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Delaying trial for 12 years: SC orders CTC to pay widow Rs.400,000 as costs

16 June 2018 06:25 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Supreme Court in a landmark judgment, on Thursday, ordered the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to pay Rs.400,000 as costs to a smoker's widow after the company was found to have prolonged the trial for more than 12 years by filing petitions in the Appeal Court and the SC.

Chief Justice Priyasath Dep concurring with Justices Sisira J. De Abrew and Prasanna Jayawardena held that the District Court should hear and determine the trial on its merit as soon as possible and dismissed the appeal filed by CTC and affirmed the Orders of District Court and the Court of Appeal.

The SC observed that the CTC had succeeded in delaying the case in the District Court for more than 12 years causing the widow to incur expenses which would have been to her a heavy burden and a considerable inconvenience.

It said these obstacles might have even prompted the plaintiff, probably with limited resources to be discouraged and giving up on the legal action.

The plaintiff Lalitha Padmini Fernando was the widow of K.S. Perera, a tailor, who had started smoking when he was a teenager. In September 1996, he was diagnosed with incurable cancer and died on April 13, 2001 at the age of 60.

Prior to his death, he had instituted legal action in the Colombo District Court against the Ceylon Tobacco Company to recover damages on account of suffering from cancer allegedly caused by smoking cigarettes manufactured by the company.

On April 11, 2003, the plaintiff instituted legal action against CTC pleading four alleged causes of action and seeking Rs.5 million from the CTC.

Manoj Bandara with T. Herath instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the CTC while Kanishka Witharana with H.M. Tillakaratne instructed by Medha N. Gamage appeared for plaintiff Lalitha Padmini Fernando. (S.S. Selvanayagam)

  Comments - 18

  • Ceylon Saturday, 16 June 2018 01:51 PM

    Now punish who did these delays.

    Ceylon Saturday, 16 June 2018 01:54 PM

    Delays of gota case in high court???.hundreds of delaysfor multy billion corruptions??.weerawansa'nd wife's fake passport case delays???.now weerawansa's daughrer's exam is over for 6 pkus minths.now re remand the guy.corruot govetnment is under sirisena destroying country.

    Harrry Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:26 AM

    Ceylon - why did you missed the Hora Bond clan including PM? Where buddy Mahendran? Fooling the masses with Interpol sagas?

    BSP Saturday, 16 June 2018 02:04 PM

    "..........The SC observed that the CTC had succeeded in delaying the case in the District Court for more than 12 years................ " These days we hear about another case that a person was succeeding in delaying his case.

    Erandi Saturday, 16 June 2018 02:06 PM

    Can CTC pay for 20,000 deaths caused by smoking? and their families? for children who loose their farther in young age?CTC is killing innocent people, When will all of them have justice?

    Dee Saturday, 16 June 2018 02:38 PM

    No comments. But I'm sure no individual or company forces us to practice 'bad habits'. It's self inflicted on our own will. In that case all restaurants and food shops and groceries will have to pay millions more than they earn if everyone who gets NCD's file action.

    Harrry Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:30 AM

    Dee.. if we move on your views even narcotics should be allowed free....

    Ranil Perera Saturday, 16 June 2018 03:17 PM

    Landmark Judgement?What is Rs. 400,000 now? After 12 years also?Landmark in which way? Positive or Negative?

    DD Monday, 18 June 2018 01:42 PM

    This fine is nothing for CTC!

    Suresh Saturday, 16 June 2018 03:18 PM

    3 learned men took 12 years to realise this?

    nada Saturday, 16 June 2018 04:38 PM

    these multinationals are a curse to the society

    Harrry Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:33 AM

    Shhh!!! Smoking and Liquor are few things we got from Invadors

    Ceylon Sunday, 17 June 2018 12:54 PM

    Nationals are destroying country.multy nationals are developing the country.

    Saradiel Saturday, 16 June 2018 05:23 PM

    CTC should not have taken the delaying tactics and should have gone ahead with the case. However, cigarettes are legally manufactured and sold. Consumers should be aware of the possible consequences. If all the smokers start going to courts against CTC, it will be chaotic for sure. Interesting to watch what will happen.

    Ryo Saturday, 16 June 2018 06:07 PM

    Why did the SC allow it be delayed for 12 years ?

    George Sunday, 17 June 2018 08:54 AM

    When is this country going to be a smoke free country?

    SW Monday, 18 June 2018 01:46 PM

    Then there will not be jobs for some organizations, including psychiatrists !

    Martin Milton Sunday, 17 June 2018 06:16 PM

    What ONLY Rs. 400,000.00 ?? It needs to be over Rs 4 MIllion compensation in view of the corrupt practices by the CTC in wilfully delaying Court action. Why will the SC Judges not realise this and give far more punitive judgements? Shame! MM


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