Jerome Fernando

Supreme Court orders review of FR petition against Pastor Jerome

The Supreme Court has directed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition against Pastor Jerome Fernando to be reviewed by a judge bench led by the Chief Justice. The order came after the petition was presented before a three-member Supreme Court judge bench, including Justices Murdhu Fernando, Kumudini Wickremasinghe, and Janak De Silva on June 10.

The petition, filed by several religious leaders, sought to prosecute Pastor Jerome Fernando under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) due to derogatory remarks concerning Lord Buddha and other religious figures.

During the proceedings, President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena, representing the petitioners, stated that three religious leaders were willing to withdraw their involvement in the petition.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, representing the Attorney General, informed the court that all investigation reports conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act regarding Pastor Jerome had been submitted to the court as per previous orders.

After deliberation, the judge bench ruled that as the petition had been previously considered by the Chief Justice, it was appropriate to refer the case back to a bench chaired by the Chief Justice.

Consequently, the Supreme Court directed the petition to be reheard by a bench presided over by the Chief Justice on July 22.