Centre for Policy Alternatives on 5 May, 2011

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu Vs. Mahinda Deshapriya (SC FR 161/2011)

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This case was filed on 5th May 2011 by Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of CPA. The Petitioner who is a resident of Colombo and a registered voter on the electoral register who is entitled to vote at elections to the Colombo Municipal Council. The subject matter of this application concerns the failure of the Elections Commissioner to hold elections in respect of the Colombo Municipal Council in terms of Sections 24 and 25 of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance read with Sections 10 and 11 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance.

The Petitioner further stated that the failure of the Elections Commissioner to hold the election in accord with the applicable laws amounts to a continuing infringement of his right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law guaranteed by Section 12(1) of the Constitution as well as a violation of the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 14(1) of the Constitution.

The case was withdrawn by counsel, reserving the right to file a fresh application after the court indicated that written submissions should be filed before the court hears the matter on its merits, on the question of whether an affidavit firmed by the petitioner must necessarily state his religion. In view of the delay a preliminary inquiry may result in, counsel withdrew the application. A fresh petition was filed thereafter and is outlined in 5) below.