Interim Order extended till Dec.8: further argument today

The Supreme Court seven-judge-Bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera yesterday further extended till December 8, the Interim Order staying the operation of the Gazette notification issued by the President to dissolve Parliament.

Supreme Court seven-judge-Bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice Murdu Fernando further extended the Interim Order restraining the Election Commission from proceeding to take any steps to conduct the Parliamentary Election by virtue of the proclamation until December 8.

Further argument into ten Fundamental Rights petitions fixed for today (07).

On November 13, the Supreme Court three-judge-Bench unanimously issued an Interim Order staying the operation of the Gazette notification issued by the President to dissolve Parliament until yesterday (7).

The Supreme Court had further issued an Interim Order restraining the Election Commission from proceeding to take any steps to conduct the Parliamentary election by virtue of the proclamation until yesterday (7). These Fundamental Rights petitions had been filed in the Supreme Court by several political parties and individuals seeking an Interim Order to stay the operation of President’s proclamation to dissolve parliament which published in the Gazette Extraordinary.

These petitions had been filed through Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem, All Ceylon Makkal Congress party leader Rishad Bathiudeen, R.A.S.D. Perera, Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, former MP Mano Ganeshan, Attorney-at-law Lal Wijenayake and G.C.J. Perera.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with counsel Navin Marapana appearing for Prof. Channa Jayasumana, an intervenient petitioner informed Supreme Court that all respondents and intervenient petitioners believed that under Article 33(2) (C) the President has the power to dissolve parliament.

Mr. Marapana stated that it is undeniable fact that Article 33(2)(c) of the constitution empowers the President to dissolve parliament at any time after four years and six months. ‘According to the petitioners also it is an undeniable power in the hands of the President. If that be so what is the President to have been given the further power, of dissolution after 4 years and 6 months by Article 70(3) proviso? Whether Parliament stood prorogued or not the President already had the power to dissolve parliament after 4 years and 6 months’? Mr. Marapana questioned. President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena appearing for intervenient petitioner, G.L. Peiris every Parliament since 1988 had been dissolved prior to the expiration of the stipulated time period. President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva appearing Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila informed Court President has power to dissolve the Parliament prior to a five-year-period without any qualification in terms of Article 62(2) of the constitution.

He further submitted that some provisions of the constitution including Article 33, 62(2) and 70 are contradicted to each other. He further stated that President was elected by people and it is in the President’s hand to appoint a Prime Minister who can command the majority in the Parliament.

Several intervenient petitions including Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Prof. G.L. Peiris, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila and attorney-at-law Pramanath C. Dolawatta had filed papers seeking permission to intervene into these petitions. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with Counsel Navin Marapana appeared for Prof. Channa Jayasumana. The Petitioners state that upon the Proclamation being published the petitioners were of the view that the proclamation dissolving Parliament was unconstitutional and illegal. They sought a declaration that fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed under Article 12(1), 14(1(g) of the constitution is infringed by the petitioners.

President’s Counsel K. Kanag-Iswaran with M.A. Sumanthiran PC, Thilak Marapana PC, C.J. Weliamuna PC, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne PC, counsel H. Hizbullah, Counsel Suren Fernando and Manjula Balasuriya appeared for the petitioners.

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC, Solicitor General Dappula De Livera, Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva PC, Nerin Pulle DSG, Dr. Avanthi Perera SSC appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana, Manohara de Silva PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC, Ali Sabry PC, Senior Counsel Kanishka Vitharana and counsel Navin Marapana appeared for the intervenient petitioners. 


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