President had power to sign citizenship paper in 2005 - CA | Daily News


Court of Appeal’s reasons for dismissal of Gota’s citizenship challenge :

President had power to sign citizenship paper in 2005 - CA

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as executive president in 2005, had possessed the power to sign the dual citizenship certificate for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Court of Appeal said yesterday in delivering the reasons for the dismissal of the Writ Petition filed challenging the citizenship of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Issuing a 43-page judgement, the Court of Appeal observed that the sixth respondent former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the repository of the Executive power of the people, had the legal authority in terms of the Constitution to sign the Dual Citizenship Certificate for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on November 21, 2005.

The Court of Appeal three-judge bench unanimously decided to dismiss the Writ Petition on October 4, which sought an Interim Order restraining Presidential candidate Gotabhaya 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.

The Court of Appeal upheld the position of President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva who appeared on behalf of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that this is an Application filed for collateral purposes and not a genuine public interest litigation filed by the petitioners as “public spirited citizens”.

Romesh de Silva PC had submitted to Court that any interim relief against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa would be irreversible as that would prevent him from handing over his nomination on October 7, 2019.

The Court of Appeal held that it would gravely prejudice the interests of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), if court had held alleged ‘Dual Citizenship Certificate’ is a nullity

‘It is not in dispute that, if this Court had held that dual citizenship certificate is a nullity, it would not only directly impact the rights and interests of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, it would gravely prejudice the interests of the SLPP. Thus, applying the above dicta, this Court holds that, non-citation of the SLPP as a Respondent is a fatal omission by the Petitioners, and hence on that ground too, this Application could have been dismissed,’ the Court of Appeal ruled.

Court of Appeal three-judge-bench comprised 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.

Counsel Suren Fernando with attorneys Niran Anketel, 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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