SC prevents MR, Basil from overseas travel

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The Supreme Court on Friday (15), issued an Interim Order against former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa from travelling overseas until 28 July without the permission of the Court.

This was following the second hearing of the Motion filed by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and three others before the Supreme Court seeking an interim relief restraining the two, together with three others from travelling overseas.

Previously, Fundamental Rights (FR) Petitions were filed by TSIL, Chandra Jayaratne, Jehan Canaga Retna and Julian Bolling in the public interest seeking actions against those responsible for the current economic crisis. Following consideration, the case was fixed for support on 27 July.

However Petitioners on 11 Monday, following the incidents on 9 July and the assurance given by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he would resign, filed a Motion requesting Court to provide an urgent date to support the Petition.

In pursuant to the Petition, the Motion sought a restraining order against former Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Governors of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Prof.W.D. Lakshman and former Secretary of the Treasury S.R. Attygala from travelling abroad without the approval of the Court until investigations into the factors leading to the current economic crisis are investigated into.

Thereby, when the Motion was taken up for consideration on 14 Thursday, Counsel appearing on behalf of Basil Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Attygala gave an undertaking that they will not leave the country until 15 Friday midday, when the case will be taken up again.

Further the Counsel appearing on behalf of Cabraal informed Court that his client will not leave the country without the permission of the Supreme Court while noting that he already has two Court orders restraining him from overseas travel and the counsel appearing on behalf of Prof.Lakshman also gave an undertaking that his client will not leave the country until the case is taken up.

Accordingly, when the case was taken up on 15 Friday, the undertaking given by Prof.Lakshman and Cabraal that they would not travel abroad without the permission of Court was also extended until 28 July. The case is to be supported for full leave to proceed on 27 July.

BY Faadhila Thassim