The Supreme Court today dismissed without cost the appeal filed by Ravi Karunanayake challenging the High Court proceedings against him in respect of the indictments in connection with alleged exchange control offences.
The Bench comprised Justices Shirani A.Bandaranayake, N.G.Amaratunga and P.A.Ratnayake.
In his application for special leave to appeal, he cited the Attorney General, Naxia Corporate Consultants (Pvt) Ltd (NCCL) and Lincoln Piyasena as respondents.
He was indicted along with the NCCL and Lincoln Piyasena before the Colombo High Court by the Attorney General for the following counts:
i) that he aided and abetted the NCCL to retain US $ one million and another two million without the approval of the Central Bank at the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB);
ii) that he aided and abetted Lincoln Piyasena to credit US $ one million and another two million on behalf of a non-resident Raj Rajaratnam into an account which is non-Share Investment External Rupee Account opened in the Name of NCCL at the SCB for the purpose of purchasing shares in the Union Bank in violation of Exchange Control Act.
In the High Court, he raised preliminary objections including that the AG does not have power to present a direct indictment, for the offences contained in the indictment as it is the Magistrate before whom a prosecution is instituted who has the power to decide whether he should be tried summarily or whether it is appropriate to hold a non-summary inquiry.
The High Court made order rejecting the preliminary objections and had indictment read over against him. Being aggrieved by the said order, he preferred an appeal to the Court of Appeal which too dismissed the application.