ECONOMYNEXT - Court of Appeal has quashed the elections for the governing body of Sri Lanka's automobile sports, where Carlton Motor Sports Club voted, declaring the polls illegal and prohibited its executive committee from holding office.
An office bearer of Carlton Motor Sports Club, who was not eligible to vote, was also a member of the executive council of Sri Lanka Automobile Sports, the governing body for motor sports in the island.
Upuluwan Serasinghe, a racing driver has gone to court in 2014 saying the election of the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Automobile Sports was illegal.
The petitioner told court that though Carlton Motor Sports Club was not eligible to vote, it had been allowed by M D Ranjani Jayakody, then Director General of the Department of Sports Development.
Carlton Motor Sports Club was connected to ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son Rohitha.
Under Sri Lanka's sports law, after the government officially recognizes an entity as a controlling body for a sport, the minister of sports and some bureaucrats can interfere in their operations, unlike in a free country, freedom advocates say.
The state also has powers to make appoint interim committees.
The petition was supported by Viran Corea with Sarita de Fonseka instructed by DN Associates. Kuvera de Zoysa, appeared for the members of the executive committee, whose election was challenged.
Justice V Malalgoda, President of the Court of Appeal delivered the judgement quashing the holding of the illegal elections, and preventing those elected from holding office.
Court was told that out of 9 motor sports club of the country only 7 were eligible to vote at the 2014 elections.
Court was told that Director General Department of Sports Development was wrong in allowing Carlton Motor Sports Club and the Sri Lanka Association of Racing Drivers and Riders which had held only one event during the period to vote.
The judgement was delivered on April 01. Days before the judgement there were moves to have another, but following a motion, court ordered the elections to be held after the judgement.
The motion charged that the accounts of Sri Lanka Motor Sports for 2014 had not even audited and given to the members. (Colombo/Apr02/2016)