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Russian Aeroflot flight incident: Lawyer discharged from alleged professional misconduct

The Supreme Court ruled that a lawyer involved in the controversies surrounding the prevention of a Russian Aeroflot flight from taking off within the territorial jurisdiction of Sri Lanka, following a court order, has not committed any act which would amount to conduct unworthy of an Attorney-at-Law.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices Preethi Padman Surasena, Achala Wengappuli and Mahinda Samayawardhena decided to discharge the Rule issued against the respondent Attorney-at-Law citing that he has not committed any act of deceit, malpractice or offence as set out in Section 42(2) of the Judicature Act No. 02 of 1978 read with the Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules 1988.
On June 2, 2022, the Colombo Commercial High Court had issued an Enjoining Order preventing a Russian Aeroflot flight from taking off within the territorial jurisdiction of Sri Lanka pursuant to a request made by Celestial Aviation Trading Limited in Ireland.
A rule had been issued against the respondent lawyer regarding his act of serving an enjoining order on the Acting Head of Air Navigation Services of the Airport and Aviation Services of Bandaranaike International Airport.
It was alleged that the respondent lawyer had entered the Bandaranaike International Airport premises along with a court fiscal officer on June 02, 2022, at or around 12:15 with a day pass to enter the Navigational Service Complex of the BIA and proceeded to interrupt the telephone conversation that the Complainant was engaged in with the Director General of Civil Aviation.
The Supreme Court observed that the complainant also in his affidavit has admitted that the Respondent Attorney-at-Law had entered the Bandaranaike International Airport premises with a day pass. Therefore, one cannot say that the Respondent Attorney-at-Law had entered the airport unlawfully.
Meanwhile, in his submission, counsel appeared for the Bar Association of Sri Lanka had informed court that it would not consider the conduct of the Respondent Attorney-at-Law in this instance, as a conduct unworthy of an Attorney-at-Law and hence the Bar Association of Sri Lanka would not accept that the Respondent Attorney-at-Law had committed a breach of the afore-said Rule 60 or Rule 61.
President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appeared for the Respondent. Rohan Sahabandu PC appeared for the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appeared for the Attorney General.
Daily Mirror
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