Two more Supreme Court Judges today recused themselves from hearing the fundamental rights petition filed by former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The petition seeks an order from Court to stop the police arresting him in connection with several investigations and a declaration that the gazette notification by the FCID is beyond its legal power or authority.
The case was taken up by a Bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardane, Vijith Malalgoda and Murdu N.B. Fernando.
The court directed the Registrar not to list the before the Bench of Eva Wanasundera, Buwaneka Aluvihara, Priyantha Jayawardane and Murdu Fernando and fixed the hearing on November 27.
When the case was taken up on October 24, Justice Eva Wanasundera declined to be a member of the Bench.
When petition came up on March 13, the Additional Solicitor General informed court that the investigation against Mr. Rajapaksa was continuing and that if there was a cognizable offence, the integral part of such an offence had a mandatory requirement to arrest.
The ASG appearing for the respondents and the Attorney General told Court that the interim order preventing the FCID from arresting him granted on May 13, 2015 was still in operation.
When the petition was first taken up on for support for granting leave to proceed, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihara declined to be a member of the Bench and the two-judge bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera and Sarath de Abrew granted an interim order preventing the FCID and others from arresting Mr. Rajapaksa in connection with an alleged financial crime.
The petitioner cited Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the members of the Cabinet, Secretary to the Cabinet, Secretary to the President, IGP N.K. Ilangakoon, CID Director B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla, FCID DIG Ravi Waidyalankara and the Attorney General as respondents.
Romesh de Silva PC with Ali Sabry PC, Sugath Caldera and Sanath Wijewardane are appearing for the petitioner while K. Kanag Iswaran PC with Suren Fernando are appearing for the Prime Minister. Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kothagoda is appearing for the respondents.(S.S. Selvanayagam)