SC hearing on polls postponed after opening day submissions

The hearing at the Supreme Court (SC) on multiple Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed against the date set by the Elections Commission to hold the General Election was postponed for tomorrow after submissions were made on the opening day today.

President’s Counsel M.A Sumanthiran, appearing on behalf of one petitioner, Charitha Gunaratne today explained what Parliament is, and what it means and spoke on the British Parliamentary traditions which he said are very much part of Sri Lankan law.

He further noted that that President’s power to dissolve Parliament has conditions attached to it. He said that the President’s power to dissolve Parliament for early elections comes with restrictions as stipulated in Article 70(5).

Sumanthiran told court that if the proclamation to dissolve Parliament did not specify the date of elections, and the date of summoning of the new Parliament, as required by Art. 70(5) that proclamation would be void ab initio.

He told court that since there is no new Parliament now as the date for Parliament to convene, as per the the proclamation has expired, the proclamation to dissolve Parliament is now void.

Sumanthiran also told court that the Election Commission was blind of the Constitution by fixing the elections on 20th June.

Attorney at Law Charitha Gunaratne, the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), journalist Victor Ivan, and the Samagi Jana Balawegaya filed Fundamental Rights petitions over the date of the election. (Colombo Gazette)

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