Lawyers continue to abstain from appearing in courts in Jaffna district
[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 May 2010, 18:10 GMT]
Lawyers in Jaffna peninsula continue to abstain from appearing in courts in protest against the alleged death threats by Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) key operatives to Chaavakachcheari magistrate K. Pirabakaran, sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna High Court Judge, R. T. Vignarajah summoned an urgent meeting Thursday attended by the magistrates, police officials and lawyers in Jaffna peninsula where he informed that Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse had assured him that immediate action will be taken to maintain law and order in the peninsula and requested the lawyers to give up their boycott of courts, legal sources in Jaffna said.
Though all lawyers in the North had participated in the boycott when it was first launched, only lawyers in Jaffna, continue it now.
Consequently, all trials and inquiries in the magistrate courts of Chaavakachcheari, Mallaakam, Jaffna, Point Pedro, Oorkaavattu’rai in the islets of Jaffna and Jaffna High Court have been postponed due to the absence of lawyers.
Meanwhile, arguments arose in the above meeting when the lawyers present raised the issue of Regan, the deputy Mayor of Jaffna, EPDP key operative and a suspect in the alleged death threats to magistrate Pirabakaran, remaining free though the prime suspect, Charles, EPDP Thenmaraadchi organizer, is detained in remand prison after arrest.
Whether political influence is involved in Charles being not arrested was also questioned by some lawyers participating in the meeting.
Thereafter discussions on the issue of jurisdiction area of a court of law came up and it was told that Charles had been arrested within the jurisdiction of Chaavakachcheari court where the case was inquired into.
However, since Chaavakachcheari magistrate Pirabakaran resides in Paa’ndiyan Thaazhvu which falls within Jaffna magistrate court jurisdiction area where the threats are alleged to have been made, the case was transferred to Jaffna magistrate court Thursday.
Regan, the other suspect in the alleged death threat case is said to be living in the jurisdiction area of Jaffna magistrate court.