Ranil takes over Naseer Ahamed’s Environment Minister portfolio

Ranil takes over Naseer Ahamed’s Environment Minister portfolio

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken over the Environment Minister portfolio which was earlier held by Naseer Ahamed.

Issuing a gazette notice, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake said that the President has taken over the portfolio after consulting Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The Supreme Court (SC) delivered a landmark ruling recently determining that the decision taken by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to sack Minister Naseer Ahamed from the party was valid.

Ahamed had had filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the decision to suspend his party membership.

However, the bench comprising Justice Padman Surasena, Justice S. Thurairaja PC, and Justice Mahinda Samayawardhena, ruled that the decision taken by the SLMC to remove the Minister was legal.

Justice Padman Surasena, in his judgement, with Justice S. Thurairaja PC agreeing, observed that the Petitioner had pledged that he would be loyal to the Party, shall recognize honour and submit to the authority of the hierarchy of the Party, and abide by and honour the decisions, rules, regulations, directives, and policies of the Party as decided by the SLMC High Command.

However, it was determined that the Petitioner had breached this solemn pledge.

Justice Mahinda Samayawardhena, in a separate judgement, also dismissed the petition.

M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Viran Corea, Anne Kulanayagam and Divya Mascranghe appeared for the SLMC.

Sumanthiran told reporters the ruling was historical as several MPs who crossed over to other parties in the past had remained MPs because they had come to court and got judgements that their expulsion was invalid.

“This judgement is holding that if you violate party discipline, and cross over, then you lose your parliamentary seat,” Sumanthiram said.

Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC with Ruwantha Cooray, Rukshan Senadheera and Punyajith Dunusinghe appeared for the petitioner. (Colombo Gazette)

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