Legal wrangle over appointment of UPFA nationalist MP

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 October 2004, 10:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court (SC) granted special leave to Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, incumbent Deputy defence Minister and Buddha Sasana Minister, to proceed with his appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal (CA) that it has jurisdiction to hear the Writ Application challenging his appointment as a MP of the UPFA National List. The SC further issued interim order staying the further proceedings in the Court of Appeal until its concludes the inquiry into the appeal by the aggrieved party, legal sources said.

Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake filed the appeal in the SC challenging the CA order that the CA has no jurisdiction to hear the Writ Application because of the constitutional interpretation.

Constitutional Expert Mr.Rohan Edirisingha in his writ application filed in the CA challenged the appointment of Mr Wickremanayake from the national list of the UPFA as his name was not included in the original list that was submitted to the Commissioner General of Elections, legal sources said.

The petitioner asked the CA to issue a writ of Quo Warrantee declaring that the appointment of the Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was invalid and a Writ of Certiorari quashing the said appointment, and a Writ of Prohibition prohibiting the Commissioner of Elections from declaring that Mr Wickremanayake had been appointed as a MP, legal sources said.

At the inquiry held into the Writ Application in the Court of Appeal, Counsel for the petitioner Mr.Romesh de Silva submitted his objection that the CA has no jurisdiction to hear the application. But the CA held that it has jurisdiction to hear the application and decided to hear the Writ Application of Mr.Rohan Edirisingha, legal sources said.

Hence the petitioner Mr.Ratnasiri Wickremanayake filed an application in the Supreme Court for special leave to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The application came up for inquiry Monday before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Mr.Sarath Silva, Justices T.B.Weerasuriya and N.K.Udalagama.

President's Counsel Mr.Romesh de Silva with Mr.Sugath Caldera and Ms Shantha Cooray appeared for Mr Wickremanayake and Mr.M.A.Sumanthiran appeared for Mr Edirisingha, legal sources said

The three-member bench of the SC having heard the legal submissions of both parties made interim order staying the decision of the Court of Appeal and also instructed the CA not to hold further proceedings in the Writ Application until the appeal by Mr Wickremanayake is disposed, legal sources said.


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