Tuesday, 16 October 2012


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Fuller Bench to decide on Divi Neguma Bill

A three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday allowed an application for a fuller Bench by the TNA, to hear the petition challenging the status of the Governor of the Northern Province to endorse the Divineguma Bill. This follows a reference of the matter to the Supreme Court by the Court of Appeal for an interpretation. The matter will be taken by again on October 22.

The Supreme Court also ordered the written submissions to be filed on that date. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice K.Sri Pavan and Justice Chandra Ekanayake.

‘The Chief Justice observed;” The Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando moves for time. under rule 65.2 to file written submissions.

‘The counsel for the petitioner under the constitution moves that hearings to be fixed with a fuller Bench.

‘The petition filed was by TNA Parliamentarian Mavai Senathiraja with regard to the constitutional interpretation of the action of the Northern Provincial Council Governor who had endorsed the Divi Neguma Bill while the NPC stands dissolved.

The Court of Appeal earlier heard the matter to determine whether the expression of views of the provincial Council includes the view of the Governor of the dissolved NPC.

Attorney at Law M.A.Sumanthiran appearing for the petitioner submitted that the matter is of public importance and any delay due to technicalities could have severe consequences.

“The NPC constituents have not expressed their views. The Governor had acted ultra vires (exceeding authority) he asserted.

DSG Shavindra Fernando submitted that the matter should be referred back to the Court of Appeal.

He referred to the questions before the court and expressed the notion that the petition cannot be maintained. Attorney at Law S.L.Gunasekera appeared for the Governor.

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