Members of dissolved Parliament have no mandate | Daily News


Senior Counsel Canishka Witharana tells SC

Members of dissolved Parliament have no mandate

People have empowered President to dissolve Parliament
President can summon new Parliament even after 3 months from date of dissolution

Senior Counsel Canishka Witharana appearing for an intervenient petitioner informed Supreme Court yesterday that members of dissolved Parliament have no mandate to represent the people since the people have empowered the President to dissolve Parliament after the completion of four and a half years period.

Senior Counsel Witharana 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 for hearing before a Supreme Court five-judge-bench for the ninth consecutive day.

While appearing for convener of the “Sathya Gaveshakayo” organisation Attorney-at-law Premanath C. Dolawatte, an intervenient petitioner, Canishka Witharana submitted to Court that people have empowered the President to dissolve Parliament after four and a half years under Articles 33(2)c, 70(1) of the Constitution.

"The proclamation of the President dissolving the Parliament cannot be considered as automatically invalidated after three months from the date of dissolution of Parliament. Applying the Principles of Dicey, when the President finds that Members of Parliament cannot meet the aspirations of the people, he can dissolve Parliament," he added.

He argued that a dissolved Parliament cannot reconvene since Members of a dissolved Parliament has no mandate to represent people.

"According to the Constitution the people are heading for a new election to form a new Parliament according to the wish of the people. The polls day is fixed by the Election Commission. It can be held after Covid-19 risk is over," Witharana said.

Counsel Witharana further submitted to Court that the President can summon the new Parliament even after a lapse of three months from the date of dissolution of the earlier Parliament.

"The President's Proclamation on the Dissolution of Parliament is valid. The petitioners’ cases have no cause of action and are filled with ulterior motives. All cases have to be dismissed. The Elections Commission also acts in collusion with the petitioners to postpone elections," he further said.

He moved court to dismiss all petitions in limine since petitions have no cause of action and had been filed with ulterior motives. "The Election Commission also acts in collusion with petitioners to postpone elections," he further said.

President's Counsel Ali Sabry appearing for intervenient petitioner Prof. Sudantha Liyanage, informed court that the prime duty of the Election Commission is to hold elections and not to postpone elections.

President's Counsel Faizer Musthapha appearing for UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera told court that the Election Commission is vested with the power to change the date of Election which was originally mentioned in the proclamation issued by President. He rejected the claims by petitioners that the Election Commission has no authority to postpone the election after the expiration of the three months following the proclamation.

Meanwhile, President's Counsel Shavendra Fernando appearing for intervenient petitioner Anura Fonseka alleged that opposition political parties were in a process of delaying entire election process. He expressed his dissatisfaction regarding the conduct of the Election Commission since it has sought further time to hold the election despite initial steps including the accepting of nominations having already been concluded.

Senior Counsel Krishmal Warnasuriya appearing for Pradeep Kumara Panagoda, an intervenient petitioner submitted to Court that

Parliament should be re-summoned within a period not later than three months from the date of proclamation of the dissolution of Parliament.

The Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith Malalgoda fixed further hearing for next Monday (01).

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