In 2012 -2013 when Tilakaratne served as a Magistrate he was assaulted by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential security division officers before the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. At the time of the assault Tilakarane was then serving as the secretary to the Judicial Services Commission which was openly standing in solidarity with the chief justice Bandaranayake.
Yesterday (13) Tilakaratne gave the order that resulted in Rajitha Senaratne being sent back to remand over the charges the AG is bringing against him for arranging the infamous white van press conference during the presidential election campaign. The judgement was in response to a revision application filed by the AG against the magistrate’s order granting bail to Senaratne
However Rajitha Senaratne was one of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ministers on the kangaroo court of a parliamentary select committee that tried CJ Shirani Bandarnayake on impeachment charges. It was Senaratne, Wimal Weerawansa, Dilan Perera and Anura Yapa who humiliated the female chief justice and wrote a report of impeachment overnight charging Bandaranayake. Then JSC secretary magistrate Tilakaratne was also named and implicated in the report against Shirani Bandaranayake. Tilakaratne was totally blameless but was named in the report as revenge against him for ensuring the JSC stood with Bandaranayake. In fact in the years afterwards Tilakaratne has proved to be an excellent judge.
Yet due to this conflict of interest with Senaratne the High Court judge should have declined to hear the former health minister’s case some legal analysts opined.