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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Sandya Ekneligoda writes to CJ on being barred from entering SC complex

Image courtesy of Daily News.

Sandya Ekneligoda, wife of slain journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda claims she was barred from entering the Supreme Court complex on two occasions this year when attempting to attend hearings in relation to her husband’s disappearance.

Writing to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya she said while she had attended courts for proceedings on many previous occasions from 2010 – 2020, she has not been allowed to enter the court premises since 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Even though other institutions have returned to normalcy in carrying out their affairs, ordinary citizens are still barred from entering courtrooms in the superior courts complex, not even for their own case and not even after affirming their identity,” she said.

“I wanted to be in the courtroom when my case bearing No. SC FR126/2021 was taken up. I was told by security officials that civilians cannot be allowed to go inside,” she said, noting that all parties of lawsuits including herself were prevented from proceeding further and attending their hearings.  Highlighting Article 106 (1) of the Sri Lankan constitution which states that sittings of every court, tribunal or other institution, established under the Constitution or ordained and established by Parliament shall be subject to the provisions of the Constitution be held in public, and all persons shall be entitled freely to attend such sittings, Ekneligoda said this right has been violated.

Ekneglioda in her letter called on the Chief Justice to safeguard the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens and allow parties of lawsuits and commoners to be present in courtrooms to witness the proceedings as allowed before.

(FT)

Read the full letter:

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