Dr. Shafi’s case: Kurunegala Magistrate and Conflict of Interest

Dr. Shafi’s case: Kurunegala Magistrate and Conflict of Interest

13 July 2019 06:34 am

It is reported that the wife of Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Kariyawasam, who’s hearing the case against Dr. Shafi, is also a doctor working at the Kurunegala Hospital.

Because of this, there is a potential conflict of interests and violation of the laws of Natural Justice. The two main laws of Natural Justice are, ‘hear the other side’ and ‘no man a judge in his own cause.’

It is advisable that magistrate withdraw from the case as his wife is working at the hospital where this case started.

When the case was taken up, the magistrate had allowed Director of the Kurunegala Hospital, Sarath Weerabandara, to speak in the court. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had later obtained the journal entries pertaining to the hearing; however, reportedly it didn’t include any notes regarding Sarath Weerabandara speaking in the court, which is problematic.