During the hearing on the Quo Warranto Writ Petition against holding of the posts of Prime Minister and other ministers by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and MPs supporting him, Senior Counsel Gamini Marapana PC yesterday contended that the Court of Appeal could not grant interim relief prayed by the Petitioners as the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.
The Bench comprising Justices P.Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeysekera yesterday took up the petition of Writ of Quo Warranto disputing the holding of office by Prime Minster Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 Ministers.
Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana appearing for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa submitted that the Supreme Court had already issued an Interim Order proclamation on the dissolution of Parliament.
He stated the Supreme Court had issued the interim Order operative till December 7 and fixed the matter for hearing on December 4, 5 and 6 and that the Interim Order was a temporary one staying the operation of the proclamation of dissolving the Parliament by the President.
If this court grants the Interim Order as prayed by the Petitioners and the Supreme Court vacate interim order, there would be a complex problem, he argued.
K.Kanag Iswaran PC with Suren Fernando appeared for the Petitioners.
Romesh de Silva PC, Manohara de Silva PC, Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC, Ali Sabry PC, Kushan Alwis PC appeared for the Ministers.
The Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto (a writ or legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office or franchise is held, claimed, or exercised) was filed by Purported Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his purported Ministers as well as Parliamentarians of diverse parties totaling 122 petitioners.
Petitioners seek a mandate from the Court requiring the Respondents to show by what authority they claim to function as Prime Minister and/or Ministers and/or Deputy Ministers.
They also the Court for a declaration that the Respondents are not entitled to hold the office of Prime Ministers and Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
They are asking the Court to restrict the Respondents from functioning as Prime Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers until the final determination and hearing of their application.
Petitioners in their petition state as follows:
“On 14th November 2018, Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence against the purported government of the Respondents.
“On 15th November 2018, Parliament convened again and the Speaker stated the in view of the no-confidence vote passed on 14th November 2018, there was, among other things, no government and that he did not recognize Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister.
“On 16th November 2018, because the Respondents purportedly continued to function in office, Parliament passed another vote of no-confidence against the government.
“Therefore under and in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, the Cabinet stood dissolved from 14th November 2018” Petitioners claims.
They dismay that His Excellency the President notwithstanding the dissolution of Cabinet continues to lawfully be in charge of Ministries of Defence and of Mahawali Development and Environment.
They complain that the in view of the fact that the purported Ministers are unlawful, illegitimate and purported to exercise government power in direct violation of express provision of the Constitution.
They caution that a state of anarchy and chaos would ensue in the country given that the purported Government ha lost two votes of no-confidence and does no command a majority in Parliament. (S.S.Selvanayagam)