By S.S. Selvanayagam
A social activist has filed a Fundamental Rights petition complaining of alleged irregularities and inconsistencies in the contract to build 65,000 houses with an international company.
Petitioner Mohamed Fazl laments that the Chairman of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee (CANC) for the constructing of 65,000 houses for conflict affected families in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, D.M. Swaminathan, the Minister of Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs, has awarded a contract bypassing procedures and the law.
He cited the Minister, Prime Minister, Members of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Attorney General and Luxembourg-based international company ArcelorMittal and others as Respondents.
He states the refusal and/or denial of the beneficiaries by the Minister or by the other Respondents to disclose information about the plans to accommodate in such houses upon considering their views and consulting experts on suitability of housing intended in the given socioeconomic, cultural and environmental context violates the right to freedom of expression.
He is seeking an Interim Relief from the Court to direct the Minister to desist from entering into any contract relating to these constructions.
He is seeking the Court to quash the decision by the Minister to grant the contract to the said international company.