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Petitions against Yugadanavi deal fixed for consideration

The Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed against the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal have been fixed for consideration on December 16 by the Supreme Court.

The petitions had been filed by several parties seeking a court order revoking the the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to transfer shares in West Coast Power Limited (WCP) – the owner of the 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant to the US-based New Fortress Energy.

The petitions were taken up before a bench comprising the Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Supreme Court Judges Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B. Dehideniya.

The five-member judge bench ordered the petitions be fixed for consideration on December 16 and 17.

Meanwhile the court also ordered the Attorney General to present any objections before December 06 while the petitioners were given until December 13 to file counter objections.

The FR petitions were put forward by the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thero, Samagi Jana Balawegaya, former parliamentarians of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sunil Handunnetti and Wasantha Samarasinghe and a group including Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara and Dr. Wasantha Bandara.

The Cabinet of Ministers including the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, West Coast Power Limited, New Fortress Energy and the Attorney General were among those named as respondents in the case.

It was previously notified that the Attorney General would appear on behalf of the prime minister and the Cabinet members, except for three ministers, namely Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Wimal Weerawansa, who were represented by President’s Counsel Uditha Igalahewa.

On November 12, the Attorney General requested the Supreme Court to hear the FR petitions filed challenging the Yugadanavi Power Plant deal before a full bench.