The gazette notification declaring high-security zones has been forwarded to the President without seeking advice from the Attorney General.
According to highly placed government sources, the alleged gazette notification was prepared under the supervision of three high-level officials, including the minister of public security.He further said that this gazette notification was withdrawn immediately as directed by the Attorney General since there was a legal hiatus.
The minister and other officials who were involved in this work without consulting the Attorney General are facing severe criticism from the government officials.
According to reports, this gazette notification has been prepared at the initiative of a Senior Superintendent of Police who is involved in the legal affairs of the police.
This draft was presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe by the Minister of Public Security without the approval of the Attorney General.
Highly placed sources said that it was signed a few moments before the President left for London to attend the funeral of the British Monarch on the belief that the Attorney General had reviewed it.
Usually, the President does not inquire into the legality of such drafts sent to the President for signature based on the prior belief that such drafts usually come with the approval of the Attorney General.
Due to the huge controversy caused by this gazette notification and the political parties resorting to legal action against these high-security zones, the President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake, inquired of the Attorney General, Sanjay Rajaratnam, and the Attorney General said that the draft of the relevant gazette announcement was made without consulting his department.
He has said that it should be withdrawn immediately as there are questions about its legality.
During an investigation, it was found that this gazette notification was prepared by the Minister of Public Security and the high-ranking officials connected to the security sector that he is working with and sent for the signature of the President.
Accordingly, the President came to know that this draft was not subjected to the scrutiny of the Attorney General after being briefed by the President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake.
On learning of this situation, the President immediately asked to withdraw the gazette.
However, the President’s signature was necessitated and the authorities were compelled to wait until the return of President Ranil Wickremesinghe from his visit to Japan and the Philippines.