SC Judge declines to hear Bathiudeen’s appeal

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Supreme Court Justice Arjuna Obeysekera yesterday (5), declined hearing the appeal filed by MP Rishad Bathiudeen, against the decision given by the Court of Appeal, directing him to bear the entire cost to carry out a tree planting programme at the Wilpattu Forest Reserve.

This was when the appeal was taken up for consideration yesterday (5) and was thereby re-fixed for support on 19 January 2023 by a Bench excluding Justice Obeysekera.

The appeal was so filed by Bathiudeen in regard to the decision given by the Court of Appeal, pertaining to the case filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) against the illegal clearing of forest land in the Wilpattu Forest Reserve area.

When the case filed by CEJ was taken up, the Court ordered the Conservator General of the Forest Conservation Department to take steps to implement a tree planting programme in the forest reserve area and any area similar to the reserve if illegal clearing had been done.

Further, the Court issued an order for Bathiudeen to bear the entire cost of the tree planting programme and directed the Conservator General of Forests to calculate the cost of the tree planting programme.

Bathiudeen later submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court, against the said decision of the Court of Appeal and when the appeal was initially taken up, the Court emphasised that the hearing of the appeal does not stand in the way of the execution of the Appellate Court order.

BY Faadhila Thassim