SL CoA | Court not satisfied with the delay caused by pandemic in filing revision, application dismissed in rape of minor case

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka:  Menaka Wijesundera and Neil Iddawala, JJ. while deciding on a revision application of order by Kandy High Court, dismissed the application of revision.

The Petitioners, husband (1st) & wife (2nd) were indicted for raping a 14 yr old minor, who is the sister of the 2nd petitioner. After pleading guilty of the charges levelled against them, the 1st petitioner was sentenced 20 years of imprisonment with fine and compensation and 2nd petitioner for 10 yrs of imprisonment in Feb 2020.

The Court reiterated two principles to be followed for revision. The first being exceptional circumstances which shocks the conscious of Court, to invoke the powers of revision of Court as it is the discretion of the Court and not a statutory right. And the second being that the revision must be filed without delay. If the applicant fails to satisfy the court of delays caused, then it is considered to be a fatal error. The Petitioners cited Covid-19 pandemic for the delay caused.

Court held that the petitioners had ample opportunities to have obtained legal assistance. The application has been filed after a year after pronouncement of the alleged order by HC. Furthermore, it was also held that there were sporadic periods from 2020 March to 2021 March where the country functioned normally. The Court was unsatisfied with the explanation and the application was therefore dismissed.[Wijesinghe Arachchige Ashoka Senarath Banadara v. The Attorney General, CPA / 85 of 21, decided on 15-02-2022]

Appearance by: Udaya Bandara for the petitioner.

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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