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Home > Dhammika Perera Gives Undertaking Not To Take Oaths As MP Until SC Decides

Dhammika Perera Gives Undertaking Not To Take Oaths As MP Until SC Decides

Businessman Dhammika Perera through his lawyer today gave an undertaking before Supreme Court that he would not to take oaths as a Member of Parliamentarian or a government Minister until Supreme Court make an order regarding several Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging his appointment as a MP.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for businessman Dhammika Perera gave this undertaking when four fundamental rights petitions were taken up for support before Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Yasantha Kodagoda and Arjuna Obeysekera.

These petitions will be taken up for further support on today (21).

Four petitioners including Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Journalist Roel Raymond, writer Gamini Viyangoda had filed Fundamental Rights petitions in Supreme Court challenging the appointment of businessman Dhammika Perera to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as a Member of Parliament.

In accordance with Article 99A of the Constitution, the petitioner’s position are that a person is only entitled to be nominated to fill such a vacancy if his name was included in the district nomination papers or national list submitted by the relevant political party.

The petitioners stated that Dhammika Perera’s name was not on the list submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to the Election Commission under Article 99A of the Constitution or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district by the SLPP for the General Election held in 2020.

The petitioners also highlighted the appearance of very real bias and conflicts of interest caused by Perera’s appointment as a Member of Parliament and possibly a Cabinet Minister, due to his ownership in a multitude of different business ventures in a variety of sectors ranging from plantation, power generation, licenced commercial banks, finance companies and consumer goods.

The petitioners maintained that the Article 91(1)(e) of the Constitution disqualifies a person with any such interest in any such contract made by or on behalf of the State or a public corporation from being a Member of Parliament.

Accordingly, the petitioners maintained that Dhammika Perera’s appointment is illegal, arbitrary, irrational, grossly unreasonable, contrary to law and will if unchecked cause grave and irremediable harm and prejudice to the People of Sri Lanka and the Rule of Law itself.

The petitioners further maintained that this appointment constitutes an infringement and continuous infringement of the fundamental rights of the People of Sri Lanka guaranteed under Articles 10 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion), article12(1) (Right to equal protection of the law), and 14(1)(a) (Freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution.

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, Senior Counsel Suren Fernando, Viran Corea appeared for the petitioners.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva with counsel Sanath Wijewardena appeared for Dhammika Perera. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)