Rakitha Abhayaratne on 8 August, 2022

The Centre for Policy Alternatives and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu vs. The Attorney General [SC FR 262/ 2022]

Categories: DocumentsPublic Interest Litigation
 

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed a Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulations No.1 of 2022 gazetted by Extraordinary Gazette No 2289/07 dated 18th July 2022.

CPA had previously raised concerns about the declaration of State of Emergency and provided a commentary on Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulations No.1 of 2022. A State of Emergency was declared in two previous instances this year, on 1st April 2022 and 6th May 2022. On both occasions, the former President did not cause the proclamations declaring the said States of Emergency to be placed before Parliament for its approval. Thus neither of such Proclamations was approved by Parliament. Accordingly, Dr. Saravanamuttu had previously challenged this mala fide declaration of the State of Emergency (of May 2022) and the unconstitutional and overbroad Emergency Regulations.

The Petitioners argue that the power of the Executive to make Emergency Regulations must be exercised reasonably and proportionately. Furthermore, it was submitted that in addition to the concerns raised about specific Emergency Regulations, as a whole the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No.1 of 2022 are overbroad and vague and undermine the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

The Petitioners further stated that the regulations contained in Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulation No.1 of 2022 do not address the economic and political crisis faced by the country and have been designed and/or promulgated with the collateral purpose of stifling dissent and the freedom of assembly and not to address any legitimate public security concern.