22 April 2019
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Chief Justice to shows Ceylon Tobacco how to win an appeal

mohan peris gotabaya exclusThe Ceylon Tobacco Company is in the process of filing a petition before the Supreme Court against the Health Ministry decision to publish photographs of the harm caused to the human anatomy by smoking. The move was initiated after the Court of Appeal rejected a petition by the company where the Health Ministry and the Minister were cited as respondents.

It is learnt that a the tobacco company, which is a well known international company, has cast aside ethical practices and is now shamelessly trying to win it appeal by “hook or by crook” by seeking assistance from Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

A group of representatives from the tobacco company has recently met with the Defence Secretary with the aim of getting a Supreme Court order against the Court of Appeal decision and to get an order against the Health Ministry decision to publish photographic images depicting the harm caused by smoking. The company has said that such pictures would have a severe impact on the sale of cigarettes. The Defence Secretary who stands above the law had immediately summoned the Chief Justice for the discussion. The Chief Justice had immediately made his way to the Defence Secretary and had explained to the tobacco company how it could win the case.

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris who harbours a grudge against President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva for working against his appointment as Chief Justice has requested the company to immediately change their counsel. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has then asked the company to solicit the services of his counsel Ali Sabry. The Chief Justice has asked the company to get the services of Ali Sabry and another senior counsel. The Chief Justice has proposed the name of senior President’s Counsel Faiz Musthapha. Following this discussion, the tobacco company decided to stop the services of President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva and his lawyers.

The Chief Justice has asked the tobacco company not to worry about the case since the bench to hear the petition would be appointed by him.

Therefore, a bench of judges who will follow the Chief Justice’s instructions is to deliver the verdict on the petition that would be filed by the tobacco company against the Health Ministry and the Minister.

This situation could also be considered as another step to politically weaken the SLFP Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena.

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