The Court of Appeal today issued notices to the former Chairman and former members of the Presidential Commission on Political Victimisation to appear in Court on September 11 regarding a contempt of court application.

The Court of Appeal’s two-judge bench, comprising Justice (President) Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice R. Gurusinghe, made this order pursuant to a contempt of court application filed by former CID Director Shani Abeysekara.

Shani Abaysekara is seeking an order to punish the former Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to look into the alleged political victimisation of public servants Upali Abeyratne and its members Daya Chandrasiri Jayathilaka and Chandra Fernando for committing Contempt of the Court of Appeal under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

Abeysekara alleged that three respondents, the members of the Presidential Commission, violated the undertaking given to the Court of Appeal on July 27, 2020.

The Presidential Commission on Political Victimisation had given an undertaking before the Court of Appeal not to summon former CID Director Shani Abeysekara before the Commission regarding a complaint made by Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi.

The petitioner states that he was made to understand that the Commission had submitted a report to the President dated November 24, 2020, which contains decisions and recommendations against the Petitioner. Shani Abaysekara further states that the President’s Counsel who appeared for the respondents gave an undertaking stating that the Petitioner will be dispensed with his presence before the Commission until the Court of Appeal decides on the question of notices and interim relief and that his absence will not be held against him.

The petitioner states that the respondents have violated the undertaking given to the Court of Appeal with their decision to issue recommendations against him. The Petitioner states that the conduct of the respondents in failing to comply with the undertaking given is calculated to undermine the authority of the Court of Appeal.

Counsel Asthika Devendra, instructed by Attorney-at-Law Manjula Balasooriya, appeared for Shani Abeysekara. President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena appeared for the respondents.