CA: Wiggie acted in violation of law | Daily News


Sacking of Northern Province Minister

CA: Wiggie acted in violation of law

In a judgment that tested the workings of the country’s Provincial Council framework, the Court of Appeal yesterday ruled that Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had acted beyond the legal power he possessed as chief minister when removing B.Denishwaran from functioning as the Minister of Fisheries and Transport in the Province. and Retired Supreme Court Judge

In their ruling, Court of Appeal Justices Mahinda Samayawardhena and Priyantha Fernando observed that former Chief Minister Wigneswaran had removed the petitioner Denishwaran without jurisdiction and that he had no power to remove the petitioner from his ministerial portfolios.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeal issued an order in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the document by which the Petitioner was removed by the former Chief Minister from his ministerial portfolios.

Meanwhile, Court of Appeal further issued a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the decision contained in a document to appoint the G. Gunaseelan and K. Sivanesan to the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province.

The Court of Appeal made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by former Provincial Council Minister B. Denishwaran challenging Wigneswaran’s decision to remove him from the ministerial portfolio.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Samayawardhena held that there is no power for the Chief Minister to remove Ministers appointed by the Governor, there is no necessity to such a course of action being followed.

‘If the appointing authority is the Governor, the Chief Minister cannot, by any stretch of imagination, claim to have the power to remove the Ministers.

The Constitution does not give any such power of removal to the Chief Minister,’ Justice Samayawardhena observed.

The petitioner Denishwaran cited Chief Minister Wigneswaran, K. Sarveswaran, Ananthi Sasitharan, G. Gunaseelan, K. Sivanesan and P. Sathiyalingam as well as Governor Reginald Cooray as respondents. Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, himself a retired Supreme Court Judge, was given further time to file objections against the Interim Order.

The writ petition was allowed with costs payable by the former Chief Minister Wigneswaran to the Petitioner.

Counsel Suren Fernando with Khyati Wikramanayake appeared for the Petitioner.

 Dr. K. Kanag-Iswaran, P.C., with Lakshmanan Jeyakumar appeared for the 1st Respondent Wigneswaran.

K.V.S. Ganesharajan appeared for the 3rd Respondent. M.A. Sumanthiran, P.C., with Niran Anketell appeared for the 6th Respondent. Viveka Siriwardena, D.S.G., with Kanishka De Silva Balapatabendi, S.S.C. appeared for the 7th Respondent.

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