Rights violation petition of Hingurakgoda PS Chairman fixed for argument

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for argument on May 28 2014 the fundamental rights violation application filed by Chairman of the Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha, Susantha Gooneratne, challenging his purported removal from the chairman post, consequent to the second defeat of the council budget for 2014.

The petitioner has said thatwhen the budget was defeated at the Pradeshiya Sabha at the first voting, he got the budget proposals amended. Subsequently, the petitioner fell ill and got hospitalised. Before entering hospital, the petitioner told the vice chairman A. R.C.P. Ratnayake to submit to the Pradeshya Sabha for the second voting the amended version of the budget proposals. But, the vice chairman had out of malice, submitted the original version of the budget proposals. Consequently, the budget proposals were defeated at the second voting.

Thereafter, the secretary to the Pradeshiya Sabha informed the Provincial Commissioner of Administration and the returning officer for Hingurakgoda that the post of Chairman had fallen vacant and Vice Chairman Ratnayake was made Chairman.

The petitioner has complained that the decision to remove him as Chairman was arbitrary.

The Court had earlier granted leave to proceed on the alleged arbitrary treatment and the alleged denial of the right to engage in his occupation of choice.

Counsel Athula de Silva appeared for the petitioner.

Among the respondents are Secretary to the Pradeshiya Sabha, the then Vice Chairman Ratnayake and the elections commissioner.

The Bench comprised the Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Rohini Marasinghe.

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