The Supreme Court today granted leave to proceed with three fundamental rights petitions filed challenging the legality of the proclamation declaring a state of emergency issued by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Supreme Court decided to grant leave to proceed with the petition over an alleged violation of articles 12(1), 13(1), and 14(1) of the Constitution.

The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed this petition challenging the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by Gazette Extraordinary No. 2278/22 dated Friday, May 6, 2022, and the Emergency Regulation No. 1 of 2022.

The petitioner stated that the declaration of a state of emergency is a violation of freedom of expression, assembly, and other democratic rights.

In his petition, Dr Saravanamuttu argued that as of May 6, 2022, there were no circumstances in the country that could reasonably support the decision of the President to declare a state of emergency. He also emphasizes that, within a period of two months, the president declared a state of emergency twice and, on both occasions, did not cause the proclamations declaring the said states of emergency to be placed before Parliament.

Accordingly, it was submitted that the said state of emergency was promulgated in bad faith and with the ulterior purpose of preventing peaceful protests by citizens calling for the president’s resignation.




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