Fri, 22 Oct 2021 Today's Paper

Woman serving life imprisonment found innocent: CA observes trial judge misdirected himself of the facts

20 September 2021 02:25 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

After spending more than two years in prison, a woman sentenced to life imprisonment for drug trafficking was acquitted by the Court of Appeal, observing that the High Court judge has misdirected himself of the facts during the trial.

While ordering to acquit the accused from all charges, the Court of Appeal Justice Priyantha Fernando and Justice Sampath Abayakoon held that Trial Judge has failed to give due consideration to the defence evidence and has rejected the defence evidence on the wrong premise.

 The Colombo High Court had sentenced Vidanapathiranage Jayanthi to life imprisonment on January 18, 2019. She had been convicted for trafficking and having in possession of 2.78 grams of heroin in 2015 in terms of Sections 54A(b) and 54A(d) of the Poisons Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance respectively.

Upon conviction on both counts after trial, the Colombo High Court sentenced the accused for life imprisonment for both counts. Being aggrieved by the said conviction and sentence, the accused had filed an appeal in Court of appeal on the ground that trial judge had failed to consider the improbability of the prosecution story, refuse of evidence unreasonably and trial judge has shifted the burden of proof on the defence.

The accused has given clear evidence without any confusion as to the sequence of events that took place that led to her arrest. The Accused’s evidence is well substantiated by the evidence of a defence witness named Kusuma and the daughter. Position of the defence right throughout had been that the accused who was in her house was arrested and the heroin was introduced, Justice Priyantha Fernando said.

 Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal observed that a witness cannot be expected to give the exact time in minutes or seconds when giving evidence years after the incident. ‘Lay witnesses do not keep notes as police officers who conduct raids. In that event, the evidence of the police witness number one who has kept his notes is more improbable than that of the accused’s daughter at the time,’ Justice Fernando said. The prosecution maintained that the daughter of the accused had made a contradictory statement regarding her mother’s arrest when explaining about the time period.

The High Court Judge has clearly misdirected himself when he expected the prosecution witness Fonseka to be called by the defence, when in fact it was the evidence for the prosecution that Fonseka participated in the raid, Justice Fernando further observed.

 Referring to a judgment delivered by Indian Supreme Court (D.N.Pandey V. State of Uttarapradesh AIR 1981SC 911), the Court of Appeal maintatined that Defence witnesses are entitled to equal treatment with those of the prosecution.

Counsel Neranjan Jayasinghe with Anusha Rathnayake appeared for the Accused. Senior State Counsel Riyaz Bari appeared for the Attorney General. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 9

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  • Ram Monday, 20 September 2021 02:54 PM

    It is for the IG now to start an investigation on who introduced the drugs. This kind of fabrication happens often and only a few suspects can afford to spend on lawyers to defend

    Ram Monday, 20 September 2021 02:55 PM

    Police must pay compensation to the woman whose liberty was infringed by her arrest and incarceration

    Rama Monday, 20 September 2021 04:05 PM

    I fully agree with Ram's comments.

    Ravi Monday, 20 September 2021 04:14 PM

    More than anything sack the High Court Judge who was both bias and totally incompetent.

    Anonymous Monday, 20 September 2021 11:50 PM

    That's stupid! It's like sacking a surgeon because the patient died from a surgery.

    kumar Monday, 20 September 2021 05:44 PM

    I had wittnessed proccedngs in drug possession and it seems many a convictions are based on police statements prejudicial to innocent victims, while the big sharks roam freely. Thus many are forced and recruited into drug pedaling because of the wrong approach.

    Yohan Monday, 20 September 2021 05:50 PM

    So relevant authorities should take action against the one who got misdirected?

    Sivaponniah Monday, 20 September 2021 07:21 PM

    This shows the incompetency of the Judge and malpractices by the Police. Big drug dealers and their henchmen are free and continuing their trade. What a 'Banana' Republic we have?? The women has to be compensated for the hardship she faced for the last 2 years and lawyers fees paid.

    Jude Keegel Tuesday, 21 September 2021 07:07 AM

    Review all judgements made by this individual. Absolutely pathetic


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


Spotlight on Attorney General’s Department and Public Service Commission

Certain acts by the Attorney General’s Department and the Public Service C

How a 19-year-old TikToker is helping bring back the Woolly Mammoth!

A young TikTok star and his friends are helping an ambitious gene editing pro

Unmasking Sri Lanka’s Pyramid Parasites

A Financial Cancer Spreading Through Sri Lanka Again...

Writing Letters to Michele Bachelet Causes Turmoil Within the TNA

The Tamil National Alliance(TNA) is currently in a state of great turmoil. Th