Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis has sent a complaint to the Court of Appeal, urging it to institute legal action against State Minister Diana Gamage for the offence of contempt of Court.

The Chief Magistrate held that a statement made by Diana Gamage was tantamount to contempt of court and thereby ordered to lodge a complaint against her forthwith before the President of the Court of Appeal.

State Minister Gamage, speaking at a local television talk show earlier, said that prior to the judgement being delivered on April 24th, the judgement was published on social media by the complainant over her citizenship issue.

Counsel Hafeel Farisz, making submissions, told the court that Gamage continues to have the patronage of the Criminal Investigations Department and other state authorities.

“Now she attacks the judiciary. She makes the statement on the 29th of May, one week before the judgement in the writ of Quo Warranto was to be delivered. It was a deliberate attempt to undermine the findings of the Magistrates Court and prejudice the Court of Appeal,” he said.

The Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Department, S. Senarathne, said that the CID commenced an extensive investigation and found no evidence that the judgement had been leaked to the media prior to its pronouncement.

“Who else has the power to be a Minister without even being a citizen? She believes she is above the law, and we all have a duty to protect the judiciary from this brazen abuse,” Farisz said.

Having heard the submissions, Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis said in his order that it was clear that Gamage had caused contempt of his court.

“The power that this court has to punish the said person is limited when a strong and stringent punishment must be imposed on her. Consequently, I order that a complaint be lodged forthwith before the President of the Court of Appeal for the offence of contempt,” the Chief Magistrate said.

Counsel Hafeel Farisz, with Sumudu Rienzly, Jessica Abeyrathne, and Rajith Samarasinghe, appeared for social activist Oshala Herath.