Oct 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court today without further consideration rejected the appeal filed by extremist Buddhist leader Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero challenging the 6-year prison sentence in the case against him over Contempt of Court charge.
The appeal was taken up before a three-member bench comprising justices Eva Wanasundera, Nalin Perera and Prasanna Jayawardene.
Justice Eva Wanasundera announcing the apex court's decision told the open court that the appeal was rejected on the basis of the majority decision of the three-member bench.
President's Counsel Rienzi Arsecularatne, appearing on behalf of Gnanasara Thera, said the four contempt of the court charges leveled against his client were contrary to the law and hence the verdict of the case is unlawful.
Justice Prasanna Jayawardena told the court that the Supreme Court is bound to protect the dignity of the judiciary.
The General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero was charged over statements he made and offensive behavior in the Homagama Magistrate court on 25 January 2016 following the hearing of the habeas corpus case with regard to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.
Gnanasara Thero was arrested by police on the charges of Contempt of Court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.
Homagama Magistrate Udesh Gunaratne on June 14 sentenced Gnanasara Thero to 6 months of rigorous imprisonment, for threatening Sandya Ekneligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda within the Homagama court premises.
Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake filed a Contempt Of Court action in the Court of Appeal against Gnanasara Thero, seeking the Appeal Court's constitutional jurisdiction against Thero's alleged offensive behavior in the Homagama Magistrate's Court amounting to Contempt Of Court on 25 January 2016.
The hardline Thero appealed against his sentence at the Appellate Court and the court on August 31 rejected his application for leave to appeal his sentence and ordered to arrest him immediately.
The Thero then filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging his sentence.