Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara today filed a contempt of court case against the Treasury Secretary for alleged failure to comply with the Supreme Court order issued regarding the local government elections.

The SJB General Secretary is seeking an order to charge Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana for contempt of court under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

On March 3, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing the Treasury Secretary and any other state official from withholding any funds allocated for the purpose of conducting local government elections in 2023. This order had been issued pursuant to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara.

The petitioner states that, by letter dated March 7, 2023, the Chairman of the Elections Commission, on behalf of the Elections Commission, requested the respondent Treasury Secretary to release funds amounting to a sum of Rs. 1100 million in order to conduct the local authorities elections on April 25, 2023, as per the interim orders issued by the Supreme Court on March 3, 2023.

The petitioner further states that by letter dated March 7, 2023, the Treasury Secretary apprised the Chairman of the Elections Commission that, as per the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, the funds requested by the Chairman of the Elections Commission will be released only upon the approval of the Minister of Finance.

The petitioner states that the letter of the Treasury Secretary blatantly demonstrates the contemptuous attitude and willful disregard of the Respondent towards the interim orders made by the Supreme Court. This petition had been filed through Attorney-at-Law Sampath Wijewardena.


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