CA allows Premalal Jayasekera to attend Parliament | Daily News


CA allows Premalal Jayasekera to attend Parliament

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an order directing the Prison authorities to allow Ratnapura District Parliamentarian Premalal Jayasekera to attend Parliament. Premalal Jayasekera who was sentenced to death over a fatal shooting  that took place in 2015 had filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal seeking an interim order directing the prison authorities to allow him to attend Parliament.

The Court of Appeal two-judge-Bench comprising Justice (President) A.H.M.D. Nawaz and Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna held that the Court would allow the petitioner to take oaths since Constitutional provisions do not prohibit him taking oaths as a Member of Parliament.

“The election of this petitioner has yet not been invalidated. These proceedings do not invalidate the election of this petitioner. These are not proceedings in which the election of the petitioner as a Member of Parliament is sought to be invalidated,” Justice Nawaz said.

The Court of Appeal held that the petitioner is entitled to have the rights vested in the elected candidate until his election is set aside by a way of competent jurisdiction.

“This constitutional provision does not prohibit taking oaths as a Member of Parliament. We take the view that Constitutional provisions are not engaged here,” Justice Nawaz observed.

“Allowing to take oaths and the fact of sitting and voting is a matter that is not before us. We are not interpreting the issue of sitting and voting in Parliament. That has to be determined in another forum,” Justice Nawaz further added.

In his oral submissions, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appearing for the Attorney General had argued that in terms of Article 89 (d) of the Constitution, a person who is under a death sentence is disqualified to sit and vote in Parliament. Nerin Pulle had submitted to the Court that a person who is under the sentence of death is disqualified to sit and vote in Parliament.

However, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for the petitioner observed that when an accused filed an appeal, the execution shall stay and he shall be kept under remand custody. De Silva argued that his client would remain as a remand prisoner until a higher court determined his appeal.

Romesh De Silva PC, Nalin Ladduwahetty PC, Counsel Sugath Caldera, Niran Ankitel and Buddhika Chandrasekara Instructed by Paul Ratnayake Associates appeared for the petitioner. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle with Senior State Counsel Dr. Awanthi Perera and State Counsel Induni Punchihewa appeared for the Attorney General.

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