The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) Opposition leader from sitting, voting and participating in the Council meeting until final determination of the Writ petition filed against him.
The Bench, comprising Justices P. Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeysekera, fixed for argument on 28 September the Writ petition filed against him challenging his appointment to the JMC on the proportional list.
Petitioner Stephenson Ronoldan, a voter in the JMC, cited Visvalingam Manivannan (the Opposition leader), Returning Officer, Elections Commission, JMC Commissioner and the JMC as respondents.
M. A. Sumanthiran PC appeared for the Petitioner. V. Puvitharan PC, with N. Kandeepan and M. Jude Dinesh, appeared for the first Respondent Manivannan.
The Petitioner states the first Respondent was nominated as a candidate on the proportional list for the JMC by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC).
He claims that the first Respondent was disqualified from being elected to or sitting or voting as a member of JMC because he was not a resident of the JMC electoral area at all times relevant.
He states the first Respondent cast his vote at the last local authority election at Kokkuvil West, which is outside the JMC electoral area whereas he had listed ‘Ramanathan Road, Jaffna’ as his residential address on the nomination paper of the ACTC for the JMC.
The Petitioner maintains hence the first Respondent was not entitled and/or qualified to contest elections for the JMC.