ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday November 18, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 25

SC stays passport handover order

By Telles Anandappa

In a fundamental rights petition filed by an employee of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) against the direction to hand over his passport and visa to the UAE authorities the Supreme Court stayed the order until the November 26. The petitioner Guruge Athula Palitha Perera of Gampaha cited Dubai and Northern Emirates UAE Consul General Wasantha Senanayake, SLBFE Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka, the SLBFE and the Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner’s counsel stated the petitioner had been employed in the UAE since 2001 as a driver in the Consul. He has been employed on a contract basis renewed regularly. He stated that his work had been recommended by his superiors. He said his last term was for the period 2005 – 2008.

Petitioner’s counsel said the petitioner was granted a salary of approximately Rs 100,000 which was paid by the 2nd respondent. He also said that he had obtained a loan of 72,000 dirhams from Al. Asool Finance Company to build a house in Sri Lanka and there was a balance of 31,000 dirhams still to be paid.

The termination of his services with immediate effect and the direction to cancel his visa without any reasons given was violating his fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The order given by the 2nd respondent was unreasonable and irrational.

State Counsel for the respondents said there were anonymous letters sent to the Consul regarding the petitioner’s conduct and misuse of the vehicle for illegal activities.

The Bench comprising Justices Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Gamini Amaratunga and J Balapatabendi were of the view that in terminating the services of the petitioner without giving him a hearing was not correct and directed that calling for his passport and cancellation of his passport be withdrawn till November 26.Attorney J.C Weliamuna appeared for the petitioner. S. Herath appeared for the respondents.

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