MR, Cabinet Quo Warranto petition fixed for argument on Jan. 16 | Daily News

MR, Cabinet Quo Warranto petition fixed for argument on Jan. 16

The writ petition filed by 122 Parliamentarians who sought an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others are not entitled to hold the office of Prime Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers was fixed for argument by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

 

 

Court of Appeal President, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjuna Obeyesekera fixed the matter for argument on January 16, 17 and 18.  The respondents were directed to file their objections before January 4. The petitioners were directed to file their counter objections before January 11.

Meanwhile, an objection raised by respondents urging this writ petition be dismissed for not complying with rules that are mandatory to serve notices and provide relevant documents to the respondents was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva with Gamini Marapana PC and Manohara de Silva appearing for the respondents told court that they were yet to receive full set of briefs relevant to the writ petition. ‘We are raising objections for non-complying on rules that is mandatory to provide relevant documents to the respondents. The notices have not been served on several respondents,’ Counsel Manohara de Silva said.

However, President’s Counsel K. Kanag-iswaran and Counsel Suren Fernando appearing for UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that they have already handed over the full set of briefs to several respondents even prior to supporting this writ application. Kanag-iswaran undertook to serve full set of briefs to all respondents. The Court observed that this petition was taken up as the first notice returnable date and the notices have been served on respondents.

On December 3, the Court of Appeal had issued an Interim Order restraining Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Ministers of the Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers from holding their office until final determination of this writ petition filed by 122 Parliamentarians.

‘It was the view of this that damage that may be caused by temporarily restraining a lawful cabinet of Ministers from functioning would in all probabilities be outweighed by the damage that would be caused by allowing a set of persons who are not entitled in law to function as the Prime Minister or the cabinet of ministers or any other Minister of the Government. The magnitude of the latter damage would be very high. Such damage would be an irreparable or irremediable one. Such damage would also have far reaching consequences to the whole country,’ the Court of Appeal had observed. The Court of Appeal had further observed that this order would not affect the country since the Interim Order would only prevent respondents (individuals) from functioning as public officers. The Court was of the view that Parliament passed Vote of No-Confidence against the Government with majority on two occasion on November 14 and 16. The Court also recognized the national importance of the petition and thereby decided to issue an Interim Order that would affect until the final determination of this petition.

In this petition, the petitioners further sought an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that 49 respondents including the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the incumbent government are not entitled to hold the office of ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

The petitioners, the Members of Parliamentarians representing the United National Party, Tamil National Alliance, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and several other parties filed this petition naming 49 persons including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as respondents.

The petitioners stated that on November 14, 2018, Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence against the purported government of the Respondents. They further stated that on November 16, Parliament passed another Vote of No-Confidence against the Government. They maintained that in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, the Cabinet stood dissolved from November 14, 2018.

President’s Counsel K. Kanag-iswaran and Counsel Suren Fernando appeared for UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with Counsel Navin Marapana appeared for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena and Manohara de Silva PC, Ali Sabry PC, Romesh de Silva with counsel Sugath Caldera and Kushan de Alwis PC appeared for the other respondents.


Case against Prime Minister postponed to January

The Court today has postponed hearing the case against Mahinda Rajapaksa holding office as the Prime Minister is postponed to 16th, 7th and 18th of January, 2019.


 

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