SC: Dissolution unconstitutional


By Chitra Weerarathne

A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, yesterday, unanimously, declared that the President’s proclamation dissolving Parliament was unconstitutional. Justice Sisira de Abrew, explained that the dissolution of Parliament before the expiration of four and a half years required a two-thirds majority.

Ten petitions were filed by petitioners including, the UNP, SLMC, JVP, TNA complaining that the dissolution of Parliament by a Presidential order gazetted on November 9, 2018 was illegal and arbitrary and in violation of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

Among the respondents cited were the Commissioner of Elections and the Attorney General.

Tilak Marapana, PC, appeared for the UNP, Ikram Mohammed, PC appeared for the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, K. Kanag Ishawaran PC, appeared for the Tamil National Alliance, J. C. Weliamuna, PC appeared for the JVP.

Manohara de Silva, PC., Sanjeeva Jayawardene, PC and Ali Sabry, PC appeared for the petitions supporting the move by the President to dissolve the Parliament.

The bench comprised Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira De Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and Justice Murdhu Fernando.

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