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SC issues notice to Mahinda; FR Petition to support on 10 May


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By S.S.Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the former members of the Cabinet in respect of the fundamental right petition filed by Ven. Dambara Amila Thero challenging the Acts of the President.

The Bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardane, Murdu N.B. Fernando and E.A.G.R. Amarasekara fixed the matter for support on 10 May. The Fundamental Rights petition was filed by Ven. Dambara Amila Nayake Thero of the Nalanda University College, challenging the acts of the President on the purported removal of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the office of the Prime Minister and the purported appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa to the same. Petitioner impugns that the purported removal of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the office of the Prime Minister is ultra vires (beyond his legal power or authority) and amounts to an intentional violation of the Constitution by the President.

He also charges that the purported appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister is ultra vires the Constitution by the President as well and amounts to an intentional violation of the Constitution by him in as much as there was no vacancy in the office of the Prime Minister for Rajapaksa to have been so appointed. He sustains that in any event, Mahinda Rajapaksa does no command the confidence of Parliament.

He contends it is manifest that the President and Mahinda Rajapaksa have acted collusively in the impugned acts, considering especially the failure to adhere to the constitutionally mandated ‘no-confidence’ procedure. He also maintains the purported appointments Cabinet Ministers/Non-Cabinet Ministers/Deputy Ministers amounts is in violation of the Constitution and amounts to a violation of the sovereignty of the people and negates the franchise and freedom of expression. He seeks declaration from the Court the purported removal of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the office of Prime Minister as well as the purported appointment of Ministers is null and void (having no legal effect) and Mahinda Rajapaksa is not entitled to act in the office of Prime Minister. M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Ermiza Tegal, Niran Anketell, J. Arulanantham and Jerusha Crossette Thambiah instructed by Moahan Balendra appeared for the Petitioner. Suren Fernando appeared for Ranil Wickremesinghe. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam with Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.


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