SC suspends Cabinet decision on Sirisena’s Paget Road residence

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By Kamal Mahendra Weeraratne

The Supreme Court, yesterday (29), issued an Interim Order suspending the Cabinet decision permitting former President and sitting MP Maithripala Sirisena to retain his official residence at Paget Road in Colombo 7. 

This order was issued when the Petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu was taken up before a three-Judge Bench comprising Justices Preethi Padman Surasena, Yasantha Kodagaoda and Mahinda Samayawardena.

The Supreme Court further ordered Sirisena to report to the Court, on the decision they take in connection with the said interim order within four weeks. Meanwhile, the interim order will remain in effect until the final determination of the Petition.

Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando, making submissions on behalf of the petitioner, stated that the decision concerning the house of the former President had been taken during the Cabinet meeting chaired by respondent Sirisena, on 15 October 2019.

He told the Court that the actions of the respondent, had flouted Provisions contained in the Sections of the Parliamentary (Powers and Privilege) Act and provisions of the Constitution.

Counsel Fernando also charged that the incurring of a hefty sum of Rs 180 million, towards the ownership of the said house and the development of its property by the respondent concerned, had also been a gross and wanton wastage and misuse of public funds.

ASG Nerin Pulle represented the Attorney General. Further hearing of the Petition is due to take place on 18 May.