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“Dismiss application for quo warranto” : Romesh de Silva pleads before CA

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President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva has pleaded with the Court of Appeal to dismiss the application for quo warranto.

He made this plea in the Court of Appeal while raising preliminary objection to the application for a quo warranto filed against Mahinda Rajapaksa holding the office of Prime Minister.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for Minister Udaya Gammanpila argued that the Court of Appeal does not have the jurisdiction to hear this matter since it relates with the Parliamentary affairs. This application cannot be maintained since the President and the Speaker have not been made as parties.

He continued that the Court of Appeal should not hear the matter as the prevailing matter was to be determined in the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear the petition, when the connected issue was before the Supreme Court and it was to be argued on December 4, 5, 6, they argued.

He further submitted that the reference to the no-confidence motion had no legal basis and was not acceptable. The alleged no-confidence motion against Mahinda Rajapksa was false. The Speaker never said motion for the No Confidence Motion was carried. What transpired in Parliament can be examined through the video footage officially released by Parliament website. A Quo Warranto cannot be issued based on the uncorrected version of Parliament proceedings (Hansard reports). If court issues an Interim Order, country would be in anarchy. There will be no Prime Minister or Cabinet of Ministers to govern the country.

The bench comprised Justice Preethi Padman Soorasena and Justice Arjuna Obeysekera.

In this application is for an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that 49 respondents including the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the incumbent government are not entitled to hold the office of ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

The petitioners are the Members of Parliament representing the United National Party, Tamil National Alliance, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and several other parties. 49 persons including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers are respondents.

The petitioners stated that on November 14, 2018, Parliament passed a vote of no-confidence against the purported government of the Respondents. They further stated that on November 16, Parliament passed another Vote of No-Confidence against the Government. They maintained that in terms of Article 48 of the Constitution, the Cabinet stood dissolved from November 14, 2018.

 

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