J.C. Weliamuna, Counsel for the Petitioners of a writ application challenging the election of cinema actress Geetha Samanmali Kumarasinghe to Parliament told Court that when she tendered her candidature application to contest a seat in Parliament at the last General Election she was not eligible to do so.
Counsel submitted that it is a constitutional disqualification for anyone holding dual citizenship to contest a local election.
This matter was taken up before the Bench comprising Justice Vijith Malalgoda (President of the Court of Appeal) and Justice Padman Sri Surasena.
N.K.D. Buwaneka, I.K. Kumarawardana, A.C. Gunasekera, J.K. Wijesiri, H.L.P. Deepthalal, all of whom are voters from Galle, filed this petition requesting Court to declare Geetha Kumarasinghe is not a Member of Parliament.
Geetha Kumarasinghe, Commissioner General of Immigration and Emigration, Secretary to Eksath Janatha Nidahas Sandanaya and Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Disanayaka have been cited as respondents.
Counsel further argued that at the time she tendered her candidature to contest the election, she held dual citizenship in Switzerland and Sri Lanka and was hence constitutionally barred from contesting any local State election, and is hence not to be considered a member of Parliament. After an election the names of the elected candidates are gazetted but she is not a Member of Parliament and she cannot sit or vote in Parliament, counsel added.
91(1) 3 of the Constitution very clearly states that "No dual citizen can become a Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka."
Court fixed further argument for 24 October.J.C. Weliamuna appeared for petitioners with Pulasthi Hewamanna.
Deputy Solicitor General Janak de Silva appeared for the Commissioner General of Immigration and Emigration.
President's Counsel Manohara de Silva appeared for Geetha Kumarasinghe.