The SC on Land Rights

land    Two days ago the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka issued a landmark verdict on land powers under the 13th Amendment.

The Supreme Court, ruled that land powers were vested in the government and not in the Provincial Councils. In its judgment, the Court explained that the Provincial Councils would have legislative competence to make statutes to administer state lands only if those lands were made available to the Provincial Councils by the government. It added that the President’s powers to make grants remained unfettered.

A three-Judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice Mohan Pieris PC, Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Eva Wanasundera, said that the Court of Appeal had erred in holding that the Provincial High Court of Kandy had jurisdiction to issue a Writ of Certiorari in respect of a quit notice issued under the State Lands Recovery of Possession Act. The order made by the Court of Appeal dated August 18, 2002 was set aside and the order of the Provincial High Court of Kandy dated Oct. 25, 2000 was affirmed.

Giving three separate judgments, Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justice S.Sripavan and Justice Eva Wanasundare determined that the powers regarding state land is vested with the Central Government and not with the Provincial Council.

To read the  Chief Justice Mohan Pieris’ judgement click here

To read Justice S.Sripavan’s judgement click here

To read Justice Eva Wanasundare’s judgement click here


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