Nov 29, Colombo: A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today commenced the hearing of fundamental rights petitions filed seeking to quash the Cabinet decision to transfer 40% of the government-owned shares of the Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi Power Plant to U.S. Company New Fortress Energy.
The petitions are considered before a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and comprising Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda, LTB Dehideniya.
The petitions were filed by Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero, General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Wasantha Samarasinghe and Secretary of the Ceylon Electricity Board Ranjan Jayalal.
The petitions name 54 respondents including the Prime Minister and the cabinet, Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary to the Ministry of Energy, Public Utilities Commission and its Chairman, Ceylon Electricity Board and its Chairman, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and its Managing Director, West Coast Power Pvt. Ltd., New Fortress Energy, USA and the Attorney General.
Although the Attorney General appeared on behalf of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and other members of the Cabinet who are respondents to the petitions, President’s Counsel Uditha Igalahewa appeared privately on behalf of Cabinet Ministers Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila.
The three cabinet ministers, who oppose the agreement, have decided to present their case through a separate panel of lawyers before the Supreme Court against the government’s decision to transfer 40% of the Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi power plant to an American company.