Former MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama Granted Bail
The Arrest and Bail
Former Member of Parliament, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who was recently in custody over allegations of illegal jeep assembly, has been granted bail by the Galle Chief Magistrate. Muthuhettigama was released on two surety bails of Rs. 5 million each and a cash bail of Rs. 50,000. The case has been scheduled for recall on February 02, 2024.
Muthuhettigama has been accused of possessing a vehicle assembled with illegally imported parts and a forged number plate. According to Sri Lankan Police, no document was submitted to the Commissioner of Motor Traffic when registering the vehicle. Muthuhettigama was notified on several occasions to provide the necessary documents, if any, but they have not been presented either to the police or to the court so far.
Former Roles and Responsibilities
Muthuhettigama served as the Deputy Minister of Minor Export Crop Promotion. His political career has been marked by several controversies, including allegations of abduction and arson attacks. A warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the torching of an election stage of Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena in Wanduramba. He was also accused of damaging two shops in Udappuwa and for attempting to forcefully release two suspects in police custody.
Following the granting of the bail, the court issued several restraining orders against Muthuhettigama. His passport was impounded by the Court, and he was ordered not to enter police stations within the Baddegama judicial jurisdiction. In addition, the Magistrate severely warned Muthuhettigama not to repeat such behavior as a responsible public representative.
Other Similar Cases
Former Deputy Minister of Fisheries, Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, was also granted bail recently. Gunaratne, who was arrested on allegations of swindling 11.2 million rupees from the Negombo Lagoon Development project, was released on 25,000 rupees cash bail and two sureties of one million rupees each. He was ordered to report to the CID between 9 am to 12 noon on the 4th Sunday of every month.
In a related development, the Supreme Court granted six weeks interim bail to Delhi’s former minister Satyendar Jain on medical grounds. Jain, who has been accused by the Enforcement Directorate of laundering money through shell companies and buying land with illegal funds, was admitted to Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital after collapsing in a bathroom of Tihar Jail due to dizziness. The former Delhi minister has denied the charges and said they were politically motivated.
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