19 August, 2022


Conflict Of Interest For Judge Hearing Rajitha’s Case

High Court Judge Manjula Tilakeratne should not have heard the AttorneyGeneral’s case against former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne due to a conflict of interest Colombo Telegraph learns.

High Court Judge Manjula Tilakeratne

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.

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Latest comments

  • 8

    Don’t blame or point a finger to this well learn judge. Kallathonies always blaming to Heladiva (Sinhalese) Helayans this is a well known secret also

    • 12

      N. Perera,
      Do you know that former Chief Justice Silva himself said he saved Mahinda Rajapakse in the Hambantota Tsunami fund fraud case. Don’t you think Mahinda is a kallathoni?

  • 8

    I quote.
    “In fact in the years afterwards Tilakaratne has proved to be an excellent judge”
    Is that why you are afraid of……….?

    • 10

      Per the news headline, the issue is Conflict of Interest.

  • 6

    Has the issue of conflict of interest been so far raised by any of the litigants concerned?

  • 7

    The issue of conflict does not exist here,

    Strictly speaking it should be a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one person or organization, but cannot do justice to the actual or potentially adverse interests of both parties.
    The situation and the example enumerated are of yester year and the learned judge sitting on the case re; Rajitha Senarathne has no continuing involvement in the position of him being the secretary to the judicial services commission at the time concerned. Furthermore a judge will always dwell above the petty ideologies. Judge’s personal interests or concerns are not inconsistent with the interests in the judicial matter and are not contrary to his loyalty to the judicial business.

    However I agree that there is a political vendetta against Dr Rajitha and unfortunately he is subject to those not by the Hon Judge but certainly by the Attorney General ..that Dappula Bull Livera.

  • 4

    it seems like a tit for tat revenge operation for what took place many a moon ago.
    these sorts of petty judges have to and should be booted out with a kick or two up his backsides, now knows very well his which side of the bread the butter is spread.?
    this is why the swabasha Sinhalese have ever since 1956 run amok and ruined all the fundamentals including the in the black rice exporting economy.
    India, please please take back the racist uncouth unsavoury Yakko’s back to the Andaman Islands and to Orissa where the rajapuka’s and the others belong to.


    • 4

      This stuff is more racist than the racism others are accused of.
      The snobbish contempt for people learning in their mother tongue is deplorable.

  • 7

    This ex-Minister of 70 years of age is shown a little of “Karma Vipaka”. So let that “DHARMA” play its role.

  • 5

    It is absurd to defend the actions of Judiciary today. We all know, I mean each one of us in this country know at least a few cases where the Judges have acted in a biased manner. Although clauses of the 19th Amendment was created to make the Judiciary independent, it appears it has not reached its goal fully. The main reason being the bias actions, from time to time, of the Attorney General and the Chief Justice. Its very unfortunate for a country which created Judges who sat on international benches and even wrote or assisted constitutions of various countries in the past are today followed by Judges who have become slaves to the politicians. We also see the special courts created to sit continuously on cases are postponing these cases repeatedly that too with long delays. We see this happening over and over again in Rajapakses related cases. We also see when its Pohottuwa related politicians and associates cases most of them get bail immediately when they are presented to the court. However, when it comes to the opposition they are locked up without bail. What justice is this?
    Even in the election petition case which is going to be heard soon, we see Judges who withdrew from cases of those who are parties in case sitting in judgement.

  • 3

    Let us assume that all these incidents are TRUE. Dr. Senaratne, the former minister, was represented by lawyers. The simple question that I have to ask is that they should have raised this in court and I am sure that the judge would have declined to hear the case as in many cases whenever a conflict of interests is alleged. Dr. Senaratne and his legal team are not babies. The revision petition was in the High Court for months. They knew this incident and raise when opportune. I would like to digress and cite the greater issue. Both Eng. P. C. Ranawake and Dr. R. Senaratne could well be in the wrong. But it was alleged that they played a crucial role in engaging with the public servants in the Temple Trees in directing the cases against the “Jarapassa “ regime and some describe this engagement as bulldozing and politically interfering while others may describe as putting it in proper perspective. That is why they were the first to be picked up in the swoop amongst all others. In my view, this taking of revenge has no end and is unproductive as a nation.

  • 2

    In fact in the years afterwards Tilakaratne has proved to be an excellent judge. this shows it cannot have a world where everyone is a victim.and causing traumas, and they forget that the story line can change tomorrow, many leaders accuse and mistreat others just because of their present state of life, as if life is just a one day journey.

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