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Tuesday, 07 February 2023 22:18

Hirunika and her mother urge SC to set aside Presidential Pardon granted to Duminda Silva Featured

Former Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra and her mother Sumana Premachandra through their lawyers yesterday urged Supreme Court to set aside the Presidential Pardon granted to former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva for not following the provisions stipulated in the proviso to Article 34 (1) of the Constitution.

While concluding their oral submissions in respect of Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the legality of the Presidential Pardon granted to Duminda Silva, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for Hirunika Premachandra and Counsel Eraj de Silva appearing for Sumana Premachandra urged the Supreme Court to set aside the Presidential Pardon due to errors apparent on the face of the record.

Counsel Eraj de Silva submitted to court that the Presidential Pardon has not been granted to Duminda Silva after considering the report of the trial Judges, the opinion of the Attorney General and the recommendation of the Minister of Justice as stipulated in the proviso to the Article 43(1) of the constitution.

It was further submitted to court that the Presidential Pardon has been granted contrary to the principle of natural justice due to non-consultation of the victims of the crime.

President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam appearing for another petitioner stated that the pardon granted to Duminda Silva would be unreasonable and arbitrary and will result in erosion to the Rule of Law and result in a loss of public confidence in respect of the administration of justice.

The Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices Preethi Padman Surasena, Gamini Amarasekara and Arjuna Obeysekera fixed the petitions to be taken up for argument on March 20.

On a previous occasion, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was added as a respondent since he was no longer holding the post of the President.

On May 31, 2022, the Supreme Court issued an Interim Order directing the CID to place Duminda Silva under the custody of prisons with immediate effect. The Court also issued an Interim Order impounding Duminda Silva's passport. The Court has already granted leave to proceed with these applications in terms of Article 12(1) of the constitution.

Former Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra, her mother Sumana Premachandra and former Commissioner of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Ghazali Hussain had filed these petitions seeking a declaration that the presidential pardon of Duminda Silva is invalid in law.

M.A. Sumanthiran PC, Geoffrey Alagaratnam PC with Counsel Eraj de Silva with Counsel Daminda Wijayaratne appeared for the petitioners. K. Kanag-Isvaran PC appeared for the BASL. Gamini Marapana PC with Manohara de Silva PC and Navin Marapana PC appeared for Duminda Silva. Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)


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