Premalal Jayasekera allowed to attend Parliamentary sittings

67

The Department of Prisons has been informed to allow Premalal Jayasekera to attend Parliamentary sittings.

The Court of Appeal has issued an interim order on the Commissioner General of Prisons with this regard.

The writ application had been filed before the Court of Appeal requesting to grant Premalal Jayasekera, who was sentenced to death in July, permission to attend parliamentary sessions.

The Commissioner-General of Prisons, Welikada Prison Superintendent and the Secretary General of the Parliament were cited as the respondents of this writ application.

The decision on whether the petition will be taken up for consideration and on whether an interim order will be issued permitting Jayasekara to attend parliamentary sittings were to be delivered today.

Last July 31, Premalal Jayasekara alias ‘Choka Malli’ was sentenced to death by the Ratnapura High Court over a murder committed in 2015.

Jayasekara, however, was elected to Parliament at the 2020 General Election and managed to secure the second position in the Ratnapura District Preferential Vote List after contesting through Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Thereby, the Speaker of the Parliament had instructed the Commissioner General of Prisons to bring Jayasekara to Parliament on the 8th of September.

As prison rules and regulations have not made provisions regarding an inmate on the death row acting as a public representative, the Commissioner General of Prisons had inquired on the matter from the Ministry of Justice, which in turn made an inquiry from the AG.

Subsequently, the Attorney General informed that Premalal Jayasekara was not eligible to act as a Member of Parliament under Articles 89 (d) and 91 (1) (a) of the Constitution.

Accordingly, if Jayasekara loses his parliamentary seat, the next candidate who received the highest number of preferential votes in the district will be eligible for the seat.

As per the results of the 2020 General Election, the next two SLPP candidates after Jayasekara have received the same number of preferential votes.

The two eligible candidates are Sonny Rohana Kodituwakku, and Ranjith Bandara, a relative of Premalal Jayasekara.

The Election Commission has stated that in such a case, the most suitable candidate for the seat would be selected by lottery.