The Court of Appeal today issued notices to former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in connection with a contempt of court application filed for his failure to comply with the orders made by the Court of Appeal in connection with the Wilpattu National Park case.


In its judgement on November 16, 2020, the Court of Appeal issued an order in the nature of a writ of mandamus ordering the Conservator General of the Department of Forest Conservation to take action to implement a tree planting programme in accordance with the provisions of the Forest Ordinance in any area equivalent to the reserve forest area used for the re-settlement of IDPs.

The Court of Appeal further ordered former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to bear the full cost of the tree planting programme in these areas, applying the polluter pays principle.

When this contempt of court application was taken up before Court of Appeal Justice (President) Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice M.A.R. Marikkar, the notices were issued to Rishad Bathiudeen, and the matter was fixed for support on June 28.

The Centre for Environmental Justice has filed a contempt of court application in the Court of Appeal against Parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen for his deliberate failure to comply with the orders of the Court of Appeal, which amounts to grave contempt of court punishable under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

The petitioner is seeking an order to issue a rule requiring the respondent to show cause to the court as to why he should not be punished for committing the offence of contempt of court.