Centre for Policy Alternatives on 30 November, 2018

Centre for Policy Alternatives V Attorney General [SC FR 353/2018] (Fundamental Rights Application challenging the dissolution of Parliament)

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12th November 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed papers challenging the proclamation (Gazette Extraordinary 2096/70) issued by President Sirisena purportedly dissolving the Eighth Parliament.

CPA’s position is firm that Article 70(1) of the Constitution read with Articles 33(2)(c) make it crystal clear that the President only has the power to dissolve Parliament once four years and six months have elapsed since the first sitting of the current Parliament, or if two thirds of Members of Parliament pass a resolution requesting dissolution. Since neither of these two conditions have been met, the President’s Proclamation is invalid.

Therefore, CPA categorically opposes this move as it is unconstitutional and ultra vires and accordingly filed papers seeking the annulment of this Proclamation.

Viran Corea, Bhavani Fonseka, Khyati Wikramanayake & Inshira Faliq instructed by R.M Balendra appeared for the petitioners.

Update I: Leave to proceed was granted and arguments were fixed on the 4,5,6 December before a seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court
Update II: On the 13th of December 2018, Supreme Court held unanimously that the Proclamation issued by the President on November 9 to dissolve Parliament and call for a General Election is ultra vires and unconstitutional.