The Court of Appeal dismissed with costs the writ petition filed by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd seeking the cancellation of the Monetary Board directive limiting the transactions carried out by the company and its two subsidiaries.
The Court of Appeal Bench comprising Rohini Walgama and S. Thurairaja decided to uphold the preliminary objection raised by the Attorney General on the maintainability of the petition on the basis of it being technically flawed.
Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd, a primary dealer specialising in the intermediary government security market, had filed a Writ Petition before the Court of Appeal seeking an order quashing the directions of the Monetary Board imposing restriction on it.
Senior Counsel for Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd S.A. Parathalingam, when the matter came up for mention, brought to the notice of the court that the impugned directives expired on March 31 and fresh directives have been issued by the Central Bank and said directives did not cover all the subject matters.
He moved to withdraw the petition with liberty to file fresh application.
Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilake who appeared for the Monetary Board and the Attorney General raised objection against the withdrawal. He submitted that no directives had been issued and there was no document before the Court to establish it.
He said the existing directives had been suspended for two months and maintained that the 1st Petitioner Company the Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd did not exist and the 2nd and 3rd Petitioners were companies that operated as holdings companies of the 1st Petitioner.
He maintained the Counsel for the Petitioners had no standing before the Court and contended in the above legal background they have no right to withdraw their Writ Petition.
He insisted that the withdrawal should not be allowed and pleaded that the petition should be dismissed because the 1st petitioner was a non existing company.
Counsel Parathalingam PC counter argued that the original company Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd changed its name to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd in 2013 and maintained that it was merely change of name.
He said he had never heard a submission of this nature and that it was ridiculous for the Counsel for the Attorney General seeking not to permit withdrawal.
He underlined the petition could be dismissed after a finding and there must be a reason for it.
President’s Counsel S.A. Parathalingam on March 30 submitted the impugned Directives issued by the Central Bank imposing restrictions on Perpetual Treasuries Ltd was due to expire on March 31 and brought to the cognizance of Court it is the subject matter of the this application.
He had stated the Petitioners were before the Court seeking to quash the impugned Directives issued by the Central Bank on November 7 on the basis that the impugned Directives are disproportionate, irrational, arbitrary and violated natural justice.
He had also submitted as the impugned Directives expired on March 31, he would reserve his right to take appropriate steps if fresh directives are issued.
He moved for time to notify the Court what steps he will take in regard to the present application.
Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilake appeared for Monetary Board and the Attorney General had informed Court he would reserve his right to object depending on the steps taken by the Petitioners’ Counsel.
Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd lamented that in the absence of no formal violation of procedure by it in the purported bond scandal, the true intentions of behind the issuing of the said Directions are mala fide and ultra vires of the regulatory powers of the Respondents.
It bemoaned that the impugned Directions are issued for extraneous reasons in order to satisfy the media and political agendas.
It stated that if the said impugned Directions are in force Perpetual Group of Companies will suffer grave and irremediable financial loss and will be driven to bankruptcy.
The Petitioners Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd, Perpetual Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd and Perpetual Capital Holdings (Pvt) Ltd cited Central Bank, Monetary Board and 11 others as Respondents.
Instructed by G.G.Arulpragasam, President’s Counsel S.A.Parathalingam with Niskhan Parathalingam and Niranjan Arulpragasam appeared for Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd while instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam, Nihal Fernando PC with Romali Tudawe and Maduka Perera appeared for Perpetual Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd and Perpetual Capital Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. Faisz Musthapha PC with Faiza Markar instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha appeared for Central Bank. (By S.S.Selvanayagam & Shehan Chamika Silva)