Connect with us

news

Justice Minister tables Bill to amend Criminal Procedure Code to introduce pre-trial process to High Courts 

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Ali Sabry yesterday presented a Bill for the approval of the House to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979, to introduce a pre-trial procedure to High Courts.

The Bill envisages to provide for pre-trial procedure enabling two disputing parties to negotiate with lawyers in a conference so as to curtail a lengthy trial period. The aim is to ensure that all pre-trial activities are concluded before the case is heard before the trial judge.

To be cited as Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, No. of 2021 the legislation is expected to shorten the trial period or even to bring a resolution to the disputing parties before the case goes to trial.

The Bill says that a “pre-trial conference shall be held- (a) upon indictment being served on the accused in terms of section 195, in the presence of the accused; or (b) where the accused is not present due to any reason specified in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 241, or where it is not possible to serve the indictment on the accused due to the reasons specified in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 241, in the absence of the accused.”

“A pre-trial conference shall be held with the participation of- (a) the Attorney-General with regard to proceedings instituted by the Attorney General or the Director-General for the Prevention of Bribery and Corruption with regard to proceedings instituted by such Director-General, or an officer authorized by either the Attorney General or the Director-General as the case may be; (b) counsel, if any, appearing on behalf of the accused; (c) the aggrieved party or the counsel, if any, appearing on behalf of the aggrieved party, on the application of such aggrieved party or such counsel to participate in the pre-trial conference; (d) the officer in charge for the time being of the police station in which the investigation in respect of the offence has been conducted or an officer representing him; and (e) an Attorney-at-Law or any other officer permitted by the Presiding Judge to participate,” says the Bill.

A pre-trial conference shall be presided over by the High Court Judge or the Recorder Judge.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Vasu defends constituents’ right to differ

Published

on

Prez chairs govt. group meeting:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Water Supply Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has strongly defended the right of the SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) constituents’ to take up contentious issues in public.

Minister Nanayakkara told SLPP parliamentary group meeting at the President’s House on Sunday night (24) that their right to differ on matters of public interest shouldn’t be questioned.

Nanayakkara said so when Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena and MP Tissa Kuttiarachchi faulted some constituent parties for dissenting views on certain issues.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was present at the meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The meeting lasted for about two hours.

The SLPP held Sunday’s meet in the wake of some constituent parties of the ruling coalition asking for a discussion on the questionable agreement between the government and the US New Fortress Energy Company over the Yugadanavi power plant, etc. Sources said that initially, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa indicated that the issue could be discussed with the Premier but subsequently arrangements were made for the Sunday’s meeting.

The New Fortress recently announced that a definitive agreement had been executed for the external investment in West Coast Power Limited (WCP).

WCP owns the 310 megawatts Yugadanavi Power Plant based in Colombo. The deal is also for the rights to develop a new LNG Terminal off the coast of Colombo. In terms of the agreement, New Fortress will acquire a 40 per cent ownership stake in WCP. The US energy firm plans to build an offshore LNG terminal located off the coast of Colombo.

Minister Nanayakkara has said it is not unusual for members of a coalition to hold different views depending on the issues as they also represent the interests of the public.

Nanayakkara has pointed out how the left parties remained with the UPFA though they didn’t agree with the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to enact the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Parliament passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution with a two-thirds majority on 08 Sept. 2010, enabling the President to seek a third term among other things.

The SLPP constituents have differed with the government on several issues such as fuel price increases announced by Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila on 12 June as well as the abortive bid to transfer 49 percent of shares of the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo port to India and Japan.

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa spearheaded the constituents’ campaign. He sought an explanation particularly as regards Cabinet approval for the controversial energy deal with the US firm, without a discussion among ministers.

NFF sources told The Island that their leader felt the urgent need to take up the matter to prevent further deterioration of relations among the coalition members.

Several parties including government ally the Jathika Sanvidhana Ekamuthuwa moved the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, respectively against the secretive energy deal with the US firm.

Continue Reading

news

‘Those who hesitate to get vaccinated pose a threat to others’

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said yesterday a significant number of people had not received the Covid-19 vaccine, and posed a threat to society.

“No matter what your age category is, you will be at a higher risk of being infected and spreading it to others. So please get vaccinated,” he urged.

The DDGHS said that a booster shot would be given to people from 01 Nov.

The Health Ministry would carry out the ongoing vaccination drive until everyone got the first two doses, he said.

“However, we won’t keep hundreds of vaccination centres open. Most likely, those who have not got vaccinated will have to go to designated locations to receive the vaccine.”

Continue Reading

news

School attendance high as parents have faith in teachers – CTU head

Published

on

Teachers and principals protested at Colombo Fort yesterday urging the government to rectify their salary anomalies. The protesters marched from the Fort Railway Station towards the Presidential Secretariat but police did not permit them to proceed beyond the Telecom rounadbout. Pic by Nishan S Priyantha

By Rathindra Kuruwita

School attendance was high Despite inter-provincial travel restrictions, Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said yesterday. “The government announced on 22 October that primary sections of all schools would be reopened on 25 October. Despite the short notice the attendance was high, and this is testament to the faith parents have in teachers,” he said.Primary sections of 9,155 schools recommenced yesterday.

“However, we will only teach. Teachers do a lot of additional work instead of teaching and most people who slander us have no idea about this,” he said.

Deputy Director General of Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath urged relevant authorities to provide safe and adequate transport facilities to students. It was vital that those vehicles were ventilated, and social distancing was maintained.

“We urge parents to buy reusable face masks for kids. If your child has any symptoms of COVID such as fever and cold, don’t send him/her to school until you are certain this is not COVID. Teach your child the importance of washing hands, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. This is the way we can ensure there is no spread in the school system,” Dr. Herath said.

Continue Reading

Trending