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SC dismisses without cost Chief Minister’s Special Leave

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By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court yesterday (5) dismissed without cost the Special Leave to Appeal filed by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran contesting the Interim Order issued by the Court of Appeal in respect of the purported removal of B. Deniswaran from his Post of Minister.

Wigneswaran in his appeal cited Dineswaran, Governor Reginold Cooray and Five Members of the Board of Ministers as Respondents. Chief Minister Wigneswaran removed Deniswaran from the post of Minister and the portfolios held by him were distributed amongst other Respondent Minister.

Dineswaran claims the CM has no authority to remove him from the post of Minister, Chief Minister in response counter claims that in terms of Article 154 F (5) of the Constitution read with Section 14(f) of the Interpretation Ordinance, he has the power to remove the Respondent Dineswaran.

CM despite of his prayer to set aside the Interim Order granted by the Court of Appeal, however asserts it is relevant.

CA granted the Interim Orders as prayed for by Dineswaran (1) restraining the Respondents from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing Dineswaran from functioning as the Minister; and (2) suspending the portfolios which had been allocated to others other than Dineswaran.

Dineswaran contends the Chief Minister does not have the power to appoint or remove Ministers under the Constitution and the power of appointment of Ministers is provided to the Governor who shall appoint such Minister on the advice of the Chief Minister at his own discretion and he also points out that the Constitution is silent on the question of removal.

The Chief Minister countered that the Governor cannot appoint a Minister on his own initiative or in his own discretion and that the Governor can appoint a Minister only upon the advice of the CM.

He prevailed that neither the Governor nor the CM has been expressly conferred with the power to remove a Minister from his post.

He stated the grant of Interim Orders by the Court of Appeal has occasioned an unmitigated Constitutional chaos and impasse and political mischief. K. Kanag Iswaran PC instructed by Moahan Balendra appeared for the CM Wigneswaran. Suren Fernando appeared for Dineswaran.


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