Appeals Court issues stay order on SLC’s Interim Committee

Appeals Court issues stay order on SLC’s Interim Committee

November 7, 2023   11:39 am

The Court of Appeal has issued 14-day stay orders preventing the operation of the seven-member Interim Committee appointed for the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the relevant gazette notification issued by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe in this regard.

This order was delivered by a two-member judge bench consisting of Appeals Court President Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Vikum Kaluarachchi today (07) after considering a writ petition filed by the Chairman of SLC Shammi Silva.

Accordingly, the court has issued three stay orders in total pertaining to the matter: the first to prevent the gazette issued by the Sports Minister appointing the interim committee for the SLC, the second to prevent the committee members chaired by Arjuna Ranatunga from acting in their respective positions and the third to prevent the respondents including the Sports Minister from interfering the activities of the petitioner and the other officials of cricket board.

Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe on Monday (06) appointed a seven-member Interim Committee for Sri Lanka Cricket, chaired by World Cup-winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga. 

The lawmaker formed the interim committee for Sri Lanka Cricket under the authority granted to him by the Sports Law No 25 of 1973, to be in effect from Monday while the previous board was also suspended, the Sports Ministry had announced.

The interim committee consists of the following members: S. I. Imam, Retired Supreme Court Judge; Rohini Marasinghe, Retired Supreme Court Judge; Irangani Perera, Retired High Court Judge; Arjuna Ranatunga (Chairman); Upali Dharmadasa; Rakitha Rajapakshe, Attorney-at-Law; and Hisham Jamaldeen.

However, it was later reported that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had not been notified about the decision to appoint such a committee or the composition of its members. The President had only come to know of the appointment of such an interim committee for SLC through the media reports, according to internal sources.

It was further reported that although President Wickremesinghe had attempted to contact Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe to inquire about this on several occasions, but to no avail.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers, which took up the matter for discussion last evening, had decided to appoint a ministerial committee, on the consent of the Sports Minister and the President, to look into the relevant gazette notification and also the future activities of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Nevertheless, the minister told reporters in Colombo that the President’s approval is not required to appoint an interim committee, noting that he had taken the decision in accordance with the powers he was vested with.

Ranasinghe also mentioned that he was even ready to offer his ministerial post to former Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.

SLC and the Selection Committee have been under fire after the national team’s recent repeated defeats, but backlash snowballed after India demolished the Lions to register a 302-run victory in ODI 33 of the ongoing ICC World Cup.

Meanwhile the chairman of the newly-appointed Interim Committee, Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday vowed to transform the country’s cricket into a game loved by the Sri Lankan audience once again and create a group of players who are passionate about the country.

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