By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Court of Appeal yesterday deferred the writ petition challenging the election of non-residents to the Maharagama Urban Council to be mentioned on 1 August.
The bench comprised justices P. Padman Surasena (CA President) and Arjuna Obeysekera.
Court on 16 May issued notices on 23 members of the Maharagama Urban Council who had been elected from Independent Group No. 2.
One of the registered voters Chandrasena Perera of Maharagama filed the writ petition challenging the 23 impugned respondents who had been declared and elected to the Maharagama Urban Council in the election held on 10 February.
Faisz Musthapha PC with Amarasiri Panditharatne appeared for the petitioner.
H. Jayasheeli, W.A. Jayathissa and Sudarshani W. Jayathissa all of Wellawatte and M.S. Piyarathna, G.A. Sisira, Samanmala Janaki, Kanchana Madhushini, R.W. Wajira Malkanthi, A. Janapadaya, Sunethra Priyadarshani, Lakmini Thushari Gunawardana, Hansani Ruwanthi, Lalith Gunawardana, S.A. Sumanawathi, A. Janapadaya, Nihal Dayarathna, J.L. Kumarasiri, W. Dharmapriya, Lakmini Madhushani, Jayanthi Jayasekara, Nadeeka Kumari, Dilanthi Kusumsiri, D. Wimalawathi, all of Badalgama, Charlotte Kalyani of Hunumulla, B.D. Josephine of Asgiriya as well as the Election Commission Chairman and its members and Maharagama Urban Council as respondents.
The petitioner states that the 23 respondents had assumed office as members of the Maharagama Urban Council and that on the date of the commencement of the preparation or revision of the parliamentary register for the time being, in operation for the electoral district of Colombo in which the electoral area of the Maharagama Urban Council is situated, the aforesaid respondents were not qualified to have their names entered in that register and he states that on the first date of June in the year of the commencement of the preparation or revision of that register, which is 2017, these respondents were not ordinarily resident in that electoral area of the Maharagama Urban Council.
He states that these respondents were not qualified for the election as members of the Maharagama Urban Council or to sit as members or to vote as members in as much as the aforesaid respondents did not have the general qualification for the election required by Section 8 of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance.
He contends that the election of these respondents is therefore void since they did not have the qualifications required by Section 8 of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance.