Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court today postponed the contempt of court case against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake until 23 March when it was taken up for hearing today. Deputy Minister Ramanayake is charged with contempt of Court for making serious criticisms against the Courts and the legal profession saying that most of the lawyers and judges in the country are corrupt and they were ruining the country. Magalkande Sudantha Thero and a retired Air Force officer Sunil Perera had filed the case against the deputy minister. The case was called today before a three-judge bench comprising Justices Sisira de Abrew, Nalin Perera and Vijith Malalgoda. Deputy Solicitor General Priyantha Naveena who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General informed the Court that first all the Supreme Court Judges need to study the charges and decide whether the Deputy Minister had insulted the court or not with his statement. If all the judges decide that there is a contempt of court, then the Attorney General will act to file charges against the respondent, and it is the usual procedure, the Deputy Solicitor General told the court.
However, President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, appearing on behalf of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, informed the Court that the statement of Ranjan Ramanayake had directly insulted the court. Accordingly, the Attorney General should take actions to file charges against the Deputy Minister, President’s Counsel Warnakulasuriya said. However, the three member Panel of Judges ordered to distribute a written copy of the Deputy Minister’s statement to all the judges of the Supreme Court for them to review and ordered the case to be called again on March. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake is accused of making a statement to the media on the 21st of August last year alleging that the majority of the judges and lawyers have been identified as corrupt individuals.