Contempt of Court petition against MP Nishantha

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A petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal requesting the Court to punish SLPP Puttalam District Parliamentarian Sanath Nishantha for Contempt of Court.

The petition has been filed by Attorney-at-Law Priyalal Sirisena, and the Attorney General, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and MP Sanath Nishantha have been named as respondents.

The petition has further sought a Court Order prohibiting Sanath Nishantha from travelling overseas.

The attorney-at-Law, who filed the petition, has mentioned that Sanath Nishantha has been named as a suspect in a case filed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, in connection with the attack on the GotaGoGama protest site at Galle Face Green on 9 May.

In addition, the petition also states that the MP has been released on bail after being remanded in custody by the Colombo Fort Magistrate in connection with the incident.

He emphasised in the petition that the respondent Sanath Nishantha, who spoke at a media conference held at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party headquarters on 23 August, had expressed critical views on the manner in which the magistrates acted in granting bail to the suspects involved in the ‘Aragalaya’ protest movement and, added that the MP has damaged the honour and the image of the judiciary.

The petitioner further charged that Sanath Nishantha has committed contempt of the Court through the aforementioned act, adding that it is a punishable offence in accordance with Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.

Accordingly, the petitioner has also requested the Court to issue an order to summon before the Court the original video clips of the concerned press conference which were aired by several private television channels.

Furthermore, the petition has also requested the Court to issue an interim order for Sanath Nishantha to refrain from uttering any statements that may be in contempt, in the future.

Moreover, the petition seeks an order to be issued to the Attorney General to file a charge sheet against the respondent charging him with contempt of Court and a summons to be issued to the concerned MP to appear before the Court and further to question the reasons why he should not be punished.

In addition, the petition has further requested that a hearing of the petition be held and MP Sanath Nishantha be punished for the charge of contempt of Court under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

By Kamal Mahendra