SC decides not to proceed with FR petitions against President RW

Easter Sunday Carnage

By A. J. A. Abeynayake

The Supreme Court has decided not to proceed with fundamental rights petitions filed against President Ranil Wickremesinghe over the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

The Court yesterday issued the directive, taking into account the fact that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the incumbent President and decided not to proceed with the FR petitions at this stage.

The decision was announced after 12 Fundamental Rights applications were taken up before a seven-Judge bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.

Several parties, including the Sri Lanka Bar Association, Catholic priests, families of the victims of the Easter attacks, and relatives of the deceased have filed the fundamental rights petitions.

Earlier, former President Maithripala Sirisena had informed the Supreme Court that he was opposed to exempting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, named as a respondent in the FR petitions filed on the Easter attacks, from prosecution under the immunity granted by the Constitution to a sitting head of state.

Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando, who appeared for President Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday raised an objection before the court and said that since his client had been elected as the President, it was not possible to conduct a case against him as per Article 35 of the Constitution.

But in view of the objections expressed by other parties, the Supreme Court informed the lawyers of former President Maithripala Sirisena, named as a respondent in the petitions, to make their submissions on Wednesday (27), concerning the preliminary objections.

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