Appeal Court reserves order in case against SL President

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 November 2003, 17:09 GMT]
The Court of Appeal Tuesday reserved its order for December 17th on an application made by the Sri Lanka Legal Aid Foundation seeking the court to order Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, to appear in person in a case in which she has been cited as respondent for failing to appoint members to the National Independent Election Commission as recommended by the Constitutional Council, legal sources said.

The petitioner’s application states that the Constitutional Council has recommended members to be appointed to the National Independent Election Commission, which has been established under the 17th amendment to the constitution and has been sent to the President for taking necessary action. But the President has failed to appoint persons as recommended by the Constitutional Council, legal sources said

The counsel for the petitioner argued at the last date of inquiry that the respondent, the President, should be summoned to court and should be inquired regarding her failure in this regard, legal sources said.

When the petition was taken up for further inquiry Tuesday before the Court of Appeal, the Additional Solicitor General on behalf of the Attorney General submitted to court that the AG was of the view that the President had been given immunity by the constitution and as such she could not be summoned to court for giving evidence, legal sources said.

The Additional Solicitor General cited several judgments in favor of his argument and said the Court of Appeal has no power to summon the President to court, legal sources said.

The counsel for the petitioner stated that the Court has been empowered to inquire into this petition if the President neglected her duties provided to her by the constitution, legal sources said.

The Court of Appeal reserved its order on the application that the respondent President should be summoned to court to give evidence in this case for December 17th, legal sources said.


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