Four law suits before the SC!

– The Sudar Oli Editorial

(September 23, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Four law suits that are of national importance are before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

In one of these law suits, President Rajapakse is cited as a respondent and the SC hearing the case issued a notice notwithstanding an application by the Attorney General that no notice should be issued since the Chief Executive enjoys immunity.

One of the law suits seeks a declaratory order from the Supreme Court calling upon the President to appoint the Constitutional Council and activate the 17th amendment. The appointment of the constitutional council can pave the way for the functioning of independent commissions for overseeing the conduct of elections and the healthy functioning of the judiciary, police and public administration.

When the matter was taken up in the SC, the Attorney General raised objection that no notice could be issued on the chief executive for he enjoys immunity. But the court rejected it on the basis that everyone is equal in the eyes o the law. This is the first occasion on which notice is issued on the President under the present constitution.

Another law suit by the Centre for Policy Alternatives challenging the Gazette notification issued by the President giving him authority to extend the retirement age of any public servant beyond the age of 60 years is also before the SC.

In this petition, the Centre for Policy Alternatives states that the authority vested in the President is arbitrary and against the law.

A law suit that challenges the detention order detaining a person for 18 months as opposed to 90 days under the Emergency Regulation is also to be taken up before the Supreme Court.

Finally, the hearing of the fundamental rights application by the Ceylon Workers’ Congress also is to come up for hearing. In this case, it is learnt that an undertaking was given, when the earlier eviction of Tamils from Colombo was challenged that such discriminatory practices would not be adopted in the future.

(An English translation of the Editorial in the Sudar Oli, a Tamil daily based in Colombo.)
- Sri Lanka Guardian