NUA Batticaloa list challenge dismissed
[TamilNet, Monday, 09 October 2000, 15:44 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Court of Appeal Monday dismissed an application challenging the National Unity Alliance (NUA) nomination for the Batticaloa district. The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) candidate, Mr.N.Indrakumar, filed a writ application requesting the court to issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the Commissioner of Elections and the Returning Officer to reject the nomination paper of the NUA. Justice Asoka de Silva made this order upholding the preliminary objections raised by the counsel for the respondents.
The petitioner stated that when he checked the copy of the nomination paper of the NUA, he found that the fourth respondent, Chelliah Rajadurai, was the first named on the nomination paper. Rajadurai, who was a well known politician in Batticaloa and former Cabinet Minister in the then UNP government as well as Sri Lanka's former High Commissioner in Malaysia, is currently living in Malaysia.
The petitioner stated that he was reliably informed that Rajadurai was not in Colombo on September 3, the day on which he was said to have consented to contest the election and signed the nomination paper.
Indrakumar cited Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake, R.Mounagurusamy, Returning Officer of the Batticaloa district, Rauff Hakeem, General Secretary of the NUA, Chelliah Rajadurai and seven other NUA candidates as respondents.
Deputy Solicitor General, K.Sripavan in his preliminary objections stated that the Parliamentary Elections Act did not provide for an inquiry by the Returning Officer with regard to the acceptance of the nomination paper. If the nomination paper was in the form set out in the Act and in compliance with Section 19 of the Act, the Returning Officer was not empowered to reject it. He also stated that in any event the signature of the candidate had been placed in the presence of Justice of the Peace.
President's Counsel Faiz Musthapa who appeared for the Mr.Rauff Hakeem said that the petitioner had filed this application on September 19 and the petitioner has an effective alternative remedy by a way of Writ of Quo Warranto. Mr.Musthapa further submitted that the petitioner did not lodge any objections before the Returning Officer with regard to the validity of the nomination paper.
The objections of the respondents' counsel was upheld, and the application dismissed.