Court stays PA’s expulsion of SLMC MPs
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 August 2001, 21:48 GMT]
The Colombo District Judge Wednesday issued an enjoining order restraining the ruling People's Alliance PA) General Secretary and his disciplinary committee from taking steps to expel three Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) MPs from parliament.
The District Judge Mr.Sunil Rajapakse issued the order when the case filed by three parliamentarians Mr.M.S.M.Thowfeek (Trincomalee), Mr.A.T.Athaullah ( Ampara) and Mr.Risvie Sinnalebbe (National List) was taken up for inquiry Wednesday. They said in their petition “they are members of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Hence the People's Alliance has no right to expel them from parliament as the SLMC is a constituent party of the ruling People's Alliance”
The Disciplinary Committee appointed by the General Secretary of the ruling PA is scheduled to meet Thursday to take a decision on the future of these three parliamentarians as the two weeks notice given to these MPs by the PA General Secretary to show cause why they should not be expelled from parliament for crossing over to opposition expires then.
The PA's position is that “these three parliamentarians contested and won the October 2000 general election under the symbol of People's Alliance. Therefore they are still members of Peoples' Alliance.”
However the SLMC (Hakeem wing) argues that “though they contested in the PA ticket, they are members of the SLMC, which has signed a memorandum of understanding with the PA to contest the last general election. According to the MOU, Peoples' Alliance has no legal right to expel SLMC parliamentarians who contested under the symbol of PA.”
The stay order by the District Court has now restrained the Disciplinary Committee of the PA from taking any decision in regard to these MPs until their case is determined. Further hearing has been fixed for September 5
Last week the Court of Appeal extended its stay order on the Commissioner of Elections and the Secretary General of Parliament from accepting any letters from Ms Ferial Ashraff as President of National Unity Alliance in regard to the expulsion of these three parliamentarians from parliament. In this case further inquiry was fixed for September 25.