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CA dismisses PUCSL’s petition calling for continuous power during A/Ls

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The Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the petition without even a hearing, submitted by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) requesting the issuance of a writ of mandamus ordering the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to continuously supply electricity during the Advanced Level Examination.

PUCSL chairman Janaka Ratnayake wanted the CA to issue an order to the Electricity Board to provide continuous electricity without considering whether the Electricity Board and the Petroleum Corporation have the necessary resources to provide continuous electricity supply.

As a result, the Court of Appeal decided that there were no facts to allow the hearing of the petition and decided to dismiss the petition.

The Court emphasized that while two members of the PUCSL had expressed their disapproval, Commission Chairman Janaka Ratnayake, acting on his own opinion to file and maintain this petition is a serious situation, and that stern attention should be paid to this matter.

The Court of Appeal decided that the money spent on this case which was filed bythe Chairman Janaka Ratnayake, should not be paid from the funds of the PUCSL, and ordered that the judgement be forwarded to the Auditor General for investigation.

This was stated by the Appellate Court Bench of Judges Sobitha Rajakaruna and DhammikaGanepola after concluding the consideration of the basic arguments made by the lawyers for and against the petition.

Pronouncing the decision, the president of the Bench, Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna, mentioned that the court paid close attention to the documents and facts presented by the petitioner and the respondent in this case.

The judge mentioned that the PUCSL ordered the CEB to provide continuous electricity supply during the A-level examination, even though the institutions that grant licences to the Ceylon Electricity Board regarding the provision and distribution of electricity is the PUCSL, without considering the resources or the capacity of those institutions to supply electricity.

When the petition was considered, it was mentioned before court that the CEB does not have the money to purchase fuel from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for the provision of electricity and the judge stated that the Cabinet had decided to revise the electricity tariffs to provide the money.

Justice Sobitha Rajakaruna, delivering the verdict stated that the court also paid attention to the fact that the PUCSL chairman had submitted a petition to the court challenging the decision of the cabinet.

The Bench pointed out that as a responsible institution, the PUCSL should make decisions and give orders after a formal assessment of the relevant institutions and mentioned further that while giving these orders, they did not pay attention to the fact that the CEB does not have enough money to obtain the relevant resources or that the Petroleum Corporation cannot provide fuel tothe CEB without payment.

Also, the Court of Appeal stated that no attention had been paid to whether those institutions arecapable of providing continuous power during the A-level examination season.

The Bench noted that if an interim order is also issued to provide uninterrupted electricity asrequested by the PUCSL through this petition, it will unfairly affect many students who will face national examinations in the future. He said that an atmosphere will be created that will create a situation where these students will have to study in the dark for many months.


Saturday, February 11, 2023 – 01:11

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