By Yoshitha Perera
The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court regarding the bail granted to accused former Minister Ravi Karunanayaka and seven others in the Central Bank bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.
Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayaka and seven others who were arrested and remanded over two alleged bond scams occurred in March 2016 were ordered to be released on bail by two Colombo High Court Trials-at-Bar on April 1.
When the second alleged bond scam amounting to Rs.36.98 million came up before Courts, a two-thirds split verdict was passed and ordered to release the accused on bail.
Accordingly, Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte and Judge Mohamed Irshadeen granted bail to the accused, deciding that Article 450 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Code was no longer valid and that the Bail Act would be effective beyond Article 450 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The two judges also ruled that the defendants’ medical report on their illnesses could not be considered as exceptional circumstances to grant bail but they would take into account the Attorney General’s failure to make submission against granting bail to accused in the first bond case filed in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Court ordered that the accused be released on bail, taking into account the fairness of the case and the complexity of the case.
Announcing his decision, High Court Judge Manjula Tillekeratne stated that the High Court has no jurisdiction to grant bail to an accused under Section 450 of the Criminal Procedure Code and that the High Court has no jurisdiction to disregard the Act.
Judge Manjula Tillekeratne also ruled that the Bail Act was not relevant to granting bail to the accused who were charged under the Public Property Act and ordered to further remand them.
Accordingly, the accused were released on Rs. 1 million cash bail each and two surety bail of Rs. 5 million each.