Former Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake, who pleaded guilty to the second charge of Contempt of Court, was sentenced to two years Rigorous Imprisonment suspended for five years by the Supreme Court yesterday.
The sentence was handed down by a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Gamini Amarasekera and it was suspended for five years.
Delivering the verdict, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare said that the decision to impose the suspended sentence was taken after considering pleading guilty to the charges and the sympathies previously presented to Court.
If Ranjan Ramanayake is found guilty of any offence during those five years, this sentence imposed by the Supreme Court will be effective, Justice Aluvihare said.
Judge Buwaneka Aluvihare told Ranjan Ramanayake that if he had not been convicted of any offense during that period, it would be considered as the Supreme Court would not have imposed such a sentence under the Criminal Procedure Code after the end of the five-year period.
The Attorney General had filed this second case against Ranjan Ramanayake for insulting the Supreme Court by making a statement in Derana TV’s “Wada Pitiya” programme.
Former MP Ranjan Ramanayake is serving a prison sentence for Contempt of Court.
He had earlier pleaded not guilty to this second contempt charge.
However, President’s Counsel Anura Maddegoda, who appeared for him, informed the Supreme Court last March that he was prepared to unconditionally regret before the court for making the statement that led to the second defamation case filed against him.
After that, Ramanayake pleaded guilty to the charge and stated that he would unconditionally regret if the Supreme Court ruled that his statement was insulting or contemptuous.
Accordingly, it was informed that the dock statement would be withdrawn. After considering the circumstances, the court issued the order yesterday (7). Ramanayake, who is serving his sentence for Contempt of Court, was produced before the Supreme Court yesterday by the Prison Authorities.
The case was filed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court alleging that former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake had insulted the judiciary by making a statement on a TV programme regarding the Supreme Court bench appointed to hear fundamental rights petitions filed challenging the decision of then President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve Parliament in 2018.
The case has been initiated as per a notice issued by the Supreme Court itself.
The Attorney General had earlier referred the charge sheet to the Supreme Court for Contempt of Court.