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Petition against Sarath Fonseka’s appointment as MP dismissed

The Supreme Court, yesterday, rejected the fundamental rights violation petition, filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, against the appointment of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament as a National List Member of the UNP.

The Court said there was no legal basis to grant leave to proceed.

Deputy Solicitor General, Navin Pulle, who appeared for the Elections Commission and the Attorney General, told the Court, that the first respondent, cited in the petition is a

private person, the Secretary of a political party. Article 126 of the Constitution applicable to executive action only. Hence, the Supreme Court, had no jurisdiction, under Article 126 of the Constitution, to entertain the application, which should be rejected.

The DSG also said that Article 99 A of the Constitution, explained the way MPs should be selected to Parliament, consequent to a general election. If therefore, a seat fell vacant, due to the demise of an MP, that vacancy could be filled under Section 64 (5), of the Parliamentary Elections Special Provisions Act.

The Secretary General of Parliament had duly, informed the Elections Commission of the demise of MP, M. K. D. S. Gunawardena of the UNP. The Commission had contacted the Secretary of the UNP. He had suggested Sarath Fonseka, who was in the UNP, at that time. Hence the selection of Fonseka was justified, DSG Pulle contended.

The petitioner, the Centre for Policy Alternative, complained that Fonseka, had not been in the UNP National List before the general election held on August 17, 2015; he contested the polls as a member of the Democratic Party. Hence, the UNP could not appoint him to Parliament via the National List.

Faiz Mustapa PC, appeared with Upul Jayasuriya, Sri Kanthan and Neranjan Arulpragasam for the second respondent, Sarath Fonseka.

Counsel, Viran Corea, appeared for the petitioner.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice, K. Sripavan, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice Nalin Perera.