Aug 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal today dismissed an affidavit presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen requesting the dismissal of a petition filed against him on the issue of resettlement of Muslim IDPs in Wilpattu Forest Reserve.
The Appeals Court today ordered to take up the petition hearing rejecting the Minister's affidavit.
A group including public interest litigation activist Attorney-at-Law, Nagananda Kodituwakku has filed a petition claiming that Bathiudeen, who was also a minister in the previous regime under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2005-2015, has abused his power to encroach over 700 acres of the Villattikulam Forest Reserve in the Mannar district to resettle displaced Muslims under the pretext, that they were reclaimed areas previously occupied by the Muslims before they were evicted by LTTE in 1990.
The petitioners have cited several persons including former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Bathiudeen and Director General of the Forest Conservation Department as respondents.
The Court of Appeal ordered that the case be taken up for trial on the 12th of November.