A writ petition filed by several parties including the Ministers and government Parliamentarians against former Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, IGP Chandana Wickremaratne and several others for their alleged failure to prevent violence following the attack on Galle Face protesters on May 9, 2022 was today withdrawn by the petitioners following an undertaking given by the authorities to have a fresh inquiry into the incidents.
The State Counsel appeared on behalf of the Attorney General informed court that they have received instructions from the Minister of Public Security and the Secretary to the President with regard to two substantive reliefs sought in prayers to the petition.
According to the first undertaking, the Minister of Public security has ensured that steps will be taken in terms of the applicable law, to have an inquiry or investigation conducted with regard to the matters set out in the Board of Inquiry ( Wasantha Karannagoda Committee).
Secondly, the Secretary to the President has given an undertaking to bring the contents of the said report of the board of inquiry, together with its findings and recommendations, to the notice of the incumbent President.
President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena appearing for the petitioners informed court that these two undertakings have essentially addressed the grievances of the petitioners and that in those circumstances, he would move to withdraw the writ application.
President's Counsel Faisz Mustapha appearing for General Shavendra Silva objected to both undertakings furnished by the Attorney General as well as the withdrawal of the application and indicated that he wished to file objections to the same.
Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC submitted that there is no case of filing objections as this was a crucial matter as several official governmental institutions and installations were attacked and overrun and there was even a physical threat to the security of Parliament itself and therefore, that the masterminds behind these attacks must be duly investigated.
Court Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justices Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and M.A.R. Marikkar after considering submissions made by both parties held that the petitioners were entitled to withdraw the petition and thereby the application for withdrawal was allowed.
In this petition, the petitioners including Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Prasanna Ranatunga had sought an order directing the authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation in order to ascertain as to whether former Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, IGP Chandana Wickremaratne or any other respondents have willfully disobeyed the orders given by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to take action to prevent the damages to property and people following the attack on Galle Face protesters on May 9.
President's Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena with counsel Rukshan Senadheera appeared for the petitioners.
President's Counsel Faisz Mustapha with Kuvera de Zoysa PC with Counsel Faisza Mustapha Marka and Sharafi Mohideen appeared for General Shavendra Silva.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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