The charge sheet against former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka for an alleged motor accident in 2016 at Rajagiriya was read out at the Colombo High Court yesterday. Accused Ranawaka on bail appeared in Court when the case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Namala Balalle and the charge sheet against accused Ranawaka was read out in open Court.
Counsel representing President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne on behalf of the accused informed Court that he hopes to file a preliminary objection in the coming days as Anuja Premaratne PC had gone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appeared before court on behalf of the Attorney General strongly objected to the request made by the defence.
The indictment was filed against the accused in the High Court on July 9, 2020. Accordingly, the accused was summoned before court on October 21, 2020 and released on bail. The Deputy Solicitor General told the court that the case was scheduled to be heard yesterday and that it was not appropriate to state that defence was making preliminary objections when calling the case for hearing yesterday.
The Deputy Solicitor General further stated that there were opportunities to file objections under Section 37 of the Judicial Organizations Act in the first instance after accepting the indictment before the precursor Judge.
The Deputy Solicitor General also sought from the High Court to take immediate action against adjourning case proceedings and told court that it was unethical to argue with a junior counsel appearing at the time.
Also, the vehicle bearing WP-KT 7545 which was involved in the accident which was the main case production item in this case was under the Power and Energy Ministry at the time of the accident in 2016 and now it is under the Finance Ministry.
The Deputy Solicitor General sought from court to issue an order to the Finance Ministry Secretary to produce the vehicle in court as a case production item in the next hearing.
Witnesses in the case Sandeep Sampath Gunawardena, Siddique Mohamed Sufai, Nimitha Harsha Bandara and Dayananda Gunawardena appeared before court yesterday.
The Deputy Solicitor General requested court to summon K.M Gayashan, the first and main witness in the case as he did not appear before court yesterday.
Accordingly, the judge issued summons to the first witness, admonishing the witnesses to appear before court when summoned again and ordered that the motorcycle involved in the accident be produced before court as a case production item in the next hearing.
After considering all the facts of both parties, the case was fixed for April 27 to inquire into the preliminary objections of the defence in this case by Colombo High Court Judge Namal Balalle.
On July 10, the Attorney General had filed two separate indictments before the High Court against former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, his driver Thusith Dilum Kumara and ASP Sudath Asmadala over the hit-and-run accident at Rajagiriya in 2016.
Accordingly, the first indictment was filed against MP Patali Champika on charges of causing grievous injury to a youth named Sandeep Sampath while driving a vehicle in a reckless manner.
The second indictment comprising 16 charges was filed against all three accused on charges of fabricating false evidence, conspiracy of fabricating evidence and submitting false reports to the Court.
At a previous occasion accused Ranawaka was released on bail by the Colombo High Court on a cash bail of Rs.10,000 and two sureties of Rs.100,000, after serving the indictment.