ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 40

SC reserves judgment in CBK case

By Teles Anandappa

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved judgement in the case filed by three lawyers against the allocation of land and other benefits to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The petitioners Hiroshana Senarath, D.M.Dissanayaka and Ajith Liyanage three lawyers cited former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Cabinet of Minister as respondents.

Peter Jayasekera, counsel for the petitioner said that thanks to the newspaper ‘The Sunday Times’ which highlighted a news item regarding the allotment of land one and a half acres in extent at Madiwela and the allocation of a security staff of 168 personnel from the armed forces and a staff of 63 and 19 vehicles of which four were bullet proof, the petitioners filed a petition to the Supreme Court alleging this was an abuse of power.Counsel said the former President had requested Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to release a plot of land at Madiwela as she would be foregoing her pension and the residence which she was entitled to after her retirement. He said this was done when she was still the President and this was unconstitutional because she was allotting these benefits while still holding office.He also said that after the Cabinet had approved this request the former President then made a claim to a residence at 27, Independence Avenue to be her office. He said this was done after she had forfeited her pension and other facilities.Mr.Jayasekera said she had received security, staff and vehicles over and above the allocation given to former Presidents.

Nigel Hatch, counsel for Ms.Kumaratunga said the former President had returned the land and that the question of abuse of power did not arise.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, Justices Shiranee Thilakawardene and Gamini Amaratunge reserved judgement. Peter Jayasekera with Kosala Senadeera and Kalyananda Thiranayam appeared for the petitioners.

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