ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 11 , 2007
Vol. 41 - No 41

Bishop’s contempt case dismissed by court

The Mount Lavinia Additional District Court Judge Mohamed Laffar Thahir on Friday acquitted and discharged the chairman of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. (WNL) and the Editor of The Sunday Times on contempt charges levelled against them by the newly-elected Bishop of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.

The Bishop the Rt. Rev. Daniel Thiagaraja and the Church’s Moderator the Rev. S.C. Arnold had filed the action on the basis of a news report published in The Sunday Times of September 17 last year relating to the process by which the new Bishop was elected.

They claimed that The Sunday Times report had several false allegations, speculations and insinuations against the new Bishop and the Church rashly and/or negligently concerning a matter that was sub-judice with intent and/or knowledge to influence the outcome of another case already pending before Court.

The Publisher of WNL and the Editor of The Sunday Times, through their lawyers said they were not guilty of any act of Contempt of Court.

They said no evidence was led to prove these allegations and the petitioners had not shown that the report in The Sunday Times was in any way meant to influence the outcome of the other case where several members of the Church had challenged the election of the new Bishop. They also said that the District Court had no jurisdiction or authority to hear such contempt cases.

President’s Counsel Nihal Jayamanne along with Shevan Cooray instructed by Samararatne Associates appeared for the Publisher of WNL and the Editor of The Sunday Times.Attorney S. Sumanthiran appeared for the Bishop.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.