Ranjan Ramanayake sentenced to four-year RI for contempt of court

12 January 2021 11:01 am - 29     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Supreme Court today sentenced actor-turned parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake to four years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court.

The judgment was delivered by a three-judge bench comprising Justices Sisira de Abrew, Vijith Malalgoda and Preethi Padman Surasena.

Meanwhile, Ramanayake will be sent to the Pallansena Quarantine Center, said prison spokesman Chandana Ekanayake.

The case was filed against former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake over Contempt of Court charges for making defamatory remarks against the judiciary on August 21, 2017.

On August 27, 2017, in front of Temple Trees MP Ramanayake said that “majority in Sri Lanka are corrupt Judges, corrupt lawyers. About 95% of them are working for money. They every day protected murderers, corrupt people and drug dealers for money.”    

After filing the case, MP Ramanayake further made different statements in front of the Supreme Court and those recordings were also considered when delivering the verdict. Some statements are as follows:

On December 14, 2017, the Respondent said that “I will not under any circumstances, withdraw the opinion expressed by me. Therefore I told only about these Judges.”

On March 23, 2018, the Respondent said that “if the Honorable court gets some self-satisfaction to conclude it after sending me to jail, I will very happily go. I will not withdraw anything what I have said.”

On June 4, 2018, the Respondent said that “As at present I have twenty-one ceases. I will not withdraw what I have said.”

MP Ramanayake on September 5, 2018, again said that “I will never withdraw. Even if they sentenced me to one year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty years or life imprisonment, I maintain what I have said.”   

Retired Air Force Officer Sunil Perera and Venerable Magalkande Sudatta Thera had filed two petitions in the Supreme Court alleging that such offensive comments can lose public confidence and provide a distorted image of the judiciary to the people of Sri Lanka.

Based on these complaints, the Attorney General had later served the charges against Ramanayake before the Supreme Court. 

However, in the Court, the charge was read to the Respondent and an opportunity was given to him to plead guilty to the charge and he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

During the proceedings, MP Ramanayake also informed the Court that he had no intention of mentioning of Judges but had the intention of speaking about lawyers. He also added that his intention was to criticize the former Minister of Justice.

It was also informed to the Court that in the statement MP Ramanayake made outside the Temple Trees, he did not want to speak about Judges but the word ‘Judges’ slipped from his mouth.

When delivering the verdict the three-bench Judges informed that although MP Ramanayake says in his evidence that he had no intention to refer to Judges in his initial statement made outside the Temple Trees, his subsequent statements made several occasions indicated and clearly demonstrated that his intention was to refer to Judges.   

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for the Respondent informed the Judges that according to the evidence led before the Court, nothing had been said against the Supreme Court and that therefore the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. (Yoshitha Perera)

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  Comments - 29

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  • Sherman GDS Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:16 AM

    Be you ever so high, the law is above you!

    Palitha Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:17 AM

    Hope they will follow suit with other lawless MPs also.

    Nilame Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:18 AM

    Now the President will have an opportunity to pardon him.

    Shan Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:20 AM

    Hope he will not escape from backside of the jail.

    Vipin B Tuesday, 12 January 2021 12:30 PM

    "If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable." ~ Louis Brandeis

    Kingston Tuesday, 12 January 2021 12:32 PM

    While all the criminals are being set free and some murderers pardoned, this man is given 4 years RI for speaking the truth. The sentence is more than proof of what he said.

    Susantha Tuesday, 12 January 2021 07:52 PM

    The people who have iota of brain and common sense would approve your comment

    Mokan Tuesday, 12 January 2021 12:51 PM

    But for murder , you will be set free

    Chux Tuesday, 12 January 2021 01:45 PM

    Ranjan went to the jail purely spoken on behalf of the people and many murderes are set to free and already freed most amazing judiciary of the world

    Wickremasinghe Tuesday, 12 January 2021 01:49 PM

    Law depends on what side you are. GOD BLESS MOTHER LANKA.

    Dee Tuesday, 12 January 2021 01:50 PM

    The complainant of the case may now be appointed as a ministry secretary. Or chairman of an authority.

    Lion Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:02 PM

    Darkest day for the conscious of right thinking people .This indicates what to be expected in future .

    Ram Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:10 PM

    Truth has no place in Sri Lanka. Folks don't be truthful but be crooked and utter blatant lies like the politicians and you have recognition.

    Abu Ateeq Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:27 PM

    this is politically motivated sentence.. Who pay for this . He will be in jail .. Who pays off for all. Public money . Sri Lankan judges live on public money and they know how waste public money by creating unwanted cases like this .. Do not blame about over crowding if you create cases like this . What is wrong with these judges .. Judiciary is to protect public from injustice and yet looks Sri Lankan judges need to learn ABC in law once again. Go and see how legal system work in countries like Swiss you will know there a few in jail . They do not want to waste skills of their human resources. Today we live in knowledge based economy..

    Mark Anandappa Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:51 PM

    What a joke- Pillayan is out - Ranjan gets in.

    lanakan Tuesday, 12 January 2021 02:57 PM

    What is wrong with him?

    Ramesh kumar Tuesday, 12 January 2021 03:05 PM

    What happened to GMOA President Dr.Padeniya's contempt of court case?

    Lion Tuesday, 12 January 2021 03:57 PM

    I like my children to be away in this lawless country where lawless judges are administering the law in this country .

    Sokrates Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:01 PM

    Contempt of Court proceedings can only be conducted by a judge if the act is committed during a trial. At least that is how it is in a country with a good democratic legal system. If offensive comments are made against judges or the judicial system outside of a courtroom, this is part of the constitutional right of free expression.

    lal Tuesday, 12 January 2021 08:16 PM

    Medical, legal and teaching are the most corrupt professions in this country

    Ralph Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:12 PM

    20th amendment at work!

    Raj Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:21 PM

    Fully agree with Sokrates! Judges are not gods and they are too subject to criticism! In contempt of court cases judges treat the accused high handedly!

    Demuni Uduwara Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:51 PM

    A lawless country.

    sunil Tuesday, 12 January 2021 06:06 PM

    Ranjan u will come out of jail a hero

    Mithula Tuesday, 12 January 2021 08:29 PM

    Ranjan has always spoken the truth.God will protect him.One day this country will be liberated.

    Mohamed Ifaz Inamdeen Tuesday, 12 January 2021 08:38 PM

    This lawless country put a candid man into rigorous imprisonment. Can't expect any justness from this notorious regime

    Justice Denied Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:49 PM

    If he belonged to Pohottuwa Clan, he would have been acquitted fully and completely.

    A Junaid Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:57 PM

    What happened tp Padeniya's case. He is the Dr who called all his fellow mates to strike for any reason during 2015-2019. Contenpt of court...he is still free. Where is the Justice. Viyathmaga or some thing like that is at work . Good luck to the SL's living there for the nxt5 years

    Jehan Wednesday, 13 January 2021 09:54 AM

    Kangaroo courts run by henchmen.SL will be in civil war.


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