22 September, 2020

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Appeal Court Quashes Jaffna Magistrate M. Ganesharajah’s Attempt To Wrongfully Punish “Uthayan” Editor For Contempt

The Appeal Court today (19.06.2013), granted relief in writ application CA (Writ) 180/2012, filed by Thevanayagam Premananth, Editor of Uthayan Newspaper against the Jaffna Magistrate, Manikkavasagar Ganesharajah. The Writ application was taken up before Justice S. Sriskandaraja, President of the Appeal Court and Justice Malini Gunaratne. K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC with Viran Corea, Lakshmanan Jeyakumar and Niran Anketell appearing for the Petitioner (Editor).

Thevanayagam Premananth, Editor of Uthayan

Court was informed by the petition, that the Editor had received credible information of an apology tendered in Open Court on 27.06.2012 by the respondent Magistrate, to M. A. Sumanthiran, senior Attorney-at-Law and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Member of Parliament, after he had pointed out that certain comments made by the Magistrate from the Bench condemning a speech made by him in Parliament, was inappropriate as it was covered by Parliamentary Privilege. After confirming the accuracy of the story, the Editor had caused its publication in the Uthayan newspaper edition of 28th June. The caption of the article in Tamil read: “Sumanthiran MP pointed out yesterday that the Court has no authority to criticise matters spoken of in Parliament”. The petitioner complained to the Appeal Court, that consequently, he was sent a letter that very evening through the Registrar of the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court, that he must appear before the Jaffna Magistrate in Open Court the very next day (29th June). The letter did not bear any case number but indicated that it was to give explanation regarding the news report.   When the Editor appeared in Open Court with his lawyer, the Magistrate had berated him and he was told to tender an apology, claiming that he never tendered an apology. The Editor replied that if he was ordered to do so, he would consider it his duty to comply. On being prevailed upon, the petitioner then stated to Court that he was tendering an apology ‘as ordered by Court’. However, the Magistrate, dissatisfied with this apology, directed the Editor to turn around, face the public, and apologise as though of his own free will, stating that he was apologising of his accord, and not to state that he was ordered by Court to do so. The Editor, who could not do so honestly, had then turned around, faced the public and said, “We published a news item yesterday. However, the Learned Magistrate now says that he did not apologise to Mr. Sumanthiran. Therefore, I am apologising.”

The Magistrate had then instructed the Editor to disclose the source of the initial information, which he refused due to his obligation to protect confidential sources of information. This obligation is recognised in Article 5 of the Code of Professional Practice (Code of Ethics) of the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, which was adopted by the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka. The Magistrate had thereafter fixed the matter for 9th July and instructed the Editor to disclose his source and to show cause why he should not be charged for contempt of court on that date. It was urged to the Appeal Court, that for the reasons set out in the petition, the actions of the Magistrate were illegal, ultra vires and without jurisdiction, and that unless a stay order were granted, the petitioner would face grave harm and damage. After hearing counsel, the Appeal Court issued interim relief, preventing M. Ganesharaja, the Jaffna Magistrate from taking any steps to deal with the Editor on the basis that he had acted in contempt or to issue warrant for the arrest him till the Appeal Court case is concluded.

The Magistrate was issued notice by the Appeal Court and initially came to court with the Attorney General’s Department backing him. However he did not attend court to defend his actions when the case was taken up for final hearing today.

The Appeal Court considered the facts and the applicable law and ruled that the petitioner is entitled to the relief he has sought. A writ of certiorari was issued, quashing the Magistrate’s order to try the editor for contempt.

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Latest comments

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    sriskandarajah [Edited out]

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    shocking revealations of sriskandarajah still in the judiciary.why these people are not sacked by president rajapakse sriskandarajah is worse than former cj shirani.

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    the uthayan news paper made comments against wanni people and appologised for that it is a common behavour that the uthayan always do the blunders and reporting lies.uthayan should have been punished severely by sriskandarajah but sriskandarajah failed to punish.when the protest was going against uthayan in wanni rishad was blamed by uthayan.uthayan always violate the media ethics,it is not secret.

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    Sico’s the lot of them attacking the messenger and tarnish the readers from weighing and considering the message.

    Retarded Sri Lanka cannot play cricket but hooligans galore as it’s the fertile birthplace of conspiracy theories.

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    sumanthiran wants to chase the military after NPC Elections.Uthayan will help as saravanapavan mp is there to chase the military through uthayan all paper tigers fooling tamil people through media and have nice chat with president rajapakse but no one can fool rajapakse.sriskandarajah He begged for promotion through some of the Government ministers but president said he will consider the promotion after his conduct in the future.

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    mr rishad also facing contempt what will happen if sriskandarajah is presiding over,mr sriskandarajah will leave to other judges on personal grounds I think he already done that because of the fear of rajapakse regime.Rishad already said he will appeal against the order of srikandarajah there is an appeal pending regarding writ on parliament foolish acts of sriskandarajah would be exposed.

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    dear gihani we don’t want to attack your uncle sriskandarajah because you realised the mistakes of your uncle.No more excuses sriskandarajah is a Jaffna man he has released several L.T.T.E SUSPECTS DURING THE PERIOD WHEN HE WAS HIGH COURT JUDGE OF VAVUNIYA.tHE SUSPECT AGAIN JOIN THE L.T.T.E AND INVOLVED IN SEVERAL ATTACKS ON MILITARY AND DIED IN THE BATTLE FIELD.PLEASE TELL YOUR UNCLE NOT TO REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKE.

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    actually what happened was uthayan reported without verivying the story with the magistrate and editor has admitted he has not verified the story before publishing and further premanath has under taken to publish the correction in court on the next date itself.he failed to do so it is a double contempt.the story published here is one sideded story full senario should be published to understand the correct picture.Uthayan is very cunning with reporting one sided story and move on the political agenda of shabra finance thief saravanapawan.

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    still the case against uthayan is pending for attorney general’s instructions AG may file contempt case in court of appeal eventhough court of appeal quash the decision,court of appeal may handle the contempt case against uthayan, in this regard AG should instruct district judge anantharajah.

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    shirani ia a[Edited out] taker,manjula is a [Edited out] and [Edited out] Naula magistrate Juedson is an attemted murderor sumathiran shantha kuruparan all are L.T.T.E PROXIES PREMANATH AND SARAVANAPAWAN MP ARE LIARS AND THIEVES OF SHABRA FINANCE HOW ON EARTH sRISKANDARAJAH COURT OF APPEAL JUDGE DEFEND AND SUPPORT THEM.IS IT AN ACT UNBECOMMING OF JUDGE HE HIMSLF ASK WHETHER HE IS DESERVED TO BE PROMOTED TO SUPREME COURT. HOW CAN WE BLAME MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE.

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    [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

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    District anantharajah is handling the defamation case against uthayan news paper douglas file 5 million for defamation district judge anantharajah tried to settle the matter on behalf of uthayan but douglas refused.

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    how can [Edited out] KURUPARAN FRIEND DISTRICT JUDGE ANANDARAJAH DELIVER JUSTICE.

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    mAGISTRATE GANESHARAJAH HAD VREY LIENIANT ATTITUDE TOWARDS UTHAYAN HE JUST ASKED UTHAYAN NEWS PAPER TO MAKE CORRECTIONS AND APPOLOGISE FOR HIS FALSE REPORTING.tHERE IS NO HARD ATTITUDE AS REPORTED.

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    District judge anantharajah always [Edited out]

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    District judge anantharajah hearing defamation case filed by army commander Jaffna and douglas on uthayan. always postpone the case due to the fear of douglas and hathurusinghe he wanted to deliver judgement on behalf of uthayan but he fears about the end results(so bad).he is a man [Edited out]

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    shantha group protested the land grabbing by military protested against rishad badurdeen and protested against impeachment all failed now the military has acquired the land what they want saying most of the land are allocated for L.T.T.E terrorists and all in high security zones therefore we take,shirani was sacked by president without pension sriskandarajah demoted.wiswanathan not given extension,juedson transferred to kalmunai better shantha to keep quiet good things may happen.if you do more protest you will lose more.sumanthiran wiil not worry about he doesn’t have land in Jaffna, his kidth and kins are in abroad also not elected by people but came to parliament through back doors.

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    one lawyer said kuruparan is [Edited out]

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    Uthayan always redicule the judiciary in Jaffna.if powers are given through 13th amendment saravanapawan sumanthiran will ask court of appeal and supreme court in Jaffna. shantha will be the chief justice and kuruparan will be president of court of appeal and another kangaroo court.we beg mahinda make amendments to 13th amendment otherwise definitely the L.T.T.E proxies will misuse the powers granted to them.

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    [Edited out]

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    suamanthiran can’t chase the military in Jaffna.if he tried to chase he would be chased out from the island.he only can go for picnic in Geneva and india.usual trip and shabra finance thief sarawanapawan daughter is not in Jaffna but in abroad, uthayan cheats Jaffna people with it lies.what caliber of people are leadiding the tamil community this is the curse for the tamil community,Rajapakse is laughing.prabaharan dead and gone but uthayan will continue it lies and give rebirth to prabaharan Jaffna people(not all) still believe that story.

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    shantha abimanaingham herslf told in open court Jaffna MC THAT THE mAGISTARTE HAS NOT APPOLOGISED BUT FILED AFFIDAVIT IN APPEAL COURT CONTRARY TO THAT stated in open court M.C( records of Jaffna MC clearly shows and recorded) BECAUSE OF THE INFLUENCE OF SUMANTHIRAN.8 AFFIDAVITS AND EYE WITNESSES CONFIRMED THIS CONTRADICTION OF SHANTHA.SHANTHA WHO IS A PC appeared for uthayan not fit to be as president’s counsel.THESE ALL ARE POLITICAL GAME OF l.t.t.e proxies who get the Diaspora money. It is a curse for the tamil community.

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    shantha is not president’s counsel but political counsel.nothing will stop [Edited out]

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