Cabinet suspension, House dissolution to receive equal priority

The continuing tensions between the executive and the legislative branches of the government are now before the judiciary in the form of numerous petitions and appeals.

According to legal luminaries, the UNP’s petition against the President’s dissolution of Parliament and the UPFA’s appeal against on Monday against the interim injunction suspending the Cabinet are likely to be heard by the Supreme Court with equal priority.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the United National Party and their allies have placed petitions against them in ostensible order.

“They have invoked jurisdiction successfully and successively,” he said, “However, the ostensible result of their actions has been disturbed franchise of the masses, the people’s right to vote,” he said.

He said, “The Courts are trying to listen to the allegations leveled against us by the United National Party (UNP) members over the President’s dissolution of Parliament and the office of the President’s newly appointed Prime Minister which replaced Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“The Courts are trying to do its best, but we must confess that the Court of Appeal’s interim order issued on Monday suspending the Cabinet was unreasonable and wrongful,” he said.

Asked how they would carry on after it, Nanayakkara said, “We are determined to carry on, and act within a legal framework”. He said they would act in conformity with reason.

The Court has issued the interim order restraining the functions of the Cabinet appointed by the President pending hearing of a Quo Warranto petition filed by 122 members among them Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was sacked from the office of the Prime Minister by the President.

“We prepared an appeal and a affidavit against this Interim Order that very day.I signed it. The petition was handed over to the Supreme Court today (December 4),” he said.

Asked how long it could take to reach a resolution, he said: “this is a matter of paramount importance.I think that the Supreme Court will give priority to this. It would be solved within a week.”

This could mean that the Supreme Court Judge Benches will have to make necessary divisions to hear the petition on the dissolution of Parliament and the appeal against the interim injunction suspending the Cabinet, he maintained.

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