Monks, MPs, a catholic priest requested MS to free Shramantha Jude

A letter submitted by the then presidential assistant secretary revealed

13 June 2023 05:14 pm – 12      – 3852

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Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera, former MPs Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thera, Sarath Kongahage, a Catholic priest and several others had met then President Maithripala Sirisena and pleaded to grant presidential pardon to Shramantha Jude Jayamaha, who was convicted for the killing of a young woman in Royal Park, it was revealed before the Supreme Court through a letter submitted by a then presidential assistant secretary, yesterday.

This was revealed when the Fundamental Rights petition, filed by Women & Media Collective organization seeking an order suspending the Presidential Pardon granted by former President Sirisena to Shramantha Jude, was taken up for further argument yesterday.

The petition was considered before the Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices S. Thurairaja, Yasantha Kodagoda and Janak de Silva.

Justice Yasantha Kodagoda said that although the reports of the High Court Judge and the Court of Appeal Judge who sentenced Shramanta Jude, should be called, they have not done so according to the constitutional provision.

President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena, who appeared for the petitioner, said that, Parthikan, the Assistant Secretary of then President Sirisena, had forwarded a letter to the Attorney General containing the names of the persons who made verbal requests to grant presidential pardon to convict Jayamaha.

Shramantha Jude’s mother, S.M. Jayamaha, Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Ven. Balangoda Buddhaghosa Thera, a Catholic priest, Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thera, Mahesh Madawala and former members of parliament Sarath Kongahage and Nalini Mahatunga had made the request, the letter stated.

Furthermore, the President’s Counsel informed the court that no other note was made in the committee report which ordered Shramantha Jude’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment. And also the President’s Office had not received the Attorney General’s instructions regarding the granting of presidential pardon to Jayamaha.

Justice Kodagoda :- According to this process, does it appear that President Maithripala Sirisena has been misled?

President’s Counsel Jayawardena :- (The President) has been misled partially. However, in this process, the President has not followed the provisions of the constitution.

Justice Kodagoda :- The report of the high court judge who imposed the sentence as well as the appellate court judge should be called. Didn’t they do that?

President’s Counsel Jayawardena :- No procedure has been followed (Ranjan Katugampola)