By S. S. Selvanayagam
The Court of Appeal fixed for today eight similar Writ Petitions on the rejection of nomination papers over the issue of female candidates.
Justice Shiran Gunaratne postponed the matter for today as the bench comprised President of the Court of Appeal Justice L. T. B. Dehideniya, who has been promoted to the Supreme Court. The matter remained listed for yesterday before Justices Dehideniya and Gunaratne.
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United People’s Freedom Front (UPFF) have filed the Writ petitions. Petitions have been filed for Kinniya Pradeshiya Sabha, Buttala Pradeshiya Sabha, Tripane Pradeshiya Sabha, Weligama Urban Council, Panadura Urban Council, Mahiyanganaya Pradeshiya Sabha, Maharagama Urban Council, and Badulla Urban Council.
SLPP in its Writ application seeks the Court to validate its nomination paper submitted for the election of members for the Maharagama Urban Council in the forthcoming local polls. Petitioners Nishantha Wimalachandra, Savithri Gunasekara, Angoda Liyanage Pradeep Chaminda, Wanniarachchige Don Amarapala and Inoka Anuratha Ranaweera cited Returning Officer Damayanthi Wanigasinghe, SLFP Secretary Duminda Dissanayake, UNP Secretary Kabeer Hasheem and JVP Secretary Tilvin Silva as respondents.
They filed the Writ petition over the rejection of their nomination paper, wherein one female candidate has been inadvertently misquoted as male, claiming the decision of the Returning Officer to reject their nomination paper is capricious and erroneous.
The petitioners seek a declaration from the Court that their nomination paper tendered to the Returning Officer in respect of the election of the members to Maharagama Urban Council is valid for the purposes of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance, and/or liable to be received and accepted as valid for the election of members to Maharagama Urban Council.