Court hears petition against Sri Lanka's president

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 October 2003, 17:41 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Tuesday decided to inquire into a petition filed by the Public Legal Aid Foundation, challenging the non-establishment of the National Election Commission by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and seventeen other respondents, under the 17th amendment to the Constitution, legal sources said.

At the next date of inquiry, the Court of Appeal will announce its decision on whether to summon the President to appear in court.

Counsel Krishantha Waliyamunne, who appeared for the petitioner, the Public Legal Aid Foundation, said at the inquiry held Tuesday that the President is duty-bound to appoint members to the National Election Commission as recommended by the Constitutional Council under the 17th amendment to the constitution, legal sources said.

The Counsel further argued that the President would lose her immunity as she failed to appoint members to the National Election Commission according to the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.

Appointing members to the National Election Commission is a constitutional requirement and, if the President failed to do so, the court can use its authority, the petitionerís Counsel argued.

The Court of Appeal said it would hold the inquiry into the petition on November 13 and announce its decision on the issue of summons on the President on that date, legal sources said.


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