Pastor Jerome withdraws petition against his arrest here | Daily News

Pastor Jerome withdraws petition against his arrest here

The Writ petition filed by Pastor Jerome Fernando to prevent his arrest for making a statement insulting other religions including Buddhism was withdrawn yesterday (21) at the Court of Appeal. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal decided to dismiss the petition.

The petition was called before Court of Appeal Judges Sobitha Rajakaruna and M.A.R.Marikkar for verification of facts.

President’s Counsel Jagath Wickramanayake, who appeared for petitioner Jerome Fernando, informed that he expected to withdraw this petition subject to filing a new petition and asked the court to give permission for that.

Senior State Counsel Shaminda Wickrama who appeared for the respondents including the Attorney General, stated that he would strongly object to the request made on behalf of this pastor to file a new petition. But he said that he was not opposed to the request to withdraw the petition.

After considering facts, court allowed the request to withdraw the petition and decided to dismiss it.

When this case was called earlier, Senior State Counsel Shaminda Wickrama raised some preliminary objections against the petition. He said that the petition was filed by concealing facts from court. He also mentioned that the petitioner is being investigated under the Penal Code and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act and a separate investigation is being conducted under money laundering.

As these petitions submitted by the petitioner have been submitted without any legal basis, he requested to dismiss the petition without issuing any notice to the respondents.

President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena who appeared in the court on behalf of Ven. Elle Gunawamsa Thera, who had submitted an intervening party petition, strongly protested the actions of the petitioner and this petition.The consideration of the petition was for yesterday (21).

Pastor Jerome Fernando had submitted this petition saying that he is to be arrested for allegedly committing an offence under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act through a statement he made during a religious service.

Accordingly, the petitioner requested that an order to prevent his arrest be issued to the Inspector General of Police and the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department.

A panel of lawyers including President’s Counsel Jagath Wickramanayake appeared for the petitioner. Senior State Counsel Shaminda Wickrama and State Counsel Rajika Aluvihare appeared for the respondents including the Attorney General. A group of lawyers including President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena appeared on behalf of the petitioner.


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