SL CoA | Delay is a fatal error that would cause an application to be dismissed in limine; Revisionary power cannot be invoked due to callous disregard

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: The Division Bench of Menaka Wijesundera and Neil Iddawala JJ., dismissed an appeal which was filed to invoke the revisionary jurisdiction of this court conferred under Article 138 of the

Constitution seeking to set aside the Judgment of the High Court in 176/2013 dated 10-2-2016.

The Trial Court had convicted Respondent 1 and the High Court Judge imposed a term of 8 years Rigorous imprisonment and a fine with a default term of rigorous imprisonment and compensation. Petitioner being the wife of the convicted 1st respondent had filed this application on 05.04 2021 on behalf of the convicted 1st respondent to invoke the revisionary powers of this Court.

The Court initially only made it clear that it was a well-settled law that the exercise of the revisionary powers is confined to cases in which exceptional circumstances exist, warranting the intervention of court.

The Court relied on the various judgments of the Supreme Court in given circumstances some of which were Hotel Galaxy Ltd. v. Mercantile Hotel Management Ltd., (1987) 1 SLR 5 wherein Sharvananda C.J. reiterated “it is settled law that the exercise of revisionary powers of the Appellate Court is confined to cases in which exceptional circumstances exist warranting its intervention”.

In Kulatilake v Attorney General (2010) 1 SLR 212, it held; “It is trite law that the revisionary jurisdiction of this Court would be exercised if and only if exceptional circumstances are in existence to file such an application. Moreover, it must be noted that the Courts would exercise the revisionary jurisdiction, it being an extra ordinary power vested in Court, especially to prevent miscarriage of justice being done to a person and/or for the due administration of justice.”

Dharmarathne v. Palm Paradise Cabanas Ltd. (2003) 3 SLR 24, Perera v Silva, (1908) 4 ACR 79, Siripala v Lanerolle, (2012) 1 SLR 105 and many others were some other relied on judgments in this regard.

The Court dismissed the appeal finally held that the callous disregard of the petitioner in averring exceptional circumstances to invoke the revisionary jurisdiction, omission to render an explanation for the inordinate delay attached to the application and non-disclosure of material facts, it was not a fit and proper case to invoke the discretionary revisionary powers of this Court.

[Galgamu Ralalage Chandima Dilrukshi v. Rajapakse Arachchilage Thushara Ranjan, CA/ PHC/APN 78 of 2021, decided on 17-08-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


For the Petitioner: Shiral D. Wanniarachchi

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