On Justice Malalgoda’s complaint.
Supreme Court has initiated a disciplinary inquiry in respect of attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku’s conduct in the Court of Appeal on May 21, 2015 before the then President of the Court of Appeal justice Vijith Malalgoda, PC and justice H.C.J. Madawala.
Justice Malalgoda has now been sworn in as a Supreme Court judge.
Having faulted Kodituwakku for what the Supreme Court called improper, insulting, intolerable, unbecoming and contemptuous conduct on the basis of a complaint received from Justice Malalgoda, the SC has ordered public litigation activist to appear before it on Sept 26 at 10 am.
In summons issued on Aug 11, 2017 by the Registrar of the Supreme Court, M. M. Jayasekera, Kodituwakku, who holds Sri Lankan and British dual citizenship, has been told to show cause why he shouldn’t be suspended or removed from the Office of Attorney-at-Law in accordance with Section 42 (2) of the Judicature Act No 02 of 1978 read with Supreme Court rules (Part Vll) of 1978 made in line with Article 136 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has listed four specific allegations on the basis of submissions made by Kodituwakku on May 21, 2015 in respect of a case filed by two persons against the Director General of Customs in Court of Appeal seeking transfer of the case to a different bench. Having examined the representations made by the Court of Appeal to Supreme Court, the latter declared in summons issued to Kodituwakku his submissions were contemptuous, conduct disgraceful, dishonourable, deplorable and essentially unworthy of an attorney-at-law.
Soon after the dispute over Kodituwakku seeking a new bench, both Court of Appeal and the attorney-at-law had made written submissions to the then Chief Justice K. Sripavan in respect of the case filed by two persons against the Director General of Customs. However, the relevant file was subsequently returned to the Registrar of Court of Appeal sans CJ’s opinion.
Kodituwakku declined to comment on the case though he acknowledged that he had received summons from the Supreme Court.
According to submissions made to court, Kodituwakku has called for a different bench following his decision to withdraw a case filed in Court of Appeal on Dec. 15, 2014 challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to secure a third term. Kodituwakku has challenged the president’s eligibility in spite of the passage of the 18 Amendment to the Constitution. The attorney-at-law called for the suspension of presidential election scheduled for January 8, 2015 pending determination of his petition. Although, the petition had been reported missing from the registry of the Court of Appeal, Kodituwakku was suddenly informed by the then Attorney General on Dec. 31, 2014 of their decision to take up his petition on January 2, 2015. However, Kodituwakku withdrew the case at the behest of those who backed candidature of Maithripala Sirisena at January 2015 presidential polls, called by his predecessor two years ahead of schedule.
Kodituwakku informed Court of Appeal that he withdrew his petition as he felt that presidential polls scheduled for January 8, 2015 could be put off on the basis of his prayer.
Since the change of government Kodituwakku initiated several high profile cases including action against the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) over its failure to stop members of parliament selling super luxury vehicles imported on duty free facility made available by parliament, fraudulent appointment of National List MPs as well as alleged money laundering case involving former minister Ravi Karunanayake.