The Court of Appeal today further extended its interim order directing Secretary General of Parliament (SGP) to maintain status quo (maintain existing state of affairs) regarding the parliamentary seat of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Gampaha District Parliamentarian  Ranjan Ramanayake. This interim order will be effective until March 18.

Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice (President) Arjuna Obeysekera and Justice MayadunnaCorea made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by Ranjan Ramanayake claiming his right to function as a Parliamentarian.

This petition is to be taken up for further support on March 18.

Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appearing for the Attorney General raised preliminary objections challenging the maintainability of this writ petition. She submitted to court that the petitioner cannot invoke Court’s jurisdiction since Secretary General of Parliament has performed his ministerial duties as per the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, convicting Ramanayake for committing the offence of contempt of court.

President’s Counsel Faiz Mustapha PC appearing for the petitioner Ramanayake argued that contempt of court is not an offence considered as a criminal offence and thereby his parliamentary seat would not be vacated.

On January 11, the Supreme Court convicted Ranjan Ramanayake for the offence of contempt of court and sentenced him to a term of four years rigorous imprisonment.

Ranjan Ramanayake is seeking an order restraining Secretary General of Parliament from taking any steps to inform the Election Commission that he has vacated his seat as a Member of Parliament.

Ramanayake stated that irreparable harm and damage will be caused to him unless the interim relief is granted to the Petitioner inasmuch as he will be deprived of functioning as a Member of Parliament.


The Petitioner further stated that the People’s franchise would also be adversely affected if he is wrongfully prevented as functioning as a representative of his electorate.

Ramanayake alleged that Secretary General of Parliament has not taken any step in terms of section 64 (c) of the Parliamentary Elections Act in respect of Premalal Jayasekara who was elected as a Member of Parliament from the SLPP which is presently the governing party and continues to sit and vote as a Member of Parliament despite his conviction of the offence of murder and has been imposed a sentence of death.

He alleged that Secretary General of Parliament would be acting illegally, unlawfully, and inter alia in violation of Article 12(1) and Article 12(2) of the Constitution which guarantee the Petitioner the equal protection of the law and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of political opinion.


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