SC debars lawyer till 2027
By Kamal Weeraratna
The Supreme Court on 25 September decided to remove legal powers vested with an Attorney-at-Law who had been convicted of soliciting a bribe of Rs 300,000 for not appearing in a legal case and then continuing to ignore appearing for the case, for a period of seven years.
A three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda, S. Thurairaja and Preethi Padman Surasena perused the case. The Bench also ordered the convicted Attorney-at-Law to return the amount solicited by him as a bribe from the plaintiff.
The plaintiff was identified as R.M. Karunaratna Banda, a resident of the Ambatenna area while the convicted lawyer was identified as Wasantha Wijeyawardena, a resident of Kandy.
The plaintiff in his petition to the Supreme Court had stated that the Lawyer in question had sought the aforesaid amount from him to appear for a Fundamental Rights (FR) case filed by him before the apex Court. He had further charged in his petition that when the FR petition had been perused by the SC, the Lawyer in question had failed to appear in Court and as a result his FR petition had been rejected.
The plaintiff had also informed Court that later he lodged a complaint with the Bar Association of Sri Lanka as well and that the latter had written to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and that he had taken up the FR petition filed by him for a fresh hearing.
The plaintiff had said that even for the fresh hearing of his FR petition, his Lawyer had failed to turn up in Court and that a three-Judge Bench of the apex Court had heard it to debar the lawyer with effect from this year up to 2027 after convicting him over the offence.