Court refuses Election Commissioner challenge
[TamilNet, Monday, 13 December 1999, 21:47 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Court of appeal today refused an application for a writ of certiorari to quash the appointment of an acting Commissioner of Elections by President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
The Bench comprised Justice K.Yapa, Justice Asoka de Silva and Justice Upali Gunawardene The Court reserved its reasons.
Ravaya Deputy News Editor Newton Seneviratne and the former Air Vice Marshal filed the petitions challenging the legality of the appointment of Acting Commissioner of Elections.
Counsel for the petitioners, Manohara de Silva argued that the appointment was ultra vires the constitution.
The authority to appoint an Acting Elections Commissioner is vested with the commissioner of Elections under the Presidential Polls Act.
Mr.Manohara de Silva added that the President had thought it fit to appoint not a senior officer of the Elections department but an officer outside the department
This he said creates a reasonable apprehension that the Presidential Polls may not be fair and free.
Presidentís Counsel K.N.Choksy representing the UNP argued that the appointment made by the President was in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.