Appeal Court Judge Justice Neil Iddawela has recused himself from hearing the writ petition filed by former President Maithripala Sirisena, challenging the magisterial inquiry and issuance of summons against him in connection with matters related to the Easter Sunday attack.

The Court of Appeal President, Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, announced that Justice Iddawela, a member of the five-judge bench nominated to hear this case, has declined to hear the petition. Accordingly, this petition was fixed for the argument to be heard before a five-judge bench on October 16, 17, 18, and 20.

Filing a motion before the Court of Appeal, Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando had earlier sought a fuller or a divisional bench to hear the writ petition filed by former President Maithripala Sirisena.

On October 14, 2022, the Court of Appeal’s two-judge bench issued an order postponing the magisterial inquiry against former President Maithripala Sirisena. The Court of Appeal further decided to postpone the magisterial inquiry at Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court for a period of 10 weeks.

The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court had earlier issued a notice directing former President Maithripala Sirisena to appear in court on October 14, 2022, in connection with a private plaint filed on Easter Sunday attacks. Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando and Jesuraj Ganeshan, victims of the Easter Sunday attack, had filed a private plaint before the Magistrate’s Court, urging them to take legal action against the former President under Section 298 of the Penal Code for causing deaths by negligence.