November 12, 2019
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    FR challenging summoning of ParliamentParliament fixed for support on 4th

    November 26, 2018

    The Fundamental Rights petition filed seeking a declaration that the Secretary General of Parliament and Attorney General have no authority or power under the Constitution to summon Parliament was last Friday fixed for support on December 4 by the Supreme Court.

    This petition had been filed by former Parliamentarian Sarath Weerasekara. The petitioner sought a declaration that the Secretary General of Parliament and the Attorney General have no authority or power under the Constitution to summon Parliament in the absence of any order by the Supreme Court quashing the proclamation of President published in the gazette dated November 9 dissolving Parliament.

    Supreme Court two-judge-Bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya decided to fix the matter for December 4, to be taken up along with ten FR petitions which challenged the dissolution of Parliament.

    The petitioner named the Speaker, Secretary General of Parliament and the Attorney General as respondents in the petition.

    The petitioner further sought a declaration that Parliament cannot be re-summoned on the strengthen of the Interim Order of the Supreme Court dated November 13, 2018.

    In his petition, former MP Weerasekara further sought an declaration that fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 12(1) of the Constitution have been violated by the Secretary General of Parliament and the Attorney General.

    The petitioner maintained that as Parliament has been dissolved by proclamation, the Interim Order staying the operation of the same cannot have the effect of the re-convening of Parliament, which continues to stand dissolved until the quashing of the said proclamation.

    Therefore, summoning Parliament in disregard of the true meaning of the stay order of the Supreme Court and conducting proceedings therein as undissolved will lead to serious issues relating to Parliament.President’s Counsel W.D. Rodrigo with Senior Counsel Kanishka Vitharana appeared for the petitioner. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.

    On November 13, the Supreme Court three-judge-Bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera unanimously issued an interim order staying the operation of the Gazette notification issued by the President to dissolve Parliament.This Interim Order will be effective until December 7.

    The Supreme Court further issued an Interim Order restraining the Election Commission from proceeding to take any steps to conduct the Parliamentary election by virtue of the proclamation until December 7. Accordingly, 10 petitions filed by various political parties and several individuals were fixed for argument on December 4, 5 and 6.

    Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2018 10:23

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