Oct 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court today postponed the hearing of a writ petition filed by the major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance against the approval of controversial Divineguma Bill by the Governor of the Northern Province Council.
A three-judge panel headed by the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake today decided to postpone the hearing of the petition till October 22.
The petition filed by TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah questions the Northern Province governor's authority to approve the bill on behalf of the Northern Province Council which still does not have a democratically elected administration.
The petition describes the move as a violation of the fundamental rights of the province's people saying that the draft bill should be approved by a provincial council elected by the people, and the approval by the Governor, who is a state official, was irrelevant.
The petition, initially filed at the Colombo Appeal court, was later referred to the Supreme Court.
Attorney-at-Law S.L. Gunasekera appearing on behalf of the respondents said that he has not yet received the copies of the petition.
Meanwhile, the apex court postponed a petition filed by the nationalist party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) challenging the TNA petition.
Accordingly, the petition filed by JHU will be heard on the 18th.
Another three petitions were filed before the Supreme Court today by 5 political parties challenging the controversial bill which proposes the establishment of a new Divineguma Department by amalgamating the Samurdhi Authority, Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority.