Colombo District Judge Sujeewa Nissanka yesterday dismissed a petition which sought an order from the court to reinstate Mahinda Rajapaksa as the President of the SLFP.
The judge dismissed the petition upholding that the District Court does not have the jurisdiction to make such orders against the Election Commissioner.
The judge also said that the petitioners had not named the present President of the party as a defendant of the petition and further said the President was immune by the Constitution, consequently the petition was dismissed.
The judge made this observation while making his order on the petition filed by the former Chairman of the Boralesgamuwa Urban Council Anura Priyashantha and another SLFP activist M.A.D Asanka Nandana Srinath of No. t93l2A.
The petitioners had filed this petition before former Colombo District Judge N.U. Gunawardena stated that as per the Constitution of the SLFP, the party leadership can only be led by a person who wins the presidential election, having contested from the SLFP ticket.
The petitioners contended that the current SLFP leader Maithripala Sirisena does not have the authority to hold office as the party leader since he did not contest the last presidential election from the SLFP ticket.
The petitioners pleaded that the party’s current leader cannot hold the leadership based on the party constitution and that it should be held by former President Rajapaksa.
However, two of the defendants to the petition, the SLFP and Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, had moved court to dismiss the petition at the first instance without even taking it up for hearing as it was bad in law.
They cited former SLFP Secretary Yapa and the Election Commissioner as defendants in the case. They allege that Yapa had sent a letter to the Election Commissioner on or about 16 January 2015 over the appointment of a President to the SLFP.
The petitioners contend that there was no need for the Secretary to send the purported letter to the Commissioner of Elections as the question of appointing a President to the party did not arise at the time.
The petitioners complain that the Executive Committee of the party without holding a proper committee meeting had come to the decision to make new appointments to the SLFP Presidentship.
Therefore the petitioners allege that the party secretary without holding a proper executive committee meeting had arbitrarily made the appointment.
The petitioners claim that the SLFP candidate for the 2014 Presidential Election was Mahinda Rajapaksa and for this reason to reinstate Rajapaksa as the SLFP President.