Dissanayake loses appeal to retain parliamentary seat

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 February 2006, 17:42 GMT]
The appeal of Mr.S.B.Dissanayake, national organizer of the main opposition United National Party (UNP), seeking the court to order that the contempt of court charge under which he was jailed was not an offence under the Penal Code and that he is entitled to be a parliamentarian without losing his seat, was dismissed by the Supreme Court Monday after inquiry, legal sources said.

The Counsel for petitioner Mr.Dissanayake argued that only those who have committed an offence under the Penal Code can lose his parliamentary seat. Hence the court should order the petitioner is entitled to hold the MP post, legal sources said.

The Deputy Solicitor General who represented the Attorney General informed the court that the charge of contempt of court comes under the Penal Code. Defaming the highest court in the country is an offence and therefore the petitioner now serving two years rigorous imprisonment loses his parliamentary seat, he argued.

Three member Bench of the Supreme Court presided by acting Chief Justice Mr.Nihal Jayasinghe upheld the objection by the State and dismissed the appeal by Mr.Dissanayake, legal sources said.

Ms Renuka Heart was sworn in as a parliamentarian two weeks' ago replacing Mr.Dissanayake when the Commissioner of Elections informed the Secretary General of the Parliament that Mr.Dissanayake ceases to be a MP, sources said

 

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