SC fixes writ petition on Elpitiya PS poll for 3 April

Friday, 16 February 2018 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support on 3 April the writ petition filed in respect of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha election.

The bench comprised justices Eva Wanasundera, Nalin Perera and Priyantha Jayawardane.

The Court on 30 January issued an interim order restraining the Galle District Returning Officer from taking further steps to proceed with holding election for the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha until the final determination of the petition.

The petition was filed by the Democratic United National Front’s Secretary Ariyawansha Dissanayake as well as two candidates, K. Vithanage Ariyaratne and D.L. Thilak Opatha.

They cited Returning Officer S.T. Kodikara, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and members of the Election Commission, Assistant Commissioner of Elections M.B.I. de Silva, the secretaries of the Eksath Janatha Nidahas Sandanaya, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, United National Party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Attorney General as respondents.

They state that at the conclusion of the period set apart for the purpose of filing objections, an announcement was made stating, among other things, that their nomination papers had been rejected due to the fact that they had been tendered to the Returning Officer by a person other than the authorised agent of the party.

They lament that the decision to reject the nomination papers had been arrived at by the Returning Officer without properly and reasonably exercising and executing the statutory and legal duty vested in him since, in the said circumstances, it was clear beyond doubt that the nomination papers were being handed over under the authority and control of the first petitioner who was the authorised agent of the party.

They allege that the decision of the Returning Officer to reject the nomination papers submitted for the election of members to the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha by their party was arbitrary and malicious.

They add that it was ultra vires and in violation of the mandatory requirements of the law which are required to be complied with by the Returning Officer in the exercise of his statutory duties.

They are seeking Court to quash the decision to reject the nomination papers delivered to the Returning Officer by the first petitioner (authorised agent) in respect of the election of members to the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha.

Srinath Perera PC appeared for the petitioners. Deputy Solicitor General Viveka de Silva Siriwardane appeared for the Attorney General.