PC M.A. Sumanthiran to make submissions on behalf of all of petitioners on Monday

PC M.A. Sumanthiran to make submissions on behalf of all of petitioners on Monday

PC M.A. Sumanthiran to make submissions on behalf of all of petitioners on Monday

Written by Staff Writer

29 May, 2020 | 10:00 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Intervening petitioners in the fundamental rights applications filed challenging the proclamation issued by the President dissolving the Parliament continued to make submissions in court today.

Appearing for the intervening petitioner Professor Sudath Liyanage, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry submitted that if the president is allowed to rescind the proclamation issued dissolving parliament, this power could be abused in the future.

He also challenged the arguments regarding the use of public finances put forward by the petitioners, and said that if there are concerns regarding public finance the remedy for that is in parliament and not before the Supreme Court.

He added that it is better to have some election under certain conditions rather than having no elections at all.

Attorney-at-Law K. Deekiriwewa representing the intervening petitioner Indika Sampath, submitted that the proclamation issued by the president under Article 70(1) of the constitution and Article 70(5) of the constitution are two separate proclamations.

He added that therefore a change in the dates of the election mentioned in the proclamation does not render the dissolution of parliament void in law.

Attorney at law D.L. Mendis appearing in person submitted that the postponement of elections by the elections commission is justified by the legal maxim that reads “the law does not compel a man to do which he cannot possibly perform”

He submitted that Article 70(5)(c) of the constitution allows for the date fixed for the first meeting of Parliament to be varied by a subsequent Proclamation.

He requested the court to refuse granting leave to proceed to the petitioners.

Appearing for Mahinda Amaraweera the general Secretary of the UPFA, President’s Counsel Faizer Mustapha submitted that his client should have been made a party to the applications.

He submitted that the powers of the elections commission is distinct from the powers of the president, and added that the president only puts into motion the election process.

President’s Counsel Shavendra Fernando making submissions on behalf of an intervening petitioner requested court to direct the elections commission to hold elections on the earliest possible date.

Attorney At law Chrishmal Warnasuriya making submissions on behalf of two intervening petitioners submitted in court that all prayers of the petitioners except for one of the prayers must be dismissed.

However, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya questioned the counsel on the matter as, the plea submitted by the intervenient petitioner he represents, requested the court to dismiss all the fundamental rights applications.

The court informed the counsel that he will not be allowed to continue to make submissions and added that he can submit any documents to the court to further clarify his stance on the matter.

Counsel representing the petitioners informed the court that President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran will be making submissions on behalf of all of the petitioners on Monday.

President’s Counsel Saliya Peria requested the court to grant him an opportunity to respond to the submissions made by President’s Counsel Romesh De Silva, as well as the intervening petitioners.

He stressed that he has a right to respond on behalf of the elections commission as some of the intervening petitioners accused the elections commission of colluding with the petitioners, and sought to obtain directions from Court on the elections commission.

The court informed the counsel that they will decide on which stage of the proceedings they will hear the reply on behalf of the elections commission.

The fundamental rights applications will be taken up for consideration again on Monday the 1st of June at 10 a.m.


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