By T.Farook Thajudeen
A petition filed by the General Secretary of the Democratic United National Party, Ariyawansa Dissanayake in the Supreme Court for the postponement of the General Election due to the current situation in the country being inconducive for conducting a poll due to the Covid -19 Pandemic.
The petitioner cited nine respondents including members of the Election Commission, Saman Sri Ratnayake, Mahinda Deshapriya, Prof. R. Hoole, President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and the Attorney General as respondents to the petition.
The petitioner by the petition had prayed to make an order on the 2nd respondent-Mahinda Deshapriya, the 3rd respondent N.J.Abeysekera PC and the 4th respondent all members of the Election Commission to stay all and any further steps taken by them such as allocating of preference numbers to the candidates in relation to the Parliamentary Election until the final determination of the application.
The petitioner had pleaded court to order the 6th respondent Dr Anil Jasinghe to submit an Affidavit to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respondents once there is satisfactory control of the Covid-19 Pandemic in order to conduct a poll without any risk. The petitioner also contends that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has an obligation to uphold and defend the Constitution Hence whenever there is a difficulty to do so to call upon the consultative Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under provisions of Article 129(1) of the Constitution for it’s opinion. The petitioner also prays to declare that the incumbent President can run the country without the Parliament only for three months as per Article 70(1), 70(5 (c) and 32 (3) of the Constitution . He emphasizes that the President has no power whatsoever to run the country for a period more than three months from the date of the Proclamation of the dissolution of the Parliament. The Petitioner further states that the circumstances presently prevailing in the country from mid March2020 up to date has given rise to a state that coming within the meaning of the word “Emergency” as is in Article 70 (7) of the Constitution. Therefore he prays to declare that the President had failed or had neglected to act as per Article 70 (7) of the Constitution.
The petition was filed by Attorney-at–law Muditha T. D. Ekanayake.