Original architects’ writ application unreasonable – Court


The Court of Appeal on Friday (6), declared a Writ Application, filed by the original architects of the Altair Project and its chief executive officer seeking a Writ of Prohibition, as unreasonable by certain respondents including the Urban Development Authority (UDA).

The original architects of the Altair Project, Design Team 3 (Private) Limited of Singapore and its Chief Executive Officer Architect Athula Amarasekera filed the Writ Application before the Court of Appeal seeking to obtain a writ of prohibition against the UDA from accepting and/or acting upon a purported certificate submitted by a Chartered Architect, other than the Petitioners for the purpose of issuing the Certificate of Conformity (‘CoC’) in respect of the said Project. However, after filing this application, the CoC was issued by the UDA and the Court temporarily suspended the said CoC until Court looks in to the questions involved in the application.

The Court on Friday observed that the Petitioners and the Developer who was named as a respondent is clearly contractual and/or in commercial nature which prevents the Petitioners to seek any relief in an application for judicial review only by making the public authorities such as UDA a party.

“I am of the view that filing a judicial review application against the State parties, including the UDA, in order to resolve a dispute arising out of a contract between the first  Petitioner and the Developer is unreasonable,” Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna observed in the Judgment.

The Court also awarded a sum of Rs 500,000  to be paid by the Petitioners (jointly and severally) to the UDA and a sum of Rs 250,000.00 to be paid by the Petitioners (jointly and severally) to the Secretary Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. The application of the Petitioner for the withdrawal of the instant application was also allowed subject to the payment of the above costs awarded by the Court.

Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC with Suren Gnanaraj, Rukshan Senadeera appeared for the Petitioners. Sumathi Dharmawardena PC, ASG with Chaya Sri Nammuni DSG, Monahara Jayasinghe DSG and Sabrina Ahamed SC appeared for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th to 14th Respondents; Eshanthi Mendis for the 5th Respondent; Monoj Bandara with H. Gamage and Nayomi Chethana for the 7th Respondent; Romesh De Silva, PC with Niran Ankatell for the party sought to be intervened.