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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

In the matter of an application for


an order in the nature of Writ of
Quo Warranto under and in terms
of Article 140 of the Constitution of
the Democratic Socialist Republic
of Sri Lanka.
CA (Writ) Application No:

/2016
Keerthi Tennakoon
100/19A, Welikadawatta Road,
Rajagiriya.
PETITIONER
-VsArjun Lakshman Mahendran,
Governor of the Central Bank of Sri
Lanka,
No. 30, Central Bank of Sri Lanka,
Janadhipathi Mawatha,
Colombo 1.
RESPONDENT

TO: HIS LORDSHIP THE PRESIDENT AND THEIR LORDSHIPS THE


OTHER
HONOURABLE JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA
On this 20th day of June, 2016
The Petition of the Petitioner above named appearing by Ms. Dharshika
Perera and Samudra Guanawrdena under

the name and style of

NICLO

ASOCIATES , his registered Attorney-at-Law states as follows;

1. The Petitioner is a citizen of Sri Lanka.

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2. The Petitioner states that he is the Executive Director of CaFFE, and


has been involved in ensuring the rule of law and good governance.
3. The Petitioner invokes the jurisdiction of Your Lordships' Court in
respect of the subject matter of this application in the public interest.
The Petitioner states that the issues to be determined by Your
Lordships' Court in this application are of significant public and
constitutional importance. The Petitioner states that as a citizen of Sri
Lanka it is a constitutional duty under Article 28 of the Constitution to
uphold and defend the Constitution and the law and to preserve and
protect public property and to combat misuse and waste of public
property and he is conscious of his said Constitutional duties.
4. The Respondent is the incumbent de facto Governor of the Central
Bank of Sri Lanka who is holding onto the said office illegally.
5. In this application the Petitioner is seeking to impugn the Respondent
illegally holding office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
6. The Petitioner states that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is the authority
responsible for the administration, supervision and regulation of the
monetary, financial and payments system of Sri Lanka and the Central
Bank of Sri Lanka is charged with the duty of securing economic and
price stability and financial system stability with a view to encouraging
and promoting the development of the productive resources of Sri
Lanka.
7. The Petitioner states that in terms of the provisions of Section 19 of the
Monetary Law Act, the Governor is the chief executive officer of the
Central Bank of Sri Lanka and is charged with the powers, duties and
functions stipulated in Section 19 of the Monetary Law Act.
8. The Petitioner states that the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
is a public officer within the meaning of the Constitution of the
Republic of Sri Lanka.
9. The Petitioner states that the Respondent is presently a citizen of
Singapore and is not a citizen of Sri Lanka. The Petitioner states that
the Respondent is residing in Sri Lanka on a 'working visa'.

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10.
The Petitioner states that the Respondent was citizen of Sri Lanka
by birth but subsequently renounced his Sri Lankan citizenship and
became a citizen of Singapore, by registration. The Petitioner states
that under and in terms of Article 126(1) of the Constitution of
Singapore no person shall be registered as a citizen of Singapore until
he has taken the oath of renunciation of allegiance and loyalty in the
form set out in the 2nd Schedule of the Constitution of Singapore.
A copy of the said second schedule is annexed herewith marked as P1
and pleaded as part and parcel of this Petition.
11.
The Petitioner states that as required by the Constitution of
Singapore, the Respondent as a citizen of Singapore has pledged
allegiance to the Constitution of Singapore.
12.
The Petition states that Article 170 of the Constitution of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka defines a public officer as
a person who holds any paid office under the Republic, and excludes
certain categories of persons from the application of this definition.
However, the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has not been
excluded from the application of this definition.
13.
The Petitioner further states that as per Article 165 of the
Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka every
public officer is required by the Constitution to take an oath or make an
affirmation as set out in the 4th Schedule of the Constitution.

14.
The Petitioner states that therefore the Respondent being a
citizen of Singapore is incapable of pledging allegiance to the
Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka. The Petitioner further states
that a situation might arise where the Republic of Sri Lanka will have to
enter into financial transactions with the Republic of Singapore or
financial institutions incorporated in Singapore and in such situations
the Respondent being a citizen of Singapore who has pledged
allegiance to the Constitution of Singapore would not be in a position
to discharge the proper functions of the office of the Governor of
Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the same demonstrates that the
Respondent is not legally entitled to hold office as the Governor of the
Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

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15.
The Petitioner states that in the circumstances the Respondent is
disqualified by law from holding office as the Governor of the Central
Bank of Sri Lanka.
16.
The Petitioner states that the Respondent was purportedly
appointed as the Governor of the Central Banka of Sri Lanka on or
about 27.01.2015 and since then the Respondent is in usurpation of
the office of Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
17.
The Petitioner further states that according to the profile of the
Respondent published in Business Week Bloomberg, the Respondent
appears to be affiliated to the Credit Suisse Group AG, which is a global
financial institution from which the Government of Sri Lanka has
decided to borrow money.
A true copy the relevant web page of the Respondent's profile is
annexed hereto marked as P2 and pleaded as part and parcel of this
Petition.
18.
The Petitioner states that in terms of Section 11(c) Monetary Law
Act, a person who is a director, officer, employee or shareholder of any
banking institution other than the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is
disqualified from holding office as the Governor of the Central Bank of
Sri Lanka.
19.
The Petitioner states that therefore by virtue of his involvement
with the Credit Suisse Group AG the Respondent is disqualified by
Section 11(c) of the Monetary Law Act from holding office as the
Governor of the Central Bank.
20.
The Petitioner further states that there are serious allegations of
corruption against the Respondent, in particular in the issuance of
treasury bonds on 27.02.2015. The Petitioner states that;
(a) On 27.02.2015, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced an
auction of issuing 30 year treasury bonds for Rs. 1000 million
and thereafter Public Debt Department of the Central Bank
contacted commercial banks and primary dealers over the
phone canvassing bids for the above auction around the
market rate of 9.35% to 9.75% range.

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(b)At the auction Central Bank of Sri Lanka accepted bids for Rs.
1000 million at weighted average of 11.73%. However bids for
Rs. 3000 million from the primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries
Ltd., owned by the Respondent's son in law was accepted at
12.50%. Most of the other banks and the primary dealers bid
at low rates below 11.00%.
(c) Soon after the conclusion of the above auction, on 27.02.2015
the Central Bank announced a policy change removing
restrictions to excess funds of commercial banks at the
standing deposit facility of the Central Bank and effectively
increasing overnight money market rates by around 1%. This
policy change was done only 3 days after the previous
monetary policy announcement where monetary board stated
that there was no need to change the monetary policy.
(d)The activities of the said primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries
Ltd., who successfully bid for Rs. 3000 million at 12.50 %and
Rs. 2000 million at around 12.00% at the auction clearly
indicates prior knowledge of impending monetary policy
changes.
21.
The Petitioner states that in the aforesaid circumstances the
conduct of the Respondent and holding of office as the Governor of the
Central Bank of Sri Lanka is obnoxious to all the norms of good
governance.
22.
The Petitioner states that
in the totality of the aforesaid
circumstances, the Respondent holding office as the Governor of the
Central Bank of Sri Lanka is ultra vires the Monetary Law Act, No. 37 of
1974 (as amended) and is illegal.
23.
The Petitioner states that in the circumstances, the Petitioner is
entitled to a mandate in the nature of Writ of Quo Warranto declaring
that the Respondent is disqualified and/or not entitled to hold office as
the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
24.
The Petitioner states that he has not previously invoked the
jurisdiction of Your Lordships' Court in respect of the subject matter of
this application.

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WHEREFORE THE PETITIONER RESPECTFULLY PRAYS THAT YOUR


LORDSHIPS' COURT BE PLEASED TO;

(a) Issue Notice on the Respondent;


(b)Call for and examine the entire record pertaining to the
subject matter of this application;
(c) Grant and issue an order in the nature of Writ of Quo
Warranto declaring that the Respondent is disqualified
and/or not entitled to hold office as the Governor of the
Central Bank of Sri Lanka;
(d)Grant costs;
(e) Grant such other and further reliefs that Your Lordships' Court
shall seem meet;

Attorney-at-Law for the Petitioner

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