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Imposition of Emergency Regulations: SC grants Leave to Proceed with three FR petitions

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Law & Order

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday granted Leave to Proceed with three Fundamental Rights petitions filed seeking a declaration that the imposition of Emergency Regulations by the President under the Public Security Act violates the Fundamental Rights of the people of Sri Lanka.

However, the Supreme Court also ruled that an Interim Order preventing the implementation of those regulations will not be issued at this time.

The Attorney General was directed to inform the Court in two weeks before the next hearing about the matters contained in the relevant emergency legal regulations and the regulations to be revised.

Objections to the petitions were directed to be filed within six weeks and counter objections were directed to be filed within two weeks thereafter. The petitions were taken up before the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Achala Wengappuli, Mahinda Samayawardhena.

Deputy Solicitor General Rajeev Gunathilaka appearing for the respondents made lengthy submission over the petition.

Attorney-at-Law Gihan Gunathilaka, Attorneys Pulasthi Hewamanna and Suren Fernando appearing for the petitioners also made their submissions before the Court.

After considering the submissions made by all parties, the Supreme Court bench led by Justice Vijith Malalgoda granted leave to proceed with the petitions. The petition will be taken up again on October 28.

Three Fundamental Rights petitions were filed in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the fundamental rights of the people of this country are being violated by the imposition of emergency regulations by the President under the Public Security Ordinance.

This petition seeks an order quashing the two gazette notifications issued imposing the emergency regulations and an interim order restraining them from acting on the said Emergency Regulations bearing 2022/01.

The petition was filed by the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission former Commissioner Ambiga Satkunanathan, Liberal Youth Movement Conveners, Attorney-at-Law Namini Panditha and Rusiru Egoda and the Alternative Policy Center and its executive director Pakyasothy Saravanauththu.

The Petitions have cited the Attorney General on behalf of the President, the Attorney General, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake and Defense Ministry Secretary Kamal Gunaratne as the respondents.

The petitions say that the President had acted on July 17 to impose emergency regulations under the Public Security Ordinance. It shows that gazette notices 2288/07 and 2289/07 have been issued announcing those regulations.

The petition seeks a ruling that the imposition of the regulations violates a number of fundamental rights, including the right to equal protection of the law, the right not to be subjected to cruel torture, the right to freedom of assembly and the right to freedom of expression. The petitioners point out that the imposition of those regulations is an unnecessary transfer of power to the armed forces and the police and undermines the power of the Parliament and the judiciary.

the closest example was the attack on unarmed protestors on July 22 and the hijacking of journalists’ communication equipment and the deletion of data.

Therefore, the petitions have sought from Court to declare that the imposition of these regulations violates the fundamental rights guaranteed by provisions 10, 11, 12(1), 12(4), 13(1), 13(2), 13(3), 13(4), 13(5) and 14(1) of the Constitution. The petitioners seek an order suspending the operation of the said regulations. Also, the petitions have requested that an order be issued preventing the President or the authorized officers from imposing further emergency laws and regulations.


Saturday, August 13, 2022 – 01:14

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