Sri Lanka’s SC hears case over voters' register

[TamilNet, Friday, 13 February 2004, 16:47 GMT]
The Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday took up the fundmental rights case filed by four Amparai voters over the use of voters' register compiled in 2000 in the local government elections, scheduled for February 21, and ordered the Commissioner of Elections to inform the difficulties he would face if the election were based on the 2002 voters’ register instead, and put off further inquiry for February 17, legal sources said.

The SC made the order when the Fundamental Rights application came up for inquiry Friday before a panel of three judges, with the Chief Justice, Mr.Sarath N.Silva, presiding, legal sources said.

At one stage of the inquiry, the Chief Justice remarked that the court could not allow new voters losing their franchise and there was no room in the law to obstruct new voters from casting their votes, legal sources said.

Mr.A.K.Mohammed Sameem and three other voters of Amparai district filed FR application in the SC, stating that, if elections to local authorities in the Amparai district are held on the 2000 voters register, more than ten thousand new voters, including the petitioners registered in the year 2002, would be deprived of their franchise, legal sources said.

The petitioners have sought an interim injunction on holding the elections to Kalmunai Municipal Council and Pradeshya Councils of Sammanthurai, Akkaraipattu, Pottuvil, Addalichchenai, Nintavur and Thirukovil, legal sources said

The petitioners further prayed the court to order 10 millions rupees as compensation for the loss of their franchise in the event elections are held on the 2000 voters’ register as scheduled on February 21, legal sources said

The petitioners have cited the Commissioner of Elections and three others as respondents in their action, sources said.

 

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