An engineer today filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court challenging the legality of the incumbent Cabinet as it has reached its threshold of 30 cabinet of Ministers, as mandated in Article 47 (1)(a) of the Constitution.
The petitioner is seeking an Interim Order staying the President, Prime Minister and 32 other respondents from continue to function as Cabinet of Ministers.
The Secretary of the Professionals National Front of Sri Lanka (PNF) G. Kapila Renuka Perera, an engineer by profession filed this petition through Attorney-at-Law Dharshana Weraduwage.
The petitioner said he had noticed that there are budget allocations for over 30 Cabinet Ministers and over 40 State ministers, which is a clear violation Article 47(1) (a) (b) of the Constitution.
The Petitioner further states that the total number of Cabinet Ministers has exceeded the mandatory threshold requirement as contained in the said Article and the composition of the cabinet of ministers has commenced and continues to be illegal in terms of Article 47(1) (a) from on or around 07th July, 2021.
The Petitioner further states with the appointment of the said Cabinet Minister, the cabinet had reached its
threshold of 30 cabinet of Ministers, as mandated in Article 47 (1)(a) of the Constitution.
The Petitioner further states that to the best of his knowledge, the President had established 44 State Ministers, thereby vehemently violating Article 47(1) (b) of the Constitution.
The Petitioner states that, on or around the 12th of November, 2021, he came to notice that the Minister of Finance has presented the Budget for the Year 2022 to Parliament of the said Republic.
The petitioner said he visited the website of the Sri Lanka Parliament and have subsequently downloaded the budget speech and its annexures from the official website of the Ministry of Finance. Upon perusal of the said documents, petitioner said he was shocked to discover that there is an increase of 525 Billion Rupees of the total government expenditure for the said year compared to the previous year (2021), which is over 15.5% increase.
The petitioner alleged that the Cabinet of Ministers have collectively violated the Fundamental Rights of the Petitioner’s and of the entire citizens of the Republic, duly guaranteed by Article 12(1) of the Constitution by being part of and continue to function as a Cabinet of Ministers, vehemently violating Article 47(1) (a) of the Constitution. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)