantha Jayawardana and Prasanna Jayawardena issued the said Interim Order suspending the operation of the proclamation dissolving Parliament.
The contempt of court petition was filed against former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva by Senior Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Prof. Hewa Waduge Cyril, and Senior Prof. Prashantha Gunawardena.
Upul Jayasuriya PC appeared for the petitioners.1st respondent Sarath N. Silva was present in court and represented by Counsel Romesh de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera and Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC while Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam with Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.
The petitioners state that on December 3, 2018, Mr. Silva addressed a rally at Maradana junction organised by the ‘Jathika Ekamuthuwa’, a group loyal to MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.
They said Mr. Silva made his speech in utter contempt of court particularly of the Interim Order delivered by the Supreme Court on November 13, 2018 and the Interim Order delivered by the Court of Appeal on the evening of December 3, 2108.
The petitioners said the respondent deliberately, maliciously and contemptuously made statements in relation to the court process, the judgment and the conduct of the Court and pointed out that the threats, insinuations, comments and statements had been uttered in public by Mr. Silva and thus these acts amounted to a gross contempt of court.
Petitioners are seeking the Court to charge him for the offence of Contempt of the Supreme Court and to impose sentence on him. (S.S.Selvanayagam)