SC refuses to stay Order on Mahinda’s appeal | Daily News

SC refuses to stay Order on Mahinda’s appeal

Case to be heard on January 16, 17, 18
SC orders Appeals Court not to hear petition against MR, Cabinet from holding office till SC hearing is over

The Supreme Court three-judge-Bench comprising Justice Eva Wanasundara, Buwaneka Aluvihare and Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda yesterday unanimously refused to set aside the Interim Order issued by the Court of Appeal restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others from functioning as Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers respectively.

However, plurality decision of the Supreme Court three-judge Bench decided to grant leave to appeal with four appeal petitions filed by Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa and several others.

Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda made a dissenting order to reject these appeal petitions in limine. Accordingly, the appeal petitions were fixed for argument on January 16, 17, and 18 next year. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued an order staying the Court of Appeal proceedings pertaining to Quo Warranto application until the conclusion of Supreme Court inquiry.

The Supreme Court further directed the Supreme Court Registrar that the request that had been made to nominate a fuller Bench to hear these appeals be referred to the attention of Chief Justice.

However, the motion filed on behalf of Parliamentarian Ranil Wickremasinghe sekking a fuller bench comprising more than five judges of Supreme Court to hear these applications was rejected by Supreme Court yesterday morning. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva informed that respondents in this appeal solely relying upon the hansard report to support No Confidence Motion (NCM) which is available in uncorrected version. ‘Though the Hansard mentioned the motion pertaining to the NCM was carried, the video footage released by the Parliament official website did not transpire anything to support in this regard.

A Quo Warranto cannot be issued based on the uncorrected version of parliament proceedings (hansard reports),’ Mr. Silva further added.

Silva further said the Court of Appeal failed to properly consider their preliminary objections that Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to hear a Quo Warranto petition.

“The Court of Appeal acted in wrongful manner from the beginning. We are in a situation where there is no a Prime Minister or Cabinet for several weeks,” he further said.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana appearing for Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the Court of Appeal has granted an order that has to be granted after conclusion of the petition.

He made a request to vacate the Interim Order issued by Court of Appeal which prevented the operation of entire Cabinet.

President’s Counsel K. Kanag-iswaran stated that Parliament has passed a NCM with majority of 122 parliamentarians on November 14 against the de-facto government. ‘122 members of parliament who constitute majority of the Parliament voted in favour of the NCM filed against the government. If Parliament passed a NCM on the government, the cabinet of ministers stands dissolved,’ Kanag-iswaran said.

Counsel Suren Fernando appearing for the petitioner-respondents stated that Parliament proceeding cannot be challenged in courts. ‘Parliament has full authority in the affairs relating to legislative matters.

Through this appeal petition, Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa sought an order to set aside the Interim Order dated December 3 by Court of Appeal.

He also sought an order to grant special leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal order in the writ application No.363/2018.

Rajapaksa alleged that the Court of Appeal erred in its failure to take cognizance of the absence of a proper and legally countenanced application before it in terms of the law in as much as inter alia the failure of the 122 MPs to have supported their application with affidavits countenanced by law. He stated that the Court of Appeal erred in its failure to take due cognizance of its lack of jurisdiction to hear and determine the said writ application in which arose a number of matters involving and requiring interpretation of several constitutional provisions.

He further said the Court of Appeal erred in its failure to consider the legal effect of the cogent evidence adduced by some of 122 MPs by way of affidavits and documents, unedited Hansard issued officially by the office of Secretary General of Parliament and the video footage extracted from the official website of parliament depicting that the said uncorrected draft copies produced in court do not in fact depict accurately the parliamentary proceedings of the said date and that there were in fact no valid votes of no confidence passed in parliament as claimed by the 122 MPs.

Meanwhile, Parliamentarians Johnston Fernando, Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Dinesh Gunawardena and Chamal Rajapaksa also filed appeal petitions challenging Court of Appeal order dated December 3.

They cited UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and 121 MPs and 49 others as respondents.


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