No one can demand President to re-summon Parliament - AG | Daily News


No one can demand President to re-summon Parliament - AG

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that nobody has a right to demand or direct the President to re-summon Parliament since it is a discretionary power vested on the President.
Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appearing for the Health Services Director General and the Attorney General made these remarks when eight Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging the dissolution of parliament and holding the General Election on June 20 were taken up before Supreme Court five-judge-bench yesterday.
"The dissolved parliament cannot meet again.Nobody can continue in their positions in Parliament. Dissolution means the end of the House.There is no provision for the President to reconvene it," the Additional Solicitor General said.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) argued that the President has to be satisfied in terms of Article 70 (7) of the Constitution to re-summon parliament, in the event of an emergency.
"The President has to be satisfied that an emergency has arisen in the country to summon parliament. Therefore, nobody can decide on re-summoning Parliament", the ASG said.
She told court that there is no any provision in the constitution to revoke the dissolution of Parliament.
The ASG further submitted to Court that there is no necessity to re-summon parliament since existing laws are sufficient to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Submitting in court, a copy of intelligence report sent to President by the State Intelligence Services pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the ASG informed court that there are no patients reported from the community since April 30 to May 26.
She further stated that discretionary powers are vested on the President to dissolve Parliament under Article 33(2) (C) of the constitution after the completion of four and a half years,
She submitted to court that the seven-judge Supreme Court bench had also affirmed the President's power to dissolve parliament in 2018.
"At the time of dissolution on March 2, Parliament had completed four and a half years. At the time the proclamation was issued, there was no COVID-19 patients reported from Sri Lanka. The dissolution was not a sudden decision of the President. He had sought a public mandate to go for an election during the Presidential Election held last year,"she said.
The ASG further informed court that the petitions cannot proceed since the petitioners have failed to exhibit a prima facie case before court.
Finally, the ASG observed that the court should not issue any order effecting the franchise rights of the people.
The five-judge Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith Malalgoda fixed further hearing for today (27).
M.A. Sumanthiran PC with counsel Ermiza Tegal appeared for Charitha Gunaratne. Senior Counsel Viran Corea with counsel Bhavani Fonseka and Luwie Ganeshathasan appeared for the CPA and Dr. P. Saravanamuttu. President's Counsel Geoffrey Alagarathnam, Pulasthi Hewamanna, Lasantha Garusinghe, Anurangi Singh instructed by Ishara Gunewardane appeared for petitioner S.C.C. Elankovan.
Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni De Silva with Senior Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.
Romesh de Silva PC with Ali Sabry PC, counsel Ruwantha Cooray appeared for Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris with Counsel V. K. Choksy appeared for the Election Commission. Ashtika Theivendra appeared for S. Ratnajeevan Hoole. Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC appeared for intervenient petitioner Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana PC, Counsel Kaushalya Molligoda and Uchitha Wickremesinghe appeared for Ven.Attapatukande Ananda Thera, an intervention party. Senior Counsel Kanishka Vitharana appeared for intervenient petitioner Premanath C.Dolawatta.

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