In historic verdict Supreme Court nullifies Sri Lankan Parliament dissolution – illegal
Colombo, 13 December, (Asiantribune.com):
In the biggest setback for the Sri Lankan President since the beginning of the political turmoil, the apex court in Sri Lanka has today unanimously dismissed his dissolution of Parliament saying it ‘was unconstitutional and illegal.’
The verdict was delivered by the Chief Justice Nalin Perera. Accordingly, the Supreme Court quashed the gazette notification published on the 9th November dissolving the parliament.
“I make an order that the November 9 Gazette (decree) sacking parliament… has no force or effect in law and declare its operation illegal,” Chief Justice Nalin Perera said as he delivered the landmark judgment to a packed courtroom.
Meanwhile, Justice Sisira De Abrew declared that the parliament cannot be dissolved in any way until the minimum term of 4.5 years passes. According to De Abrew, a proposal voted for by two-thirds of MPs in the parliament should be obtained in order to dissolve the parliament before the term of 4.5 years ends.
A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera delivered the verdict saying the President’s decision was unconstitutional with Chief Justice Perera further explaining that if the President wants to dissolve Parliament before four and a half years, there must be a resolution passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority.
The seven-judge bench of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka had also said that for the Parliament to be dissolved before four and a half years, ‘approval of two-thirds of MPs should be obtained.’
The 13 December afternoon decision, described as ‘historic’ by political analysts, has greatly boosted the chances of deposed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and other parties of his political camp, the UNF.
“It is time to seriously think about the country now. And it is time to restore the government that was dismissed illegally. Entire Sri Lanka has come to a standstill. We now strongly urge to restore the government which has been displaced for the last six weeks. Let us now start building our country now” said Deputy Leader of UNP Sajith Premadasa MP addressing the press at the Courts immediately after the verdict was given.
“The battle for democracy is not over. The illegal government has to go and the deposed legal government has to return. Until such time we will take forward this battle” said leader of Marxist JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka. “Our entire battle was about democracy. President should now arrive at a proper decision as for next steps” said Deputy Leader of TNA (Opposition party) M Sumenthrian MP.
The Supreme Court on November 13 had issued an interim order ruling Sirisena’s gazette notification as temporarily illegal and halted the preparations for snap polls. The hearing in the case was concluded last week as the court reserved its judgment.
The Supreme Court last Friday (Dec. 7) concluded the hearing of the petitions filed challenging the Gazette notification dissolving the Parliament after four consecutive days of court hearings.
Meanwhile, the interim order issued by the court, suspending the Gazette notification on the dissolution of Parliament, was extended until the verdict is delivered in the case.
Ten fundamental rights petitions against the dissolution of Parliament came up before the Bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando.
The petitions were filed by Kabir Hashim and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam of UNP, Lal Wijenayeke of United Left Front, CPA, Member of the Election Commission Prof. Ratnajeevan. H. Hoole, Attorney-at-Law G.C.T. Perera, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Mano Ganesan MP.
K.Kanag Iswaran PC, Thilak Marapana PC, Dr Jayampathi Wickremaratne PC, M.A.Sumanthiran PC. Viran Corea, Ikram Mohamed PC, J.C.Weliamuna PC, Ronald Perera PC, Hisbullah Hijaz and Suren Fernando appeared for the petitioners.
Gamini Marapane PC with Nalin Marapane, Sanjeeva Jayawardane PC and Ali Sabry PC appeared for the intervenient petitioners opposing the main petitions.
– Asian Tribune –