Two contempt of court cases filed by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara and National People’s Power Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath against the Treasury Secretary are to be heard today (30) before a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
These contempt of court cases had been filed against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana for alleged failure to comply with the Supreme Court order issued regarding the local government elections.
These two applications will be taken up before a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, Justice Vijith Malalgoda, and Justice Murdu Fernando.
The SJB General Secretary and NPP Parliamentarian are seeking an order to charge Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana with 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 Petitioners further state 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 petitioners state that the Treasury Secretary’s letter blatantly demonstrates the Respondent’s contemptuous attitude and willful disregard towards the interim orders made by the Supreme Court.


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