6th June 2022. The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed a Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by Gazette Extraordinary No. 2278/22 dated Friday, 6th May 2022 and the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No.1 of 2022.
CPA had previously raised concerns about the declaration of state of emergency being a pretext to curtail the freedom of expression, assembly and other democratic rights. The manner in which indiscriminate arrests have taken place and use of Emergency Regulations over the past several weeks reinforced CPAs concerns and compelled CPA to take action to attempt to prevent further harm.
In his Petition Dr. Saravanamuttu argued that as of 6th May 2022, there were no circumstances in the country which could reasonably support the decision of the President to declare a State of Emergency. He also emphasises that within a period of two months the President declared a State of Emergency twice and on both occasions did not cause the proclamations declaring the said States of Emergency to be placed before Parliament. Accordingly, it was submitted that the said State of Emergency was promulgated in bad faith and with the ulterior purpose of preventing peaceful protests by citizens calling for the President’s resignation.
Dr. Saravanamuttu also states that as a whole the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No.1 of 2022 constitute an abrogation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution and that the said Emergency Regulations are overbroad and vague and do not constitute permissible restrictions of fundamental rights.