Recent News

Basil’s request in almanac case fixed for Nov. 24

The Court of Appeal yesterday reserved its order for November 24 to decide whether to issue an order staying proceedings into the controversial almanac case.

The case is heard before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga. The Court of Appeal bench comprises Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya (President) and Justice Shiran Gunaratne.

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

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

Judge Kulatunga also delivered the judgment regarding the Controversial Sil Redi (fabrics used by devotees to observe sil) distribution case. Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by the 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 November 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 to be heard on a day-to-day basis beginning November 24 by Judge Gihan Kulatunga.

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 five 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.