Supreme Court invalidates Cabinet decision granting Paget road residence to Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena

(Photo Source: Maithripala Sirisena’s Official Facebook Page)

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court today (February 29), nullified the Cabinet’s decision that permitted former President Maithripala Sirisena to retain his official residence at Paget Road, Colombo 07, even after his tenure.

Accordingly, the court stated that it would issue an order invalidating the Cabinet decision made on October 15, 2019, regarding this matter.

The relevant court order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, with the concurrence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, after considering a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

The petition has also requested the issuance of a court order stating that former President Maithripala Sirisena had violated several fundamental rights of the public by making decisions regarding his own privileges and rights during his tenure as the President, by making himself the head of the Cabinet.

Announcing the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena emphasized that the Cabinet decision made by Maithripala Sirisena was unlawful, as he held both the positions of President and head of the Cabinet of Ministers at the time.

In their petition, the CPA and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu claimed that the residence in question holds significant financial value for the country.

They argued that allocating such a residence to a former President Maithripala Sirisena was irrational, illegal, and arbitrary.

Furthermore, they contended that this allocation violated several fundamental rights of the country’s citizens, including the right to equality.