The Court of Appeal yesterday (8), issued notice on Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP Sanath Nishantha to appear before Court on 13 September over two Contempt of Court cases filed against him.
This was when the two Petitions filed by Lawyers Vijith Kumar and Priyal Sirisena, seeking charges of Contempt of Court against Nishantha, were taken up.
Accordingly, the case was fixed for consideration on 13 September.
Sirisena filed a Petition on 29 August while Kumar filed his petition on 30 August on the same grounds. The Attorney General, Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and Nishantha were named as respondents to the Petition.
The petition filed by Sirisena further sought a Court Order prohibiting Nishantha from travelling overseas. He noted that 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 stated 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 Nishantha, who spoke at a media conference, held at the 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 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 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 also requested the Court to issue an interim order for Nishantha to refrain from making any statements that may be in contempt, in the future.
Moreover, the petition sought 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 requested that a hearing of the petition be held and Nishantha be charged with contempt of Court under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.