Expulsion of dissident MPs "not valid in law" -supreme court

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 February 2000, 11:22 GMT]
Supreme Court today held that the expulsion of five Parliamentarians from the United National Party (UNP) was not valid in law as the rules of natural justice of affording them a fair hearing was not made available to them.

Dr.Sarath Amunugama, Wijepala Mendis, Susil Moonesinghe, Nanda Mathew and Chula Bandara were the petitioners who challenged their expulsion from UNP.

The Bench comprised Acting Chief Justice Dr.Amerasinghe, Justice Ameer, Ismail and Justice Shiranie Bandaranayake.

The Judgement stated as follows:- The respondents submitted that the rules of natural justice were in the circumstances of the case excluded by practical considerations. The election campaign was on and it was imperative that the cohesiveness of the party was safeguarded. The petitioners were not only expressing their open support for the rival candidate, they were also attempting to persuade others at grass roots level to vote against the party. Immediate action was called for.

Urgency has in certain circumstances, been regarded as permitting a departure from the need to give a hearing before action is taken. A public authority may need to seize and destroy bad meat exposed for sale or to order the removal to hospital of a person with an infectious disease without a hearing.

I am of the view that the respondents have failed to establish that the expulsion fell within the category of extraordinary, urgent circumstances recognized by courts of law.

The content of fair procedures is flexible. The so-called rules of natural justice are not engraved on tablets of stone.

The principles of fairness are not to be applied by rote in every situation. What fairness demands depends on the context of the decision.

The petitioners were Members of Parliament and expulsion could have led to losing their seats. The very gravity of the matter required that at least a limited hearing was given to the petitioners before a decision was taken to expel them.

The right of an Member of Parliament to relief under Article 99 (13) (a) is a legal right and forms part of his constitutional rights as an MP. If his complaint is that he has been expelled from the membership of his party in breach of the rules of natural justice, he will ordinarily be entitled to relief; and this court may not determine such expulsion to be valid unless there are overwhelming reasons warranting such decision. Such decision would be competent only in the most exceptional circumstances permitted by law and in furtherance of the public good the need for which should be beyond doubt.If there is any doubt about such matters, the expulsion will be struck down.the Order concluded.

Related Articles:
27.01.00   Rebel UNPers violated party rules - lawyer
26.01.00   UNP expulsions 'invalid in law' - lawyer
06.01.00   Expulsion of rebels valid - UNP
13.12.99   Rebel UNP MPs file case


Latest 15 Reports
04.02.24 15:40   Photo
சியோனிசம் காணும் தோல்வி ஈழத்தமிழருக்குப் பலன் தரவல்ல படிமை மாற்றத்தின் அறிகுறி
24.04.22 05:44  
தீவின் நெருக்கடிச் சூழலில் ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசம் கடைப்பிடிக்கவேண்டிய நிலைப்பாடுகள்
09.04.22 14:44   Photo
குறிதவறும் ஈழத்தமிழர் தலைமைகளுக்கு வரலாறு தருகின்ற எச்சரிக்கை
21.01.22 07:24   Photo
ஈழத்தமிழர் தேசத்தின் தலைமைத்துவம் தேர்தல் அரசியற் கட்சிகளுக்கு அப்பாலானது
02.11.21 15:32   Photo
13 ஆம் சட்டத்திருத்தத்தால் கட்டமைக்கப்பட்ட இன அழிப்பை எதிர்கொள்ள முடியுமா?
15.09.21 08:19  
English version not available
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
09.04.21 14:46  
English version not available
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
Find this article at: