The Court of Appeal yesterday re-fixed for support the Habeas Corpus application filed by General Sarath Fonseka`s wife Anoma Fonseka after Justice D. S. C. Lekamwasam refused to hear the case for personal reasons. Hence the hearing was put off for March 25, before another three-Judge Bench, without Justice Lekamwasam. The other two judges who were on the Bench yesterday were Justices Sathya Hettige (President of Court of Appeal) and Ranjit Silva.
Romesh de Silva P.C., who appeared for the petitioner, asked for an early date, claiming that the issue dealt with the liberty of General (retd) Fonseka. He requested the Court to permit the General, who was in detention custody, to be brought before the Court on March 25, 2010.
The Deputy Solicitor General, Sanjay Rajaratnam, who appeared for the Attorney General, objected to that request. He said that the petition was yet to be supported, and the respondents had yet to object. If after supporting and objecting the Court orders General Fonseka to be brought before Court, it could be agreed to, but, not at that stage.
The DSG appeared with Senior State Counsel N. G. Pulle and State Counsel Shamindra Wickrema. Romesh de Silva P.C., appeared with Sugath Caldera and Rajiv de Silva for the petitioners.
The petition requested Court to release Fonseka from detention custody. It said his arrest and detention were both illegal since Fonseka had retired from the Army in July last year and he had been arrested in February this year. Fonseka could not be arrested under the Army Act six months after his retirement.
Among the respondents are the Commanders of the Army the Navy and the Attorney General.