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SC declares expulsion of MPs invalid
by Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court on Friday declared that the expulsion of parliamentarians Ameer Ali, Najeeb A. Majeed and Rishard Badiurdeen from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, by letter dated April 4, 2005, were invalid. Therefore three petitioners shall continue to be Members of Parliament.

The applications by the three petitioners challenging their expulsions were allowed with costs payable to the complainants by SLMC, its leader Rauff Hakeem and its General Secretary M. T. Hasen Ali.

In relation to the application made by Rishard Badiurdeen, the letter dated May 2, 2005 addressed to the General Secretary of Parliament by the UNP, stating that Badiurdeen has ceased to be a member of the party from April 5, 2005, has been admittedly sent on the basis of the expulsion of the petitioner Badiurdeen, from the SLMC by letter dated, April 4, 2005.

The UNP conceded the party had no direct interest in this matter. The UNP would abide by the decision of this court on the basis of the challenge to the impugned expulsion dated April 4, 2005.

The court further declared invalid the impugned expulsion contained in letter dated May 2, 2005, to the Secretary General of Parliament by the UNP is also invalid.

Ameer Ali contested the general election of April 2004 from the SLMC and was elected from the Batticaloa district.

Najeeb A. Majeed contested from the SLMC and was elected from the Trincomalee district.

Badiurdeen, has been a member of the SLMC, and was a nominee of the UNP for the Wanni district. His name was included in the nomination papers of the UNP on the basis of the electoral agreement, with the SLMC. He was elected to parliament.

The three petitioner were expelled from the SLMC by letter dated April 4, 2005. Badiurdeen was consequently expelled from the UNP, on a later date.

The judgement said that, "considering the personal animous displayed by the leader of the party prior to disciplinary action being taken, the respondents the SLMC, etc., leader, and General Secretary, should have adduced evidence to establish that the decision making process was devoid of bias against the petitioners. The respondents failed to adduce any such evidence.

The respondents failed in every respect to satisfy the court to the validity of the impugned expulsion.

The judgement also said that the withdrawal of the expulsion by the General Secretary of the SLMC, on behalf of the SLMC was done on May 28, 2005, after a period of one month had lapsed from the date of the impugned expulsion. The petitioners had applied to court by then. The petitioners are correct in requesting a determination to be made by court as to the validity of their expulsion.

D. S. Wijesinghe P.C., with Sanjeewa Jayawardene, Priyanthi Gooneratne, Kaushalya Molligoda and M. I. M. Azver appeared for petitioners, Ameen Ali and Najeeb A. Majeed, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse P.C., with Kapila Liyanagamage and Rasika Dissanayake appeared for the petitioner Badiurdeen.

Gaston Jayakoddy was the instructing attorney for all the three petitioners.

Romesh de Silva P.C., with Harsha Amerasekera, instructed by G. G. Arulpragasam appeared for the SLMC and its leader. Ikram Mohammed P.C., with A. A. M. Illias, Nizam Kariapper and Padma Bandara instructed by G. G. Arulpragasam appeared for the General Secretary of the SLMC.

K. N. Choksy P.C., with L. L. Seneviratne P.C., Daya Pelpola, S. J. Mohideen, Ronald Perera and Shamila Amarawickrama appeared for the UNP and its leader Ranil Wickramasinghe.

Mrs. I. Demuni de Silva Senior State Counsel appeared for Secretary General of Parliament and the Commissioner of Election.

The Bench comprised the Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justice Nihal Jayasinghe, Justice N. K. Udalagama, Justice N. E. Dissanayake and Justice Raja Fernando.

 

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