The Supreme Court yesterday ordered to dismiss all appeals filed by 69 local government representatives challenging the United National Party (UNP) decision to expel them from party membership.

The UNP arrived at this conclusion, following their decision to support Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) during the last General Election.

President’s Counsel Ronald Perera appearing for UNP, the respondent party in the petitions, raised preliminary objections citing that the affidavits on the appeals had been filed contrary to the Supreme Court rules. He moved Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal petitions in limine, since petitions filed are contrary to the Supreme Court rules.

Having considered the objections, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Vijith Malalgoda, Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice S. Thurairaja, dismissed all petitions at the inception.

On May 21, the Court of Appeal had ordered to dismiss the writ petitions filed by 69 local government representatives upholding preliminary objections raised by UNP, stating the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to hear these cases since they deal with Local Government Elections.

These petitioners are Local Government members representing  Gampola Municipal Councilor Anura Shantha Kumara and several Colombo Municipal Councilors, naming UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, its former General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and members of its working committee as respondents.

The petitioners stated that they supported the Samagi Jana Balawewa led by Sajith Premadasaduring the last election. The petitioners state that the UNP Working Committee has decided to expel them from the party membership illegally without conducting a proper disciplinary inquiry.



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