Former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike in a motion filed in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court day objected to the notice served on her by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption stating it was erroneous.
Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty PC appearing on behalf of Dr. Bandaranayake said the prosecution could not serve the notice on a suspect before serving him or her with charges.
He said as no charges signed by Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya was served on her she was not an accused or named as an accused and as such notice could not be served on her.
Counsel said it was a mistake on the part of the prosecution to have failed to annex to the notice the copy or copies of the documents intended to be used by the prosecution in the trial.
He requested Court to direct the prosecution to provide copies of any reports or other documents, computers and computer data which the prosecution intends to use as evidence against his client.
The counsel said it was wrong to serve notice before reading out the charges and it was immature and had no force in law.
He said notice should have been served only after the charges were read out within a period of 45 days and thereafter the defence should raise any objections 15 days prior to the trial.
Senior State Counsel Dilan Ratnayake said the Bribery Commission would provide the copies of the documents to the defence and was prepared to read out the charges to rectify the mistake.
Counsel Ladduwahetty said this was not the usual practice in courts. He said the motion was filed by him to enlighten court on the mistake made by the prosecution. However if the prosecution was trying to rectify it by that manner what would the world think about this case. He said it was like punishing a suspect for highlighting a mistake.
Magistrate Pilapitiya fixed further inquiry for November 14 and asked the defence to file their objections if any on that date and the court would consider what other steps need to be taken. (T. Farook Thajudeen) (Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana)