Supreme Court begins inquiry into Presidential election petition filed

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 September 2010, 19:30 GMT]
Sarath Fonseka, former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Tuesday appeared first time in the Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on the second day of inquiry into the presidential election petition filed by him. Fonseka has challenged the election of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse in the presidential election held in January this year. The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) produced Sarath Fonseka, the petitioner in the case in the court Tuesday on the direction made by the five-member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday. Fonseka is being detained in the Sri Lanka Navy headquarters since he lost in the presidential election to Rajapakse.

The SC Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justices Shiranee A. Bandaranayke, K. Sripavan, P.A. Ratnayake and S.I. Imam took the election petition case Monday and directed the Registrar of the court to inform the SLN to produce the petitioner to court Tuesday. The SC Bench also directed the court martial to continue its proceedings against Fonseka after 2.30 p.m. when the SC hears the election petition.

Fonseka has cited President Mahinda Rajapakse and the other 21 candidates including Sarath Kongahage and Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, two senior lawyers -- President’s Counsel Razik Zarook and Kalinga Indatissa, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe and Wimal Weerawansa as respondents.

The petitioner has been asking the Court to determine and declare that the election of Mahinda Rajapakse was null and void and to declare that Fonseka was duly elected and ought to be returned as President. The petitioner has further sought the court to order for a re-scrutiny of all the ballots cast at January 26 president elections.

Counsel D.S. Wijesinghe President Counsel appearing with eight lawyers including Solicitor General Priyashantha Deff submitted evidence on behalf of the respondents. They cited preliminary objections and appealed the petition be rejected.

D.S.Wijesinghe, Counsel for the first respondent President Rajapakse raised preliminary objections and moved that the petition should be dismissed as it was defective and inadmissible. He further said his objections were based on the failure to furnish material facts in respect of the allegations.

Counsel Upul Jayasuriya is appearing for the petitioner.

 

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