Written by Zulfick Farzan
12 Aug, 2020 | 4:07 pm
Colombo (News 1st); The Court of Appeal on Wednesday (12) issued an order not to enforce the warrants issued for the arrest of the Kurunegala Mayor & 04 others until the 24th of August.
On Tuesday (11), Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Sanjeewa Vitharana filed a writ petition with the Court of Appeal seeking an order to prevent the enforcement of the warrant issued for his arrest.
On the 07th of August, the Kurunegala Magistrate Court issued warrants for the arrest of the Kurunegala Mayor and 04 others with regard to the case filed over the demolition of a building in Kurunegala with archaeological value and re-issued the warrants on Monday (10).
The writ application filed by the 05 individuals against whom the warrants were issued, was called up in the presence of Court of Appeal President A. H. M. D. Nawaz and Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna.
It was revealed in court, the respondents in the petitions, excluding the one filed by Kurunegala Work Superintendent Illaludeen Zulfikar, had not received the notices in a proper manner, and therefore only the petition filed by the Work Superintendent was called up for consideration on Wednesday.
Attorney-at-Law Riyaz Ameen appearing for the Work Superintendent said according to a report produced by the Director-General of Archaeology on the 24th of July, the site is classified as a building with archaeological value.
However, he said no scientific evidence was produced to prove these claims.
Counsel further said there are flaws in enforcing the warrants as the Kurunegala Magistrate had not mentioned under which provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure were the warrants issued.
However, Senior Additional Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanne appearing for the Attorney General said as the Department of Archaeology had already published via gazette claiming the building is of archaeological value, therefore the petitions should be rejected without even granting permission for examination.
The Court of Appeal announced it would decide on whether to grant permission to examine the petition and issue an interim injunction as requested by the petitioners, on the 24th of August and issued an order not to enforce the warrants until that day.
The suspects named in the case at the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court are Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Sanjeewa Vitharana, Kurunegala Urban Commissioner Pradeep Nishantha Thilakeratne, Urban Engineer Chaminda Bandara, Work Superintendent Illaludeen Zulfikar and Backhoe loader operator Lakshman Priyantha.
They were represented in court by a group of counsel led by President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa.
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