UNP expulsions 'invalid in law' - lawyer
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 January 2000, 20:30 GMT]
The expulsion of Dr Sarath Amunugama and other members from the opposition United National Party has been deemed invalid by Senior Counsel E. D. Wickremanayake at a hearing before the Supreme Court.
Mr Wickremanayake said it had no basis in law as no inquiry was held, no charge sheet served and no explanation given for the expulsions.
The court was hearing the law suit filed by the plaintiffs challenging their expulsion.
The Bench comprised Acting Chief Justice Dr Amaratunga, Justice Ameer Ismail and Justice Shiranie Bandaranayake.
Mr Wickremanayake submitted that the petitioners were informed in writing that the working Committee of the UNP at its meeting held on November 8, 1999 had resolved to expel them from the Party with immediate effect.
Under the Party's constitution, the working Committee mandatory has to appoint a disciplinary Committee to inquire into allegations against party members.
The petitioners were not given reason why they were being expelled and no charge sheet was served on them. The expulsion, therefore, was a gross violation of the Party's constitution and of the principles of natural justice, the Court ruled.
The petitioners are now seeking a declaration to annul their expulsion from the Party, Mr Wickremanayake concluded.
The hearing continues.