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BASL warns of action against errant websites, media

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) told the media yesterday that two Courts of Appeal judges were being defamed by some websites. It said it would resort to legal action against those web publications.

The BASL said the these two Court of Appeal Judges, one or two Court Judges and three or four Magistrates were being referred to by the local media disrespectfully.

The BASL officials said if the media belittled the judiciary, people would lose faith in that institution and the democratic process would be impaired.

The president of the Bar Association, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, President’s Counsel, and the Secretary of the BASL Amal Randeniya participated in the media briefing.

During the briefing the media personnel referred to the High Court trials on the White Flag case and the ‘Duminda Silva’ case. The BASL took up the position that there all litigants had a right to appeal if they did not agree with a ruling of a lower court.

Judges were not politicians. They could not defend themselves in public.

The BASL would resort to legal action against any institution that did not publish the truth. The BASL hoped to gather data in that respect, they said.

The BASL officials also said that the proposed amendment to the criminal procedure court deprived an arrested person immediate access to a lawyer. They said that violated the fundamental rights provisions engrained in the Sri Lanka constitution. They said the BASL had written to President Maithripala Sirisena, calling for a withdrawal of the Bill.
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