Maithri’s  Paget Residence Lost

Maithri’s Paget Residence Lost

The Supreme Court declared the Cabinet’s decision permitting former President Maithripala Sirisena to use a residence at Paget Road in Colombo as arbitrary, unreasonable, and illegal, constituting a violation of the Rule of Law and citizens’ Fundamental Rights.

In response, the Supreme Court, led by Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, Gamini Amarasekara, and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, decided to annul the Cabinet’s decision dated October 15, 2019. This decision had granted former President Maithripala Sirisena continuous use of the Paget Road residence.

The three-judge bench ruled that the Cabinet’s decision to provide a residence to the former President exceeded the scope outlined in the Presidents’ Entitlements Act No. 4 of 1986.


Fundamental Rights

This judgment stems from a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu. The petitioners argued that it is improper for the Cabinet to determine the benefits for a retiring President before leaving office, and that the decision violated established legal procedures.

The petitioners also highlighted the significant financial value of the residence on Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (Paget Road), emphasizing its importance as a valuable national asset.

During the legal proceedings, Senior Counsel Suren Fernando represented the petitioners, while Faisz Musthapha PC, Faizer Musthapha PC, Counsel Pulasthi Herath, and Counsel Keerthi Tillekaratne appeared on behalf of former President Sirisena.

The Supreme Court’s decision signifies a landmark ruling on the appropriate entitlements for a retiring President and underscores the importance of adhering to legal procedures in such matters.

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