PC Minister files petition challenging Wigneswaran’s power

  • Court of Appeal order on 3 Oct. for issuance of interim order and notice

An ousted Provincial Council Minister challenged Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in the Court of Appeal, saying that he has no power to appoint or remove any provincial council minister.

The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed its order for 3 October on whether to issue an interim order and notices in respect of the writ petition filed by expelled Minister B. Deniswaran.

The bench comprised justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (CA President) and A.L. Shiran Gooneratne.

The petitioner cited Chief Minister Wigneswaran, K. Sarveswaran, Ananthi Sasitharan, G. Gunaseelan, K. Sivanesan and P. Sathiyalingam as well as Governor Reginald Cooray as respondents.

Suren Fernando appeared for the petitioner. K. Kanag Iswaran PC with Lakshmanan Jayakumar and Aslesha Weerasekera instructed by Moahan Balandra appeared for the Chief Minister. M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Niran Anketell appeared for the respondent P. Sathiyalingam.

The petitioner claims he was one of the members of the Northern Province Board of Ministers. He states that in October 2016, a dispute arose with respect to the conduct of ministers, following which the Chief Minister appointed an inquiry panel.

The petitioner states that the inquiry panel issued its report on 19 May 2017 in which he was exonerated and ministers Ayngaranesan and Kurukularasa were held guilty of certain allegations. On 14 June 2017, the Chief Minister requested two ministers found guilty to resign and announced that the other two ministers found not guilty must go on one month’s compulsory leave pending a fresh inquiry against them, he states.

The petitioner laments that the Chief Minister is attempting to remove him and Sathiyalingam from the Board of Ministers.

He states that on 23 August 2017, the Governor informed him that he had been removed by the Chief Minister. He maintains that the purported removal and appointments by the Chief Minister is ultra vires his power and that he has no power under the Constitution to remove ministers and such power is reposed in the Governor.

He also points out that Article 154F(1) of the Constitution restricts the Board of Ministers to the Chief Minister and not more than four other ministers.


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