President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris yesterday pleaded with the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court to release the tamed elephants taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Department, to their original owners.
These elephants were detained and placed under the care of the Department of National Zoological Gardens as evidence material, following cases filed in court on investigations carried out in past.
When the matter was taken up before Court, a group of lawyers including President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris informed the Magistrate that the Attorney General had earlier decided not to frame criminal charges against the elephant owners.
He noted that the previous judge had made it clear that only the counsel’s of defendants, the plaintiff and the aggrieved party would be able to appear in this case.
Attorney Dilumi Alwis appearing on behalf of the Centre for Environmental and Cultural Studies informed the Magistrate that writ petitions have been filed before the Court of Appeal to repeal the order issued to release14 tamed elephants. Counsel Dilumi Alwis further stated that the petitioners have also requested that an interim injunction be issued suspending the gazette notification.Accordingly, the Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Ragala said that the order will be considered in this regard following the orders of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The Magistrate fixed further hearing for March 4.