Written by Staff Writer
08 Jan, 2021 | 7:18 pm
Colombo (News 1st); The action filed by George Steuart Health (Pvt) Ltd against MTV Channel Private Limited was taken up today before District Judge of Colombo Hon. Rashantha Godawela in Court No.1.
Counsel for MTV strenuously objected to the application to transfer the case from the District Judge of Colombo Hon. Rashantha Godawela to the Additional District Judge Hon. Sandun Vithana, stating that parties should not select the bench to suit their wishes.
Having heard Mr. Egalahewa’s submission that the Plaintiff’s documents filed yesterday with an affidavit was in complete contravention of the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code and seeking rejection in limine of the said motion and the documents filed along with it, Mr. Romesh De Silva PC, appearing on behalf of George Steuart Health (Pvt) Ltd made an application to Court to transfer the case to the Hon. Additional District Judge Sandun Vithana, on the basis that Court Number 6 Judge – namely Hon. Sandun Vithana had granted the ex-parte enjoining order, and subsequently extended the enjoining order on 7th December 2020.
2. Mr. Uditha Egalahewa PC who appeared on behalf of MTV vehemently objected to the request to transfer the case to the Court of the Learned Additional District Judge, and informed Court that the practice of permitting parties to select judges is a perverse practice that affects the independence of the judiciary.
3. He further submitted to court that after the 7th of December 2020, this case came up on 18th of December 2020 and that there was a specific order made by another Additional District Judge to take this matter up before the District Judge of Colombo for inquiry and for further pleadings and on that date, no objections were raised by the Plaintiff’s counsel to take up this matter in court Number 1 before the District Judge of Colombo, therefore in following the proper procedure, this case should rightly be taken up only in Court number 1 before the said District Judge of Colombo and not be transferred to court Number 6.
4. Having heard submissions by both Counsels, the Court made an Order that when one party has made a request to transfer the case to another court, it is not correct for the judge to hear the case, stating that one party could allege bias against the judge.
5. Purely for that reason, the learned Judge ordered that the case be transferred to Court Number 6, and that this matter be immediately taken up in court Number 6.
6. Thereafter, the case was taken up in Court Number 6 before Additional District Judge Hon. Sandun Vithana.
7. Counsel for MTV, Mr Uditha Egalahewa PC informed the Court, that a few moments ago, when this matter came up before the District Judge of Colombo, he had vehemently objected to the Plaintiff’s application to transfer the case to Court Number 6.
8. Counsel reiterated the same objections before the Additional District Judge of Colombo Hon. Sandun Vithana and stated that there is an Order already made on 18th December 2020 to take this case up in Court Number 1 and therefore Court Number 6 should not hear this case.
9. Accordingly, the case will be called on 13th January 2021 for the Additional District Judge Hon. Sandun Vithana to make a suitable order with regard to the further steps of the case.
10. Mr. Uditha Egalahewa President’s Counsel, Mr. Jeevantha Jayathilaka, Mr Niranjan Arulpragasam, Mr. Damitha Karunaratne, Mr. N K Ashokbharan, Mr. Miyuru Egalahewa, and other counsels appeared for the defendant instructed by Mr. G G Arulpragasam.
11. Appearing for the Plaintiff and for the interests of Dilith Jayaweera, the Chairman of the Plaintiff company, was Mr. Romesh de Silva PC and Mr. Ruwantha Cooray Attorney at Law. Mr. Ruwantha Cooray earlier functioned as the senior-most junior at Mr. Ali Sabry’s chambers prior to Mr. Sabry becoming the Minister of Justice. (Picture)
12. On a previous occasion too, Mr Dilith Jayaweera instituted an action before the Colombo District Court and obtained an enjoining order against another TV channel, and Mr Dilith Jayaweera’s interests were then represented by Mr Ali Sabry. (Picture 2)
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