Removing power of dissolution seeks to cannibalize Constitution: Counsel

President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena in his submission stated that what the Petitioners invoke to the Court is to distort the Constitution virtually to cannibalize it and to take away the check and balance by removing the power of dissolution of Parliament by the President.

Counsel Jayawardena appearing for Intervenient Petitioner Prof.
G.L.Peiris of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) made his submission before the Supreme Court Bench of seven judges on the fundamental rights petition against the declaration of dissolution of Parliament by President.

Ten fundamental rights petitions against the declaration of dissolution of Parliament came up before the Bench Comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando.

President’s Counsel Jayawardena continuing his submission said they are doing so by invoking merely a proviso and to ignore main substantive Articles 62(2) and 33(2)(C ) of the Constitution which goes to substantiate the power to President to dissolve Parliament.

Petitioners wrongfully advocated to the cannibalization of the Constitution and virtually extracting the teeth of power of the President engaging in the process of surgical transplant of mere proviso in a complete different Chapter of the Constitution and transpose that proviso artificially to a different Chapter of the Constitution, he said.

It also makes a mockery of the sovereign right of the people vested in the President to use the process of dissolution in a fit case by as check and balance of Parliament, he stated.

This is important in a situation where there is a complete breakdown of Parliamentary function as well as irresolvable impasse and a total breakdown of governance which ultimately affects the people of the country and constituency, he added.

Only way to resolve to resolve the crisis is to re-impose the franchise of the people by directing the conduct of a general election for the governance can duly resume otherwise ultimately the people not the politicians who are affected, and the people can be made to suffer the breakdown of governance, he said.

There were 10 fundamental rights petition filed against the declaration of dissolution of Parliament by the President. Five sought to intervene to counter the main petitions.

Petitions seek a declaration that proclamation of dissolving Parliament infringes the fundamental rights.

They ask the Court for a declaration that the decisions and/or directions in the proclamation is null and void ab initio (ineffective from the beginning) and of no force or effect in law.

The petitions were filed by Kabir Hashim and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam of UNP, Lal Wijenayeke of United Left Front, CPA, Member of the Election Commission Prof. Ratnajeevan. H. Hoole, Attorney-at-Law G.C.T. Perera, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Mano Ganesan MP.

K.Kanag Iswaran PC, Thilak Marapana PC, Dr Jayampathi Wickremaratne PC, M.A.Sumanthiran PC. Viran Corea, Ikram Mohamed PC, J.C.Weliamuna PC, Ronald Perera PC, Hisbullah Hijaz and Suren Fernando appeared for the petitioners.

Gamini Marapane PC with Nalin Marapane, Sanjeeva Jayawardane PC and Ali Sabry PC appeared for the intervenient petitioners opposing the main petitions. (S.S.Selvanayagam)