Sri Lanka’s Appeal Court postpones hearing Quo Warranto against Mahinda Rajapaksa and cabinet until January

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday postponed the hearing of the petition restraining controversially appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet of the purported government from functioning until next month.

The Appeal Court ordered to hear the Quo Warranto Writ filed by 122 Members of Parliamentarians on January 16, 17 and 18, 2019, when the petition was taken up before the two-judge bench of Chairman of the Appeals Court Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjun Obeysekera.

Parliamentarians of UNP, JVP and TNA on 23 November filed a Writ of Quo Warranto in the Court of Appeal challenging Mahinda Rajapaksa on continuing to hold the office of Prime Minister after a no confidence motion had been passed in Parliament against him.

When the petition was called today, attorneys appeared on behalf of the respondents Mahinda Rajapaksa and several others raised objections and stated that the petitioners had not properly submitted the relevant documents of the case to the respondents according to the Supreme Court rules.

The respondents’ lawyers requested the court to dismiss the petition as it was a violation of the Supreme Court Rules.

Chairman of the Appeals Court Preethi Padman Surasena in the open court informed the attorneys that such an order cannot be issued at this time and raise the objections at the appropriate time.

The respondents’ Attorneys informed the court that the only 17 out of the 49 respondents have been handed over the relevant documents and notices and the others have not yet received them.

Accordingly, the court ordered the petitioners to issue all the necessary notices and documents to the respondents again.

The court ordered the respondents to submit objections to the case on the 4th of January and the petitioners were ordered to submit counter -objections on January 11.

Thereafter, the court ordered that the petition to be heard on January 16, 17 and 18.

The petitioners say the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has no support from the parliamentary majority and the Speaker has confirmed that.

The petitioners claim that according to the 13th Amendment of the Constitution Mahinda Rajapaksa is not legally entitled to hold the Prime Minister post.

Therefore, the petitioners have requested the Court of Appeal to rule that Mahinda Rajapaksa was not entitled to hold the office of Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution and issue an order annulling his appointment.

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