(Lanka-e-News -22.May.2016, 7.45PM) The case in which Colombo chief magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya delivered an outrageous interim decision on the 18 th which shook the very foundation of justice of Sri Lanka in connection with the Elephant robbery even after being pointed out in court that the prosecuting crown counsel of the Attorney General’s (AG) department was not present on that day , was taken up for hearing again day before yesterday (20).
That day Crown counsel Dileepa Peiris representing the AG was present in court. In addition cinema artiste Dharmasiri Bandaranaike, Ravaya Editor Janaranjana, Mahinda Ratnayake and a group appearing on behalf of the Citizen’s force who are evincing an interest in this case were present in court. Lawyer Upul Kumaraperuma appeared on behalf of the Citizen’s Force.
Dileepa Peirs and Upul Kumaraperuma pointed out that the earlier verdict given on the 18 th was erroneous , and until the case is concluded , the Elephants shall be kept in the custody of the Wild lIfe department.
Pilapitiya who created an ignominious record in dispensation of justice on the 18 th however said, he gave only an interim judgment on the 18 th , and after hearing the submissions of the crown counsel day before yesterday (20) , he would arrive at a definite decision.
Dileepa Peiris and Kumaraperuma then opened the mind of Gihan Pilapitiya who was apparently ignorant of the law (not just ignorant of a fact which is excusable in law !) that as this is a criminal case , an interim judgment cannot be delivered under section 431 of the criminal procedure code.
Hitherto , in the history of the courts in SL , never was such an interim verdict delivered by a judge ! In the circumstances judge Gihan Pilapitiya owing to his abysmal ignorance of the law despite being a chief magistrate had created a most inglorious record in SL’s judicial history !
Dileepa Peiris opened his submissions by revealing that this is a case in which 15 millionaires have come forward .That is 15 Elephants had been held captive without licenses , and the pachyderms are now in the custody of the Wild life department, and the Elephant rogues have again come forward to get back the Elephants. As each Elephant is worth about Rs. 10 million , Dileepa Peiris describing the 15 elephants as 15 millionaires is not wrong.
Dileepa Peiris primary objection to the decision of Pilapitiya was founded on the premise : the legal procedure followed was erroneous and as the Elephants constitute ‘Court production’, the court production can only be handed over to the aggrieved party . Therefore the Elephants cannot under any circumstances be handed over to the accused based on a bond now or at a future date.
Judge Pilapitiya on the other hand said , there were licenses for these Elephants. The crown counsel then pinpointed it is the license that is the crucial issue in this case and the CID too are investigating this license issue. While it had come to light these Elephants have been taken captive from the forest after killing the parent , and phony licenses had been made in respect of them, restoring the Elephants to the rogues is not allowable, Dileepa Peiris protested . In SL Elephants may be in the possession of anybody , nevertheless they are state property , Dileepa Peiris educated the chief magistrate and explained to him.
Prashantha Lal De Alwis who appeared on behalf of the Elephant rogues advanced the contention that this was a measure taken to safeguard Buddhism. Peraheras are an integral part of Buddhism , and without Elephants there cannot be Peraheras, and that will pave the way for annihilation of Buddhism.The constitution provides for measures to be taken to protect Buddhism , and the Citizen’s Force has come forward in this case to destroy Buddhism based on an NGO conspiracy, Alwis further observed.
Kumaraperuma in response said , there isn’t any necessity to involve Buddhism in this issue,and there are no valid grounds for that , while adding though Perahera is a cultural event , and Buddhism had not stated anywhere to conduct Peraheras.
Kumaraperuma commenting further said , a brother of his is ordained, and he (Kumaraperuma) is a better Buddhist than lawyer Alwis. Of course under section 9 of the constitution there are safeguards to protect Buddhism , but in the name of Buddhism committing robbery and engaging in illicit transactions are not permitted , in which event it is the responsibility of the government to prohibit and preclude such crimes , he elaborated. Kumaraperuma repudiating the allegations made against the NGOs said, Ravaya editor who is present in court through his newspapers was exposing the Elephant rogues for a long time and insisting on punishment being meted out to them, and not the NGOs.
Dileepa Peiris said, this request made by the rogues based on Elephant perahera is a lie. The Elephant owners were earning through cruelty inflicted on the Elephants he lamented .
After getting the Elephants into the river , these owners charge US dollars 300.00 to 500.00 for scrubbing an Elephant with a broomstick. The Elephant owners through Elephant baths grab about US dollars 5000.00 per day , he said.
While the body of one Elephant is being scrubbed it , the legs of another elephant , the tail of yet another and the trumpet of a fourth are scrubbed separately with a broomstick inflicting pain on them. It is a surprise these poor pachyderms that are kept the whole day in the water do not catch a cold and die , he quipped making the whole court to roll with laughter.
When Pilapitiya revealed , the mahanayakes by a letter to him requested to release the elephants on account of the Perahera , Kumaraperauma replied, this being a criminal case , the request of the mahanayake must be considered within the framework of the law.
Kumaraperuma elucidated this is creating a pernicious precedent , and questioned Pilapititiya whether in the criminal cases in the future if the head of the clergy of Christianity ,or the Hindu religion or Islam makes a request by letter to the judges, are the sacrosanct laws , legal norms and traditions of the judiciary to be compromised to please the whims and fancies of religious heads ?
In te circumstances , Kumaraperuma most deferentially urged the court to reverse the verdict delivered on the 18 th in favor of the elephant rogues handing whereby the stolen property was handed over to the rogues. That is to reverse the verdict delivered militating against the ‘doctrine of public trust.’
The present government has taken action against this elephant robbery crime in line with the legal processes taken by it against the corruption committed in the past. It is therefore worthy of note that there is a great interest and enthusiasm among the public to halt the corrupt and criminal activities that were carried out in the past. Towards this every Government Institution should extend support. This is because under the ‘doctrine of public trust’ of the State’s administration this is most important and imperative.
In this regard , the supreme court (SC) case pertaining to the phosphate mine must be primarily considered. Secondly ,the waters edge case. The SC had elucidated on how ‘government Institutions and government officers should act to sustain and maintain the public trust. The courts are not excluded I, neither are the judges as government officers, Kumaraperuma went on to point out.
Therefore , in this case the interest and attention of the public has been drawn to it , and the court ought to extend its assistance towards the investigation into this crime. If the courts and the judges do not act in a manner that is conducive to building the trust and confidence the public have reposed in them ,the only option available to the public is to take the law into their hands ,he warned. Kumaraperuma therefore requested to suspend this verdict.
Gihan Pilapitiya who was listening to the most sensible submissions of Kumaraperuma that would have opened the mind of any sane , sensible and intelligible judge decided to raise the bond value from Rs. Ten million (judgment of his on 18 th) to Rs.30 million , while entrusting the custody of the elephants to the very rogues for a month. The elephants that are with Uduwe Dhammaloka and magistrate Thilina Gamage cannot be taken back , Pilapitiya said when delivering the verdict.
An intriguing and interesting incident took pace while this case was in progress ….
Lawyer Ajith Pathrane who was appearing for the elephant rogues said , he was appearing on behalf of one ‘Vincent’ an elephant rogue. Pathirane frequently referred to the elephant of ‘Vincent.. When it was probed who this Vincent is , it was discovered it was none other than Thilina Vincent Sulochana Gamage alias Thilina Gamage the judge.
Kumaraperuma when revealing who this Vincent is asked ’isn’t this Vincent mahathaya the judge hearing cases on the upper floor ? Why is this being hidden ? Why are you afraid ? Officers of the judiciary have no capacity to trespass on the laws .
Ajith Pathirane and Sanjaya Gamage responding said , if the name is disclosed the public trust in the court will be destroyed.
Kumaraperuma replied back with an astounding and most intelligent answer : the confidence in the court is not eroded by revealing the name of a wrongdoing judge who has committed a criminal offence . Rather it is by duly punishing a judge who has committed an offence the public trust in the judiciary can be sustained and maintained, he asserted.
In the meanwhile , the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) decided to send Thilina Gamage the rogue who robbed the elephant and thereby the honor of the judiciary on compulsory leave with effect from yesterday. Many media reported that Thilina Gamage has been interdicted ; it is erroneous.
What the JSC has done is sending the culprit on compu;sory leave and not on interdiction . By this the culprit stands to gain. Thilina enjoys leave as well as full pay, whereas , if he was interdicted he would only get half the salary. Are lop sided decisions like these that are encouraging crooks and criminals to commit more crimes. Whither SL ?
By a special correspondent
Translated by Jeff
by (2016-05-22 15:33:25)
Leave a Reply
0 discussion on this news