The Supreme Court today granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by a retired Army Colonel challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold the local government elections.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench, comprising Justices S. Thurairaja, A.H.M.D. Nawaz, and Shiran Goonaratne, decided to refuse preliminary objections raised by the Election Commission challenging the maintainability of the petition.

President’s Counsel Faisz Mustapha, appearing for the petitioner, Colonel Wijesundera, said the Election Commission’s decision to hold the local government election was contrary to the law as it ignored the delimitation process and electoral reforms.

President’s Counsel Saliya Pieris, appearing for the Election Commission, raised preliminary objections on several grounds and moved the court to dismiss the petition at the outset. He submitted to the court that the petitioner has failed to name the necessary parties to the petition. He further contended that the petitioner has no legal capacity (locus standi) to institute action as he has not revealed the facts to the effect that he is a registered voter for the upcoming local government election.

The Supreme Court fixed the petition for argument for February 14 next year.

In his petition, Colonel Wijesundera sought an order quashing the decision of the Election Commission to hold the local government elections to be held on March 10. President’s Counsel Faisz Mustapha, with Counsel Faisza Mustapha Markar, Eraj de Silva, and Sujeewan Hendavitharana, appeared for the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Treasury Secretary.