CA explains reasons for dismissing dual citizenship case

The Court of Appeal today explained the reasons for dismissing the dual citizenship case against former Defence Secretary and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa was accused of violating the Citizenship Act, the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, and the Elections Act by engaging in political activities back during the 2005 Presidential election while holding US citizenship.

Activists, Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda had filed the case in the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal however dismissed the case on 4th October and gave the reasons for dismissing the case today.

President of the Court of Appeal Yasantha Kodagoda and Court of Appeal judges Mahinda Samayawardhena and Arjuna Obeyesekere said that it is the view of this Court that the 6th Respondent (then President Mahinda Rajapaksa) as the repository of the Executive power of the people, had the legal authority in terms of the Constitution to sign the ‘Dual Citizenship Certificate’ of Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 21st November 2005 and that the argument of the Petitioners that the Dual Citizenship Certificate is a nullity therefore has no legal basis.

The Court also accepted the argument of the President’s Counsel that the Application was filed for collateral purposes and not a genuine public interest litigation filed by the Petitioners as “public spirited citizen[sJ concerned to see that the law is obeyed in the interest of all.

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