SC issues notice on former President

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The Supreme Court yesterday (27) ordered the issuance of notice to former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appear before Court on 1 August to make submissions in connection with the Petitions seeking action against those responsible for the current economic crisis.

The Petitions filed by TISL, Chandra Jayaratne, Jehan Canaga Retna and Julian Bolling, in the public interest, were taken up before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Supreme Court Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda, and L. T. B. Dehideniya.

While the Petitions were filed when former President was in office and was to be represented by the Attorney General, the Petitions were amended for the former President to be directly named as a respondent. Thereby approval was granted to so name him as a respondent and the relevant order to issue notice was made.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also extended the overseas travel ban imposed on former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa until 2 August. Previously, the Supreme Court issued an Interim Order against the two from travelling overseas until 28 July without the permission of the Court.

This was when the Motion filed, in pursuant to the Petition, requesting Court to provide an urgent date to support the Petition, was taken up. The Motion sought a restraining order against former Prime Minister 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.

Thereby, when the Motion was taken up for consideration on 14 July, Counsel appearing on behalf of Basil Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Attygala gave an undertaking that they will not leave the country until Friday (15) midday, when the case wiould be taken up again and on 15 July, the overseas travel ban was extended to 28 July.

Further, President Ranil Wickremesinghe was also discharged from the case as a respondent yesterday (27) and the case is due to be taken up on 1 August.

BY Faadhila Thassim