Consideration of the Fundamental Rights petitions filed against the transfer of 40% of shares of the Yugadanavi Power Plant in Kerawalapitiya, to an American firm has commenced.
The petitions are being considered before a five-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and comprising of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and LTB Dehideniya.
The petitions were filed by over 10 groups including Venerable Elle Gunawansa thera, Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara, former JVP MPs Sunil Handunnetti and Wasantha Samarasinghe.
The petitions state the decision reached by the Cabinet, to transfer 40% of shares of the Yugadanavi Power Plant to an American firm, was unjust.
The petition further states the respondent American firm will have a monopoly on the production of gas in Sri Lanka through the transfer of shares, adding a stringent tender procedure was not followed when transferring the shares.
The petitioners request the Supreme Court to issue a verdict stating people’s fundamental rights were violated through the decision reached by the Cabinet to transfer shares, without conducting a fair study, and an order to invalidate the Cabinet decision.
The time period granted to submit objections in relation to the petitions ended on the 6th of December.
Accordingly, Ministers Udaya Gammanpila, Wimal Weerawansa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara filed objections before the Supreme Court, in favour of the petitions on the 7th.
The time period granted to the petitioners to file counter-objections ended on the 13th.
The Cabinet of Ministers including Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the American company, New Fortress Energy, the current majority shareholders of the Yugadanavi Power Plant, West Coast Power (Pvt.) Ltd and the Attorney General were named as respondents.