DC cannot decide on party expulsions - Wijeyadasa



By Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP parliamentarian Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, yesterday told Civil Appellate High Court of Colombo that the District Court had no jurisdiction on matters relating to expulsion of members from political parties as well as those who were holding membership of political parties.

President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President’s Counsel Rajapakshe was making representations on behalf of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP and General Secretary of the party Tissa Attanayake, MP, when the case of seven SLMC members, including its leader, Rauff Hakeem, moving the Court against them being expelled from the parliament, was taken up before the Civil Appellate High Court of Colombo.

Rajapakshe challenged the right of the District Court to decide on a matter outside its authority. Rajapakshe said that in line with Article 99 (13) (a), exclusive jurisdiction on such matters was conferred with the Supreme Court. Referring to the Tilak Karunaratne vs Sirimavo Bandaranayake case, he said that the Supreme Court held that all matters pertaining to expulsion of a member of parliament and a member of a political party, including who is having the authority to expel a member, is vested with Supreme Court.

Rajapakshe said that those who had switched allegiance to another party, after having contested on the ticket of another political outfit, should go before the Supreme Court.

The Civil Appellate High Court gave time till Dec 17, 2012 for both parties to make written submissions. The Court will announce its decision, on whether the matter would be referred to the Supreme Court for determination, on December 20, 2012.

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