UPFA MP claims privilege violation by Mannar judge

Ranil at daggers drawn with UPFA MPs


By Saman Indrajith

A privilege issue raised in Parliament by UPFA MP Uvais Farooq, regarding the conduct of the Manner Magistrate, led to a heated exchange of words between Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and several government legislators.

Farooq said that when he had appeared for some clients, who were accused in the Mannar Court incident case, the Magistrate had summoned him to the Chamber and reprimanded him over a speech he made in Parliament a few days back referring to the conduct of the Magistrate.

"My rights as an MP were violated by the Magistrate who questioned me on a speech I made from the floor of the House," he said.

However, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said that if a privilege issue or any allegation was being made against an official administering justice in the country, it had to be done through substantive motions as per section 78 of Standing Orders.

"We have to differentiate between whether it is a matter of privilege or an attempt to interfere in the work of the judiciary," the Opposition Leader said.

However, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said, "I am bound to safeguard the privileges of all MPs and in this instance I can say his privilege as a MP has been violated."

The Speaker also said he would inquire into the matter further.

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