The Supreme Court has refused to issue an interim order sought by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) directing the Ceylon Electricity Board to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the period of the Advanced Level examination.
The Supreme Court’s three-judge bench, comprising Justices Gamini Amarasekara, Kumuduni Wickremasinghe, and Shiran Goonaratne, made this order when the contempt of court application filed by the HRCSL was called before the court for support.
President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, appearing for the HRCSL, moved the court that an order be issued directing the CEB to further extend its undertaking regarding the power cut.
President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for the CEB raised objections for the request and said the undertaking was given until the matter was supported before Court. He said there is no necessity for further extending the undertaking since the matter has been taken up for support.
Meanwhile, Upul Jayasuriya PC alleged that CEB has violated the provisions of the settlement arrived at before the Human Rights Commission with regard to the continuous supply of power during the period pertaining to the Advanced Level Examination, commencing from January 23 to February 17, 2023.
However, the court was informed that the representative of the CEB Chairman had given their consent for uninterrupted power supply before HRCSL, subject to obtaining the board of directors’ approval.
Justice Gamini Amarasekara questioned the petitioner HRCSL as to how it expects relief from the respondents while accusing them of contempt of court.
Deputy Solicitor General Kanishka de Silva, appearing for the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, said the HRCSL has no power to issue directives but to make recommendations.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) had filed a contempt of court application before the Supreme Court against the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, and the Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for their failure to comply with the settlement to provide uninterrupted electricity for A/L students during the exam period.
The HRCSL maintained that the respondents, including the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, are guilty of the offense of contempt under the provisions of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act No. 21 of 1996.
The HRCSL further said the blatant disregard of the respondent to provide an uninterrupted electricity supply during the examination period is a violation of students’ right to education, which is recognized as a fundamental right in the constitution.
This petition was fixed for further support on February 7.


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