Speaker to seek legal opinion on Ranjan’s Parliament seat

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is to seek legal opinion on Samagi Jana Balawegaya member Ranjan Ramanayake’s Parliament seat.

The Speaker told Parliament today that he needs three weeks to study the matter and consider the opinion made by Parliamentarians on the matter.

He said that he will also seek legal advice before making a ruling on the matter.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa raised concerns in Parliament today over moves to make vacant Ramanayake’s Parliament seat.

He questioned the failure by the Speaker to ensure Ramanayake was brought before Parliament today.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera had yesterday  informed the Secretary General of Parliament that Ranjan Ramanayake’s seat in Parliament has become vacant.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer, Nishara Jayaratne told Colombo Gazette that Ramanayake’s seat in Parliament has become vacant in view of his conviction and sentence for contempt of court.

Ramanayake was sentenced to four years Rigorous Imprisonment by the Supreme Court last week.

Ramanayake was accused of contempt of court for allegedly making a controversial statement regarding the composition of the Supreme Court judge bench hearing the petitions filed against the President’s dissolution of Parliament in 2018.

Contempt of court charges were served in the Supreme Court in July 2019.

The contempt of court case concluded in August 2020.

In January last year Ramanayake was arrested for committing a crime in terms of Article 111C (2) of the Constitution by interfering with the functions of judges. He was later granted bail.

In April last year Ramanayake was arrested for obstructing the duties of the Police and was later released on bail. (Colombo Gazette)