Hemantha Warnakulasuriya’s illegal intrusion in the drama against LeN editor rudely shocks legal fraternity –Ravaya News Paper

(Lanka-e-News - 06.Dec.2016, 3.45PM) Magistrate Ms. Kaveendra Nanayakkara pertaining to the stand the Attorney General (AG) should take ,made a comment ‘ the time has arrived for the Attorney General to tie his dogs’  in her face book page in regard to the elephant cub trading case heard by the Colombo chief magistrate  . Lanka e News website severely castigated the comment .

Subsequent to the LeN report , Kaveendra issued  a special order in connection with the case heard by her relating  to the assault launched on  journalist Upali Tennekoon . That directive  was issued  to the CID which had filed  the complaint .That order among other things directed that the bank account of Sandaruwan Senadheera ; details of his passport and identity card ; Lanka e News details; and where he is living be investigated and reported to  court. 

On 2016-11-25 when the  case No. E 294/09 of Upali Tennekoon  was taken up for hearing before Gampaha magistrate court , the CID in compliance with the request , forwarded the details to court. In any event , among those details furnished , there wasn’t any mention made that Sandaruwan was one who was involved in any crime ,  a suspect or had fled the country after committing an offence.

No matter what, a most curious and reprehensible scenario  was witnessed in the court in which  Kaveendra was hearing cases : Lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya suddenly appeared in court , made some submissions and alleged Sandaruwan has committed contempt of court , and requested the magistrate to issue an order  to arrest him. 

Unbelievably , Hemantha made this appearance while  representing no party involved in the case. As a rule , it is only the party to the case that can make submissions . Hence it is the bounden duty of the judge to stop , if a party that is not linked to the case stands up and  addresses a court . (It cannot be forgotten when Galagoda Aththe Gnanassara Thera who tried to address the Homagama court in the case of Prageeth Ekneliyagoda disappearance case , with which  he had nothing to do ended up facing charges of contempt of court ) .Despite this glaring fact , It is a wonder how judge Kaveendra permitted lawyer Hemantha to address court in this case. Much worse , she accepted the reasons adduced by Hemantha who was not representing any  party to the case ,  and  issued an open  warrant for the arrest of LeN editor.

The charges mounted against Sandaruwan by lawyer Hemantha was , in the Rivira editor assault case, publication  of a photograph of the suspect via Lanka e news  website prior to the conduct of the  identification parade was prejudicial to  the case  trial. Yet , Sandaruwan in his complaint to the Judicial Service Commission had stated the photograph was published by his  website on 2016-11 -18 . It was the photograph of Premananda Udalagama that was published by him on that day, and he was the suspect implicated in the murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge . Premananda was arrested and produced in court on the 16 th or 17 th of  July 2016, and was later identified by the witnesses during the identification parade.

By 18 th July 2016 , when the photograph along with the news report was published by LeN , Premananda Udalagama was not named as a suspect in the Upali Tennekoon case that was being heard in the Gampaha magistrate court.  In the circumstances the accusation  of contempt of court made  by lawyer  Hemantha in the Gampaha court case is untenable and baseless .

In the complaint made by Sandaruwan , he claims that because he criticized the conduct of magistrate Kaveendra in his news report , Kaveendra issued a warrant against him maliciously and unjustifiably .

Explaining further , Sandaruwan  had stated , the warrant was issued while Hemantha failing to  cite any acceptable evidence in court to support such an action. Another contention advanced by LeN editor Sandaruwan to confirm the action of the magistrate as malicious was , she had without following the first step of serving summons ,issued a warrant preliminarily to execute it via  the Interpol .

In the circumstances , Senadheera had requested the JSC to conduct an investigation into the grave injustice done to  him by issuing a warrant via the Interpol for a wrong he has not committed.
In this drama , what has rudely shocked the legal fraternity and the question therefore asked by them  is, how was  permission granted to a lawyer who was not representing any party in the case that was being heard ,to intrude and make submissions , and is that  possible? If that is possible , then based on the legal grounds cited by him , it must be identified which party he is representing in the case .

Did Hemantha function as a lawyer in  this case ? Did he represent any party to this case?  These issues are obscure . Therefore there  a number of issues to be probed in regard to the decision of the magistrate
Prasad Hewage 
(Written to Ravaya newspaper on 2016-12-04 by Prasad Hewage )

by     (2016-12-06 10:35:39)

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Hi- Practicing lawyer can help as a friend of the court- as Amicus curaie - Not necessarily retain by the parties involve in the case..
-- by Nihal Gunatilake on 2016-12-07

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