- Alleges Netball Federation of Sri Lanka is illegal
The Mercantile Netball Association, in a writ application filed in the Court of Appeal, is alleging that the electoral register on which the election of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka was held in August 2019 contained names of affiliated associations who were ineligible to vote at such an election as they had not participated in the required number of tournaments.
Furthermore, the writ application alleges that they had failed to pay the required annual membership fee.
The petitioner further alleges that although such nominations were objected to, the Government authorities such as the Ministry of Sports, the Interim Committee and the Election Committee, had ignored these protests and allowed the continuation of this illegal activity.
The petitioner had appealed to the Minister, citing such objections, and the Ministry of Sports had referred these objections to the Appeal Board headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Nimal Dissanayake. They asserted that even though the Appeal Board had told the Minister that such objections were valid and to cancel the elections and call for fresh nominations only from the qualified members, these instructions had been ignored.
The petitioner stated that as they were not issued with a copy of such a decision, although they were entitled to receive one, they had to demand for it as provided for in the Right to Information Act.
The petitioner has cited the former Minister of Sports Harin Fernando, the Ministry Secretary, the Interim Committee, the Director General of the Department of Sports Development, the Election Committee and the present committee members of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka as respondents.
When this matter was taken up by the President of the Court of Appeal recently, Justice Yasantha Kodagoda PC and Justice Arjuna Obeysekara said that as the Minister had now been changed, the application should be amended, with the Court re-fixing the matter for support again after the respondents file limited objections. Chandana Liyanapatabendy PC, instructed by Waruni Wijeckrema, with Vijaya Gamage Attorney-at-Law, Mockshi Silva Attorney-at-Law and Hansini Bandaranaike Attorney-at-Law, appeared on behalf of the petitioner.
Additional Solicitor General Parinda Ranasinghe PC, representing the Attorney General, appeared on behalf of the Minister and ministry officials.
Farman Cassim Attorney at Law appeared on behalf of the present Executive Committee of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka.