The Court Martial in terms of the Army Act is a ‘Court’ in terms of Article 89 (d) of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal delivering the reasons they received from the Supreme Court stated yesterday.
Earlier the Court of Appeal referred to the Supreme Court to determine –“Whether the words ‘any court’ referred to in Article 89 (d) of the Constitution refer to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the other Courts of First Instance, to the exclusion of Tribunals and Institutions or whether the words ‘any court’ includes a Court Martial.”
The Court of Appeal referred to Articles 24 (5), 105 and 13 (4), of the Constitution, and to Section 23 of the Judicature Act No.2 of 1978, as amended.
The Five Judge Supreme Court Bench consisted Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Dr Shirani A Bandaranayake, Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Saleem Marsoof PC and Justice K Sripavan.
Three Court of Appeal Judges Justice Ranjith Silva, Justice A W A Salaam and Justice Upali Abeyratne delivered the Supreme Court order yesterday in open court.
The petitioner Gardihewa Sarath C Fonseka cited Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kithulegoda, Deputy Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, Returning Officer J Sylvester, Commissioner of Prisons Major General V R de Silva, Army Commander Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya, Lakshman Nipunarachchi of Piliyandala and the Attorney General as respondents.