Censorship regulations before Court
[TamilNet, Friday, 03 December 1999, 12:42 GMT]
The Emergency Regulations relating to censorship of war news are ultra vires of the constitution, as they violate the right to know and the right of free expression, Senior Counsel R. K. W. Gunasekera told the Supreme Court today.
He was addressing Court in support of a petition that challenges the legality of the censorship imposed by the Government.
Mr. Gunasekera argued that during the ongoing presidential Poll campaign, the war will be a key issue. Voters were entitled to know the details in order to form their views and thereafter exercise their franchise, he said.
Mr. Gunasekera continued that the relevant Emergency Regulations were unreasonable and arbitrary.
The petitioner is Sumitha Abeysekera, President of the Movement for Inter Racial Justice and Equality.
The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed and put off the hearing until February 25, 2000.
R. K. W. Gunasekera with Suranjith Hewawena and J. C. Welliamuna appeared for the petitioner.
The Bench comprised of Justices Dr. D. R. B. Amerasinghe, S. Wadugodapitiya and D. P. S. Gunasekera.