In the case filed by 4 residents from 34 Watta in Wanathamulla (CA Writ 283/2014) against the Urban Development Authority and other respondents challenging the directive issued by the UDA ordering them to move from their homes to an alternative location without following legal process, the Court of Appeal today heard the matter and listed it to be taken up as an urgent matter tomorrow Tuesday (September 23rd).
When the case was taken up on Friday (19th Sept), the Appeal Court had specially ordered for the Attorney General to be given notice that the case would be taken up for support for interim relief on Monday (today). The AG and the UDA had been given notice on Friday. However, no-one from the UDA was present in court though notice was given and the state counsel was reluctant to give an undertaking to court that the homes of the petitioners would not be demolished till the case was taken up.
A junior state counsel of the AG’s Department informed court that the case had been allotted to Deputy Solicitor General A. H. M. D. Nawaz, who has been appointed as an Appeal Court judge and asked for the case to be refixed for a few days later.
Senior counsel M. A. Sumanthiran, appearing with Viran Corea, Bhavani Fonseka, Luwie Ganeshathasan and Subhashini Samaraarachchi for the petitioners informed court that it was unfortunate that this type of tactic was being used. When the Appeal Court specially ordered for the AG to be noticed on Friday to appear on Monday for interim relief to be considered, respect for court process would have required that either an officer should make submissions agreeing to or resisting interim relief or give an undertaking that the UDA would be advised not to demolish until the Appeal Court had decided on the matter on the next date.
Appeal Court judge Upaly Abeyratne who heard the case, ordered the case to be taken up tomorrow (23rd) and directed that the AG should be prepared to properly make court submissions in the case tomorrow.