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SC quashes Duminda Silva pardon

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Directs Prisons Commissioner General to impose sentence

States the former President’s decision arbitrary, not valid in law

A Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday quashed the decision of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to grant a Presidential pardon to former MP Duminda Silva stating  it ‘arbitrary’ and not valid in law.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices Preethi Padman Surasena, Gamini Amarasekara and Arjuna Obeyesekera directed the Commissioner General of Prisons to take necessary steps in terms of law with regard to the implementation of the sentences imposed on Duminda Silva previously by the Colombo High Court and confirmed by the Supreme Court.

On September 8, 2016, five accused including former Defence Ministry Monitoring MP Duminda Silva were sentenced to death by Colombo High Court for committing the murder of four persons, including former Parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on or around October 8, 2011.

The Supreme Court yesterday delivered its final judgment on the three Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the legality of the Presidential pardon to Duminda Silva in 2021. The petitions were filed by Hirunika Premachandra, Sumana Premachandra and Attorney Ghazali Hussein.

The Supreme Court in its judgement stated: “The former President has not followed due process when making the decision to grant the impugned pardon; the former President had opted not to adhere to the Attorney General’s advice; the former President had not at all considered what the law has required him to consider.Thus, I am unable to hold that the former President had exercised his discretion correctly.”

“I have no legal basis or even a factual basis to uphold the decision made by the former President to grant a pardon to the recipient in the instant case.I hold that the said decision is arbitrary, irrational and has been made for the reasons best known to the former President who appears to have not even made any written decision and has not given any reason thereto. Further, no reason can be discerned from any document submitted by the Attorney General as forming part of the record pertaining to the impugned grant of pardon. The petitioners are therefore entitled to succeed with their petitions.”

The Fundamental Rights applications were filed by Hirunika Eranjali Premachandra,Sumana Premachandra and Attorney Ghazali Hussain of Colombo 4. The petitioners have cited the Attorney General, Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ministers Ali Sabry PC, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe PC, former BASL President Saliya Peiris PC, BASL Secretary Rajeewa Amarasuriya and Prison Commissioner General T.N Upuldeniya among others as respondents.

The post SC quashes Duminda Silva pardon appeared first on DailyNews.

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