By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Court of Appeal (CA) yesterday fixed for October 2 and 3 the writ petition disputing the citizenship of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa before a three-judge-bench.
The CA fixed the matter for support and considering granting interim relief before a three-judge-bench comprising Justices Yasantha Kodagoda (President/CA), Arjuna Obeysekera and Mahinda Samayawardena.
Romesh de Silva PC informed court that they would raise preliminary objections on the maintainability of the petition.
Petitioners Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara cited the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration, the Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of Persons, the Internal and Home Affairs Minister, Ministry Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne, CID Director G.S. Abeysekara and CID Special Branch OIC Lalith Dissanayake as respondents.
Suren Fernando appeared for the petitioners while Romesh de Silva PC with Ali Sabry PC, Sugath Caldera, Ruwantha Cooray and Harith de Mel instructed by Sanath Wijewardene appeared for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana PC and Ganesh Dharmawardena appeared for Mahinda Rajapaksa. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General (AG).
Petitioners seek court to quash National Identity Card No: 194917210010 of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the decision to issue a Sri Lankan identity card to him. They also ask court to quash his passport and the purported decision to issue a Sri Lankan passport to him.
They seek an interim order to suspend the operation of his passport and NIC until the hearing and determination of their application. They seek to quash the purported dual citizenship certificate and purported decision to issue a dual citizenship certificate to him.
Moreover, the court had directed the petitioners to re-issue notices on the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration and the Commissioner General of the Department of Registration of Persons as they were not present in court.
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