Basil seeks order transferring almanac case away from High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga

 

Filing a Transfer Application in the Court of Appeal, Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa sought an order staying any further proceedings into controversial almanac case before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga, currently presiding over Court No.6 of Colombo High Court.

He further sought an order transferring case from Colombo High Court presided over by High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga to any other court of High Court of Colombo.

High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga is the Colombo High Court Judge who delivered the judgment regarding Controversial Sil Redi (fabrics used by devotees to observe sill) distribution case. Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita were sentenced to three-year-rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court for misappropriating Rs. 600 million of funds belonging to TRC.

In his petition, Basil Rajapaksa stated that High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga was a member of Presidential Commission (PRECIFAC) which initiated an inquiry against him. He further stated that one of the primary grounds on which the proceedings before PRECIFAC are sought to be challenged by him before the Court of Appeal complaining that he was denied a fair hearing at the purported inquiry by the PRECIFAC. 

On June 15, the High Court case against two accused including former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa for allegedly misappropriating Rs.29.4 million of funds belonging to Divi Neguma Department was fixed for trial on November 13 by Colombo High Court judge Gihan Kulatunga.

When the Transfer Application was taken up before Court of Appeal (President) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne, the Attorney General was noticed to appear in Court on October 26. 

The Attorney General had filed indictments against former Minister and former director General of Divi Neguma Department Kithsiri Ranawaka in the Colombo High Court for allegedly printing 5 million almanacs with the image of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, costing Rs.29.4 million, to be used as election propaganda material during January-2015 presidential election.

President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with counsel Navin Marapana, Kaushalya Molligoda instructed by Sanath Wijewardena appeared for Basil Rajapaksa.

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