NPP files contempt of court petition against Treasury Secretary

National People's Power (NPP) party yesterday filed a petition before the Supreme Court accusing Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana of acting in contempt of court. The political party is alleging Siriwardana has failed to act in accordance with the interim order delivered by the court on 3 March preventing him from withholding funds necessary to conduct the Local Government polls.

The petition by the NPP was filed by its MP Vijitha Herath. In his petition, the parliamentarian has requested the Supreme Court to issue another order directing Siriwardana to act on the interim order issued previously. While both the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (ECSL) and the Government Printer has repeatedly requested funds following the interim order issued on 3 March, Herath in his petition noted that Siriwardana who is named as the respondent in the petition is yet to release the requested funds allowing the ECSL to go ahead with preparations for the Local Government polls. Herath also noted that the Secretary has no authority to disregard the Supreme Court’s interim order. The petitioner said Siriwardana’s conduct is in contempt of court pursuant to Article 105(3) of the Constitution and sought a Supreme Court order directing the Attorney General to file indictments against the Finance Secretary. The petition was filed through Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala.