Supreme Court issues stay order on dissolution of Parliament
Posted on November 13th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

The Supreme Court has issued a stay order temporarily suspending the Gazette notification issued by the President on the dissolution of Parliament.

The highest court in the country also issued a stay order on the Elections Commission preventing the holding of a general election.

The stay orders have been issued effective until December 7.

Delivering its much-anticipated decision regarding the fundamental rights petitions filed challenging the president’s decision to dissolve parliament and calling for fresh polls, the three-member judge bench decided to take up the petitions for hearing.

The case has been fixed for argument on December 4, 5 and 6.

The decision was announced by the judge bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Supreme Court judges Priyantha Jayawardena and Prasanna Jayawardena after two days of deliberation.

The Supreme Court had concluded the consideration of petitions at around 3.30 p.m today after which court was adjourned until 5.00 p.m. while the decision of the court was announced moments ago.

Thirteen fundamental rights petitions were filed at the Supreme Court asking it to declare that the President’s order to dissolve the parliament is illegal.

The petitions have been filed by political parties including United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) and the All Ceylon People’s Congress.

Organisations and activists such as the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Attorney Aruna Laksiri and also a member of Elections Commission Prof. S. R. H. Hoole have also filed petitions.

The Attorney General this morning requested the Supreme Court to dismiss all petitions filed against the dissolution of Parliament as the President’s decision is consistent with the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, making submissions to the court when hearings of the petitions resumed today, stated that the Gazette notification issued by the President dissolving the Parliament was constitutional and that the President had done so through the executive powers vested in him.

The Attorney General referred to article 33 (2) (c) in the 19th Amendment, which states in addition to the powers, duties and functions expressly conferred or imposed on, or assigned to the President by the Constitution or other written law, the President shall have the power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament.”

Meanwhile intervene petitions filed challenging the fundamental rights petitions were also taken up for consideration by the court today.

Several individuals including ministers Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and former minister G.L. Peiris had filed the intervene petitions supporting President’s decision to dissolve the parliament.

2 Responses to “Supreme Court issues stay order on dissolution of Parliament”

  1. Charles Says:

    I think the court order does not affect any thing other than the dissolution of the Parliament. Perhaps the President may make his ceremonial speech . Perhaps they can even elect another speaker unless the Speaker Karu J has changed with such a lot of public criticism against him. Ranil cannot be re elected the Prime Minister as there is no cour order for that. .There is no Yahapalanaya Cabinet and thats it. The President copuld even prorogue the Parliament until December 7th.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    This Supreme Court Decision by (ONLY) THREE Supreme Court Judges is an INTERIM (TEMPORARY) INJUNCTION to halt ALL POLITICAL ACTIVITY related to the DISSOLUTION of Parliament and the HOLDING of NEW Parliamentary ELECTIONS.

    Here are my thoughts on the IMPACT of this ORDER, and the REMEDIES available to the New Govt.

    The TEMPORARY INJUNCTION APPLIES TO ALL PARTIES to the DISPUTE; not only the Govt.

    THEREFORE, the Govt cannot PROCEED with the NEW ELECTIONS, the Parliament is TEMPORARILY NOT-DISSOLVED, and it CANNOT RESUME SESSIONS either!

    RESUMING SESSIONS would be TANTAMOUNT to VIOLATING the TEMPORARY INJUNCTION issued by the Supreme Court!

    In particular, as he has threatened to do, the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya cannot organize a VOTE COUNT to show who has the Parliamentary majority, without FLOUTING the TEMPORARY INJUNCTION himself. Besides, only the President can CONVENE and CLOSE the Parliament; NOT the Speaker!

    Also, the Govt will APPEAL the Supreme Court Decision, in particular the LIFTING of the TEMPORARY INJUNCTION issued by the 3 judges.

    Furthermore, they are likely to also ask for a decision by the FULL Supreme Court comprising 11 judges in case they suspect that the 3 judge panel is BIASED!

    Finally, as Neville points out, in our Presidential Democracy, the FINAL EXECUTIVE Power lies with the President, NOT the Supreme Court. While no President likes to IGNORE an order of the Supreme Court, he CAN & DOES SO in certain National Emergencies like the PRESENT ONE.

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