Oct 22, Colombo: The Supreme Court has directed that the appeal filed by former Minister and Wanni Detract parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen against the verdict on Wilpattu case be called for hearing on February 03.
Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has filed an appeal seeking the annulment of a ruling issued by the Court of Appeal against him in connection with a case filed against him for clearing the Kallaru reserve forest near the Wilpattu forest reserve and constructing settlements in the cleared area.
The appeal was taken up before a panel of judges comprising justices Murdu Fernando and S. Thurairajah today.
The Center for Environmental Justice had filed a petition in 2015 against the then Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and a group of others against the clearing of Kallaru and Marichchukatti forests in the Wilpattu forest reserve and the construction of unauthorized structures.
The Court of Appeal, which heard the petition, on November 16, 2020 ruled that the clearing was illegal and ordered the Forest Department to re-plant trees in the area.
The Court of Appeal also stated that former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen should pay the expenses incurred for the planting of the trees.
Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking annulment of the Court of Appeal order claiming it is illegal.