SL Supreme Court to decide on governor’s approval to Divineguma bill

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 October 2012, 19:02 GMT]
The writ application filed by a Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian pertaining to the powers of the Northern Provincial Governor referred to the Sri Lankan Supreme Court for interpretation and determination by the Court of Appeal will be mentioned before the Supreme Court on Monday, legal sources in Colombo said. The draft bill has paved way for the establishment of a Department of Divineguma Development incorporating the existing Samurdhi Authority, Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority into a single unit under Colombo governments Development Ministry, which is headed by SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa.

Colonial Governor of the Northern Provincial Council Major General (retd) G.A.Chandrasiri has given his consent to the controversial Divineguma draft bill in the absence of an elected council.

The Divineguma draft bill was tabled in parliament by the SL President sibling and the Minister of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa after it was approved by eight elected Provincial Councils, South, Western, Sabragamuwa, Uva, North Western, North Central, Central and Eastern now placed before the SL Parliament for debate.

The SL Supreme Court earlier determined that the controversial Divineguma bill should get the approval of the elected provincial councils before tabling it for debate in parliament.

But the bill was not referred to the Northern Provincial Council as its stands dissolved since the demerger of the North and Eastern Provincial Council.

Instead the colonial governor of the NPC has given his approval in the absence of elected council.

Hence the Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian Maavai Senathirajah filed a writ challenging the Governor’s approval.

In this writ application, the petitioner, Maavai Senathirajah, has complained to the Court of Appeal that the governor of the North Central Province could not express views in place of the members of the Provincial Council, while the council stands dissolved. He has said that the Court of Appeal should restrain the SL Governor from expressing views on behalf of the dissolved council.

The Court of Appeal, subsequent to hearing the counsel for the petitioner, M. A. Sumanthiran, and the Deputy Solicitor General Janak de Silva, who appeared for the respondent Governor G. A. Chandrasiri, last week referred the petition to the Supreme Court for interpretation and determination on the constitutionality of the draft bill.

The reference will be mentioned on Monday before a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike, Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Chandra Ekanayake.


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