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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2398

Deniswaran Files Law Suit Challenging His Removal

By K.T.Rajasingham
Mannar, 03 September, (Asiantribune.com):

The former Minister of the Northern Provincial Council Balasubramanian Deniswaran, who has been removed from his ministerial portfolio, has filed a law suit in the Court of Appeal challenging his removal. The case is expected to come up before the courts may be either on the 4th or the 6th of this month, Deniswaran says.

Deniswaran, who has been removed from his ministerial portfolio, has filed an application under and in terms of Article 140 of the Constitution, seeking the Appeal Court to issue an interim order restraining the Respondents from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing the Petitioner functioning as Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce, Rural Development, Trade & Commerce, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province.

In a press conference he held in his office in Mannar yesterday, he said that he has filed the case against the Chief Minister, other ministers and the Governor of the Northern Province on the 30th of last month at the Appeal Court of Colombo.

In the case filed by Deniswaran he has cited Justice C. V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Nrthern Province as the first respondent and ministers K. Sarveswaran, Ananthi Sasitharan, Gunaseelan, K. Sivanesan, P. Sathiyalingam - second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth respondents and Reginald Cooray, Governor of the Northern Province, as the seventh respondent.

The Petition of the Petitioner Deniwaran is being appearing by his Attorney at Law Ms. Lilanthi De Silva, who states as follows:

The Petitioner is a duly elected member of the Northern Provincial Council and the Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce, Rural Development, Trade & Commerce, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province.

The Petitioner is also an Attorney at Law.

The 1st Respondent is the Chief Minister of the Northern Province.

The 2nd and 3rd Respondents are members of the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province.

The 4th and 5th Respondents are Members of the Northern Provincial Council and purported to act as members of the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province.

The 6th Respondent is a Member of the Northern Provincial Council and was a member of the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province. The Petitioner is unaware of whether or not the 6th Respondent has formally and lawfully resigned his position as Minister and/or otherwise ceased to be a Minister.

The 7th Respondent is the Governor of the Northern Province.

The Petitioner states that his purported removal by the 1st Respondent as evidenced by P12 is ultra vires the powers of the 1st Respondent and is illegal, void ab initio and of no force or effect in law.

The Petitioner states that the 1st Respondent has no power under the Constitution to remove Ministers.

Further, in terms of Article 154F(5) the power of appointment of Ministers is provided to the Governor who shall appoint such Ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.

However, the Constitution is silent on the question of the removal of Ministers.

Thus and otherwise, such power is reposed in the Governor to be exercised in his own discretion.

In any event, the Chief Minister is not reposed with any authority under the Constitution to remove a Minister.

Thus and otherwise, such power is reposed in the Governor to be exercised in his own discretion.

In any event, the Chief Minister is not reposed with any authority under the Constitution to remove a Minister.

Further, Article 154F (1) restricts the Board of Ministers to the Chief Minister and not more than four other Ministers.

Thus and otherwise, the Petitioner has not been removed from the Board of Ministers and has not been relieved of his position as Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce, Rural Development, Trade & Commerce, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province.

In any event such purported removal is arbitrary, unreasonable, capricious, in breach of the Petitioner’s legitimate expectations and motivated by mala fides, especially as the Petitioner was found not guilty of any charges against him.

Moreover, the Petitioner states that the purported appointment by the 1st Respondent of the 4th and 5th Respondents—one of whom purports to replace the Petitioner and the other the 6th Respondent—to the Board of Ministers was made despite the absence of a vacancy and/or vacancies in the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province.

Thus and otherwise, there are at least six members purporting to be members of the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province: the 1st Respondent, the Petitioner, the 2nd Respondent, 3rd Respondent, 4th Respondent and 5th Respondent.

Moreover, the purported distribution of the portfolios held by the Petitioner to the 1st, 3rd and 5th Respondents is likewise ultra vires, unlawful and void ab initio.

Thus and otherwise, the Petitioner is advised and states said purported appointments of the 4th and 5th Respondents to the Board of Ministers as well as the purported appointment of the 1st, 3rd and 5th Respondents as Ministers in charge of the several portfolios held by the Petitioner are ultra vires the powers of the 7th Respondent, unlawful, void ab initio and of no force and effect in law.

The Petitioner further states that on account of his unlawful removal and the purported appointments described herein, the Petitioner has not been able to carry out his functions as Minister since 23rd August 2017.

Further, the Petitioner has been requested by officials of the Ministry of Transport of the Northern Province to hand over his official vehicles by the end of August 2017.

The Petitioner apprehends that in the circumstances, he will not be permitted to carry out his functions as Minister and exercise legal authority vested in him by law.

In the aforesaid a cause of action has arisen to the Petitioner to make this application and to obtain the interim and final relief prayed for, including mandates in the nature of writs of certiorari and prohibition.

In the circumstances, grave and irremediable loss, damage, harm and prejudice would be caused to the Petitioner if the interim reliefs prayed for herein are not granted by Your Lordships’ Court.

The Petitioner has not invoked the jurisdiction of Court in respect of this matter previously.

Originals of several documents relevant to this matter are in the custody of the 1st Respondent and the Petitioner respectfully reserves the right to make an appropriate application to Your Lordships’ Court to call for the record and/or permit the Petitioner to obtain and produce the required documents.

Petitioner prays to the Court - be pleased to:

Issues notice on the Respondents;

Issue an interim order restraining the Respondents from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing the Petitioner functioning as Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Commerce, Rural Development, Trade & Commerce, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province;

Issue an Interim order suspending operation of “P12”

Issue Interim order suspending operation of appointments of the 4th and 5th Respondents to the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 1st Respondent from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing the Petitioner from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Transport, Rural Development, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 1st Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Transport, Rural Development, Road Development and Motor Traffic of the Northern Province;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 3rd Respondent from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing the Petitioner from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Trade and Commerce;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 3rd Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Trade and Commerce;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 5th Respondent from interfering with and/or prohibiting and/or preventing the Petitioner from functioning as Minister in charge of the subject of Fisheries;

Issue an Interim Order restraining the 5th Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subject of Fisheries;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing “P12”;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the decision contained in P to appoint the 4th and 5th Respondents to the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the appointment of the 1st Respondent as Minister in charge of the subjects of Transport, Rural Development, Road Development and Motor Traffic;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the appointment of the 3rd Respondent as Minister in charge of the subjects of Trade and Commerce;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of certiorari quashing the appointment of the 5th Respondent as Minister in charge of the subjects of Fisheries;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of prohibition prohibiting the 4th and 5th Respondent from functioning as members of the Board of Ministers of the Northern Province;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of prohibition prohibiting the 1st Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Transport, Rural Development, Road Development and Motor Traffic;

Issue a mandate in the nature of a writ of prohibition prohibiting the 3rd Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of Trade and Commerce;

Issue a mandate in the nature of awrit of prohibition prohibiting the 5th Respondent from functioning as Minister in charge of the subjects of FIsheries;

Grant costs

Grant such other and further reliefs as to Your Lordships’ Court seem meet.

- Asian Tribune -

Deniswaran Files Law Suit Challenging His Removal
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