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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2368

Northern Provincial Council Chief Secretary to enjoy her constitutional guarantees

Colombo, 29 July, (Asiantribune.com):

The Supreme Court today reserved its order for July 30 on the fundamental rights petition filed by Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh Northern Province Chief Secretary challenging the Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.

The petition which alleged interference with her employment and his bid to remove her from office came up before the Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices Rohini Marasinghe and B.P. Aluwihare.

Chief Minister of the Northern Province Wigneswaran yesterday placed his position before the Supreme Court regarding the proposed settlement to a dispute between him and Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh, Chief Secretary of the Northern Province.

Counsel, K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC with M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for the CM told the Court that, the letter attached to the fundamental rights violation application filed by Mrs. Vijayalaksmi Ramesh had been written in good faith by the Chief Minister with a view of maintaining good governance and efficient official activity in the province. If the Chief Secretary intended to take leave she should inform the Chief Minister. She must carry out lawful orders of the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers of the Province. The function of the Province must not be disrupted.

If those undertakings were given she could continue to function as the Chief Secretary. But, that was without prejudice to the right of the Chief Minister to require the President to appoint the new Chief Secretary with his concurrence.

Gomin Dayasiri, Counsel for Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh said that while his client functioned as Chief Secretary, her fundamental rights enshrined in Article 14(1) (g), which assured the right to engage in her lawful occupation must be respected. He said the Secretary to the President had held an inquiry and found out that his client was a dedicated and efficient public servant.

In the meantime, when the case was resumed today, the Supreme Court observed that the right to appoint or remove the NP Chief Secretary would remain with the President.

It also observed that the relevant parties should be informed about the official withdrawal of the circular issued by the Chief Minister.

According to the settlement the Chief Secretary will enjoy her constitutional guarantees but she will have to inform the CM when she leaves the province.

The Court reserved the order on the proposed settlement term for July 30.

- Asian Tribune -

Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Ramesh
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