CA dismisses writ petition against Gota’s citizenship | Daily News

CA dismisses writ petition against Gota’s citizenship

The Court of Appeal three-judge bench yesterday unanimously decided to dismiss the writ petition which was filed seeking an Interim Order restraining Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa from holding out or claiming that he is a citizen of Sri Lanka and from acting on the basis of the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate.

Court of Appeal Justice (President) Yasantha Kodagoda, Justice Arjuna Obeysekera and Justice Mahinda Samayawardena made this order pursuant to a writ petition filed by writer and democracy activist Gamini Viyangoda and painter-scholar Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeal decided not to issue notices on the respondents after dismissing the petition in limine, taking into consideration the facts presented by parties including the petitioners and respondents in the petition.

The Court of Appeal announced that it would pronounce reasons for the order, in the due course.

Justice Yasantha Kodagoda expressed his displeasure regarding the conduct of several attorneys who applauded in the open court following delivery of the order. Justice Kodagoda observed that the act of several attorneys was disgraceful and they should be dealt with before the law.

When yesterday’s court proceedings commenced at 9:35 am, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for fifth respondent Gotabhaya Rajapaksa informed court an application relating to a citizenship should be submitted to the subject Minister. He further stated that the Ministry Secretary has no role in dealing with the citizenship process. Mr. Silva charged that this writ petition had been filed in mala-fide since they alleged both former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had been involved in a fraudulent act.

‘Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, is a recognized political party which nominated Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as its Presidential candidate. However, this party has not been named as a party to this writ petition.

The other 20 people who received citizenship certificates along with Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also should have been named as parties to the writ petition.

The petitioners are alleging that both Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa were involved in a fraudulent act without substance evidence,’ Mr. Silva stated.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with Navin Marapana appearing on behalf of sixth respondent Mahinda Rajapaksa moved court to dismiss the petition in limine since petition had been filed with unfounded allegations.

‘This petition has been filed in order to insult the former President and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The former President signed on the certificate in accordance with the Citizenship Act,” Mr. Marapana said.

Counsel Suren Fernando appearing on behalf of the petitioners submitted to court that renouncement of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s American citizenship and its validity has no impact to this petition. He further contended that the plenary powers of the executive president have been challenged by a Supreme Court seven-judge-bench since it is a colonial importation. He further submitted to court that the president has been given powers to act on certain occasions in accordance with the Public Security Ordinance and the Emergency Regulations Act when there is no Cabinet of Ministers appointed.

The petitioners allege that the Dual Citizenship Certificate in question was allegedly issued by the sixth Respondent former President Mahinda Rajapksa, to his brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

They further allege that the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate was not issued by the authority prescribed by law.

The petitioners were seeking an interim order restraining the fifth Respondent Gotabaya from holding out or claiming that he is a citizen of Sri Lanka and from acting on the basis of the purported Dual Citizenship Certificate, until the hearing and determination of this writ petition.

The petitioners have cited Controller General of Immigration and Emigration R.M.P.S.B. Rathnayake, Commissioner General for the Registration of Persons P. Viyani Gunathilaka, Minister of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Vajira Abeywardena, Ministry of Internal & Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Gamini Senevirathna, former Defence Ministry Secretary Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Acting IGP Wickremaratne, Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne and CID Director Shani Abeysekera as respondents.

Counsel Suren Fernando with Attorney-at-Law Niraj Ankatel, Dinesh Vidanapathirana and Priyangika Jayawickrama through Vidanapathirana Associates appeared for the petitioners.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva with Ali Sabry PC appeared for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with Navin Marapana PC appeared for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

President’s Counsel Chanaka de Silva appeared for Minister Vajira Abeywardena.

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Writ petition against Gota’s citizenship dismissed (18:40)

A writ petition which was filed challenging Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.


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