The Supreme Court today refused to grant leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petitions filed seeking an order staying the coming into operation of the gazette notification preventing unvaccinated people from entering public places.
Accordingly, a majority of a divided five-judge-Supreme Court bench decided to dismiss the petition in limine.
The Supreme Court five-judge bench comprised Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, Preethi Padman Susena, Gamini Amasekera, Justice Shiran Goonaratne and Justice Kumiduni Wickremasinghe.
Navindra Lal Gooneratne, Dr Ranjiva Mohan Munasinghe, Indrani Swarna Hassanally, Piyavi Wijewardene, Gamika Gunawardena and Don Felex Marcian Jayatilleke filed these petitions naming Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Ministry Secretary Dr. S.H. Munasinghe and several others as respondents. The petitioner said he has consistently relied upon Ayurveda and Traditional Sinhala Medical Systems in securing his personal health.
The petitioners stated that the respondents are attempting to make, indirectly, the vaccines mandatory.
On January 25, 2022 the Health Minister had issued an Extraordinary Gazette preventing unvaccinated people from entering or being in public places. According to the gazette notification, people must have proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter public places starting 30 April.
Faizer Musthapha PC with counsel Hafeel Farisz , Shantha Jayawardena , Amila Perera instructed by Sanjeewa Kaluarachchi appeared for the petitioners. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)