Petitions filed in bad faith – Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

President’s Counsel Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the petitioners who filed Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the dissolution of Parliament and holding General Election, acted in bad faith (mala-fide).

PC Rajapakshe appearing for Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam told the Supreme Court that the prime objective of the petitioners was to delay the election depriving people’s franchise rights.

Making submissions regarding the re-summoning of Parliament, PC Rajapakshe stated that there is no power vested on the President for re-summoning Parliament at this juncture.

‘The Parliament can be re-summoned on the opinion of the President during an emergency situation. We are not experiencing an emergency situation but it is a health issue.

The President has to be satisfied to make a proclamation declaring an emergency situation,’ said Rajapakshe.

Meanwhile, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC submitted to court that there is no necessity to declare an emergency since the President has successfully utilized the prevailing laws and regulations to combat the spread of COVID-19.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva who appeared for President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara raised preliminary objections against the petitions. He argued that the petitions cannot be maintained since relevant political parties had not been made necessary parties to the petitions.

Silva further submitted to Court that these petitions cannot be maintained since they were not filed within the stipulated one month time period since the President had issued the proclamation on March 2.

Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith Malalgoda fixed further hearing for today (21).

M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Counsel Ermiza Tegal appeared for Charitha Gunaratne. Senior Counsel Viran Corea with Counsel Bhavani Fonseka and Luwie Ganeshathasan appeared for CPA and Dr. P. Saravanamuttu. President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagarathnam, Pulasthi Hewamana, Lasantha Garusinghe and Anurangi Singh instructed by Ishara Gunewardane appeared for petitioner S.C.C. Elankovan.

Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni De Silva appeared for the Attorney General. Romesh de Silva PC appeared for respondent Dr P.B. Jayasundera who is the Secretary to the President. Ashtika Theivendra appeared for S. Ratnajeevan Hoole. Counsel V. K. Choksy appeared for the Election Commission.

Sanjeeeva Jayawardena PC appeared for intervenient petitioner Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana PC, Counsel Kaushalya Molligoda and Uchitha Wickremesinghe appeared for Ven. Attapatukande Ananda Thera, an intervention party. Senior Counsel Canishka Witharana appeared for intervenient petitioner Premanath C. Dolawatta.

(Source: Daily News – By Lakmal Sooriyagoda)