Apr 05, Colombo: The Court of Appeal today (05) ordered the dismissal of a petition filed by former state minister and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake, who has been sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court, seeking a writ order preventing the annulment of his parliamentary seat.
The verdict was announced by a panel of judges comprising Justices Arjuna Obeysekera and Mayadunne Correa.
The bench accepted the Attorney General’s initial objection that the petition had no legal basis and decided to dismiss the petition without hearing it.
Announcing the verdict, Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal Arjuna Obeysekera stated that there is no legal basis in this petition. Accordingly, the petition will be dismissed, the judge said.
The Secretary General of Parliament and the Attorney General were named as respondents in the petition.
Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake, who is serving a prison sentence, had submitted a petition to the court through his lawyers stating that he had received information that there were plans to annul his parliament seat.
When the petition was considered earlier, President’s Counsel Faiz Mustafa, who appeared for Ranjan Ramanayake, stated in the court that the MP had been imprisoned on a charge of contempt of court and that there was no legal basis for revoking his seat under the Constitution as it was not a criminal offense.
However, Additional Solicitor General Indika Devamuni de Silva, appearing for the Attorney General, raised preliminary objections when considering the petition, pointing out that the Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by petitioner Ranjan Ramanayake.
The Additional Solicitor General who appeared for the Attorney General had requested the court to dismiss the petition without hearing it.
Accordingly, the court decided to dismiss the writ petition filed by SJB parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake.