- Colombo HC QUASHED PREVIOUS order to grant bail
- transferred to Pallanchena isolation centre in Negombo
By Yoshitha Perera
MP Rajitha Senaratne who was arrested after surrendering to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was ordered to be remanded till May 27 by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The former Minister was transferred to Pallanchena isolation centre in Negombo. Earlier, the Colombo High Court had yesterday quashed the order of the Colombo Chief Magistrate to grant bail to former Minister Rajitha Senaratne over the controversial ‘white van’ press conference.
The judgement was delivered by Colombo High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne.
After revoking the bail order by the High Court, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to produce MP Rajitha Seneratne before courts. On December 19, 2019 MP Senaratne had filed an anticipatory bail application seeking prevention of his arrest, which was rejected by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The following day he filed another anticipatory bail application, however, four days later, the Colombo Additional magistrate issued a warrant to arrest the former Health Minister over the controversial press conference.
On December 26, 2019 it was reported that MP Senaratne was admitted to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CICU) of Lanka Hospitals in Narahenpita.
The next day he was arrested and remanded over the “white van” press conference he had organised in last November, but was allowed to continue receiving treatment at the hospital. On December 30, 2019, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the release of MP Senaratne on two sureties of Rs.500,000.
In the order the Colombo Chief Magistrate observed that according to the Criminal Procedure Code, the charges leveled against MP Senaratne were bailable offences. However, a revision application filed by the AG before High Court on January 8, 2020 challenging the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s order on granting bail to Rajitha Senaratne.
Former State Pharmaceuticals Corporation Chairman Dr. Mohammed Rumi and two other individuals, Sakalawalli Arachchige Sarath Kumara and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake, who had been allegedly involved in the incident were also released on bail.