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Appeal Court rejects Ranjan’s writ on MP seat

The Court of Appeal (CoA) yesterday (5) rejected the writ petition filed by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Ranjan Ramanayake seeking an order preventing the suspension of his Parliamentary seat by the respondents: the Secretary General of Parliament, and the Attorney General (AG).

He is currently serving a four-year sentence for contempt of court, after being convicted by the Supreme Court.

The judgment was delivered by a bench comprising CoA President Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere and Justice Mayadunne Corea.

Announcing the verdict, Justice Obeyesekere stated that there was no legal basis for this petition.

Ramanayake had stated in his petition that he had received information that his MP seat was to be suspended following his imprisonment upon being sentenced for contempt of court.

Earlier in the day, President’s Counsel (PC) Faisz Musthapha had told the Court that Ramanayake had been imprisoned on a charge of contempt of court, and that there was no legal basis for revoking his seat under the Constitution, as it was not a criminal offense.

However, Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva PC, appearing for the AG, objected when considering the petition, pointing out that the Court had no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought by the petitioner Ramanayake. She had requested the Court to dismiss the petition without hearing it.

Accordingly, the Court gave its verdict.