Chief Secy.’s rights case:Leave to proceed granted

Alleged interference by NP CM

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday said that the impugned document by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, pertaining to standing administrative orders issued to the Chief secretary of the Province appeared to encroach on the rights of the appointing authority of the Chief Secretary, the President, the National Public Services commission and the Provincial Public Service Commission.

The Fundamental rights violation application filed by the Chief Secretary of the Northern province, Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh, alleging administrative interference by Chief Minister Wigneswaran was supported before the Court yesterday.

The Chief Minister is a retired Supreme Court judge.

The Supreme Court said that it was a basic principle of the rule of law that the exercise of powers, must not only be conditioned by provisions of the Constitution, but also be in accordance with the laws of the land.

The court said its duty was to ensure that the first respondent Wigneswaran complied with without violating the basics of the constitution. It was pertinent to know that Article 154 (B) (11) prescribed the duties of the Chief Minister of the Province. Anything outside was unconstitutional. Any abuse or misuse of power by fanciful methods must be controlled by judicial order of the Court.

The Court suspended the operation of the Administrative standing orders by the Chief Minister until final determination of the petition. The interim order is subject to conditions that the petitioner being an officer appointed by the President, under section 31 of the Provincial Councils Act of 1987, as amended, continues to be, under his directions, on transfers, leave and disciplinary control. Transfer, dismissal in national public service come under the purview of the National Public Services Commission, and subject to the control of the National PSC. In Provinces it belongs to the Provincial PSC.

The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Chief Secretary suspended the operation of Administrative standing orders by the Chief Minister.

Hearing was fixed for July 17.

The registrar was directed to communicate the order to the Chief Minister Northern Province first respondent, forthwith.

Gomin Dayasiri appeared for the petitioner.

Palitha Gamage appeared with S.L.A. Rasheed for the second respondent the governor of the NP, Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.

The Bench comprised the Chief Justie, Mohan Pieris, Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Sathya Hettige.

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