The petition will be taken up for considering the Interim Order sought by the petitioner.
Meanwhile, State Counsel Charaka Ekanayake appearing for the North Central Province Governor yesterday gave an undertaking to present the inquiry report pertaining to the Chairman of Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha.
Accordingly, Court of Appeal two-judge-Bench comprising Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Justice Dhammika Ganepola fixed the petition for August 4.
Attorney-at-Law Darshana Kuruppu with Sajini Elvitigala appeared for the petitioner.
This Writ Petition had been filed challenging the Governor’s decision to reinstate Chairman of Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha, disregarding an inquiry report in which the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman found guilty for 14 charges out of 15.
The Vice Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha has filed this writ petition in Court of Appeal seeking an order restraining the incumbent Chairman from functioning as the Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha.
The petitioner Salibuge Thaibu, the Vice Chairman of Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha is challenging the reinstatement of the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Mahanamage Ajith Prasanna who was initially suspended by Governor of the North Central Province for alleged mismanagement of public funds.
Petitioner states that he contested for the Local Government Elections in 2018 as a candidate of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), and was elected as a member of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha, and was subsequently appointed as the Vice Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha in 2018.
The present Chairman Mahanamage Ajith Prasanna was appointed as the Chairman in 2018 amidst the opposition of majority of the elected members.
He was appointed based on a policy decision taken by Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna.
The petitioner said present Chairman during his previous term also had the same allegation for mismanagement of public funds and for improper administration. But he was nevertheless appointed as the Chairman.
The petitioner and the other elected members on a number of occasions had written to the senior leadership of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the other relevant authorities complaining about the conduct of the Chairman.
Finally an institutional inquiry was conducted by the then Commissioner of Department of Local Government and a report had been handed over to the Governor of the North Central Province Mahiepala Herath.
Governor Mahiepala Herath by an order dated 01.01.2021 published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 2208/48 dated 01.01.2021 temporarily suspended Mahanamage Ajith Prasanna from the post of Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha with immediate effect, and appointed the Vice Chairman (Petitioner) to execute and exercise duties and powers of the office of Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha.
The Governor also appointed Saman Wickrama Wickramarachchi, retired High Court Judge to conduct an inquiry against the Chairman.
The Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha had been forwarded a charge sheet of 15 charges by retired High Court Judge Saman Wickrama Wickramarachchi. At the end of the inquiry Mahanamage Ajith Prasanna had been found guilty for 14 charges out of 15. He had only been acquitted from the 15th charge. The said inquiry report had been sent to the Governor.
Governor Maheepala Herath by an order dated 01.04.2021 published in Gazette Extraordinary No. 2222/40 dated 08.04.2021, reinstated Mahanamage Ajith Prasanna as the Chairman of the Rambewa Pradeshiya Sabha stating that he had received and studied the report of Saman Wickrama Wickramarachchi.