The Supreme Court yesterday rejected two petitions filed against Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena for contempt of court.
These applications were filed by Samagi Jana Balavega General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara and National peoples power MP Vijitha Herath, alleging that the Treasury Secretary failed to release the money related to the local government elections as per the Supreme Court order, and that it was a disregard of the court order.
The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Bhuwanaka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando dismissed those cases on the basis of an objection submitted by the Treasury Secretary.
Earlier, Senior Advocate Eraj De Silva, who appeared for the Treasury Secretary, argued that the Treasury Secretary has no constitutional authority to issue money without the Finance Minister’s order. Sections 150(1) and (2) of the Constitution require an order from the Minister to release money from consolidated funds.
Advocate Geoffrey Alagaratnam, Advocate Suren Fernando and Upul Kumarapperuma appeared for the petitioners.
Senior Advocate Eraj De Silva, Daminda Wijeratne, Janagan Sundarmoorthy and N.K. On the advice of Dinesh Vidanapathirana, Advocate Ashok Bharan appeared for the Treasury Secretary.
However, the Supreme Court stated that there is no merit in the objection raised by the respondent that the court has no jurisdiction to hear matters related to the Parliament, public finances.