Sri Lanka Law Reports
 1 Sri L.R
ALWIS AND OTHERS
COURT OF APPEALSRIPAVAN, J.
SISIRA DE ABREW JCA1818/2001JANUARY 10, 2007
Writ ol Certiorari – State Lands (Recovery of Possessions) Act 7 of 1979 -Section 3, section 9 – Failure to follow guidelines laid down in Circular – Isthere a legal duty to follow the guidelines? – Valid permit or written authorityunder section 9?
The Circular which is claimed to have been issued by the 1strespondent Competent Authority has not been signed.
The Circular does not prescribe any duty having statutory potential.
The Circular has not been issued in accordance with any of theprovisions of the State Lands (Recovery of Possession) Act; as
Aravindakumar vAlwis and others
(Sisira de Abrew. J.)
such there is no legal duty on the part of the 1st respondent tofollow guidelines laid down in the Circular before issuing the quitnotice.
Any person served with a quit notice under section 3 can continueto be in possession/occupation of the land only upon a valid permitor other written authority of the State described in section 9.
APPLICATION for a Writ of Certiorari.
Cases referred to:
Piyasiri v People's Bank – 1989 – 2 Sri LR 48
Weligama Multipurpose Co-operative Society v Daluwatte – 1984 -1 Sri LR 195
P. Sivaloganathan with S. Rajakulendran for petitioner.
A.L.S. Devapura for respondent.
February 9, 2007SISIRA DE ABREW, J.
The petitioner, invoking the writ jurisdiction of this Court, filedthis application for the grant of writ of certiorari to quash the quitnotice marked P10 issued by the 1st respondent, the CompetentAuthority. The 1st respondent, by the said quit notice, required thepetitioner to vacate the land and the premises described in the saidquit notice, in terms of the State Lands (Recovery of Possession)Act No. 7 of 1979. The petitioner, by this application, further seeksa writ of prohibition restraining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondentsfrom proceeding to eject the petitioner and his dependants from theland and the premises described in the said quit notice.
The only point raised by the learned counsel for the petitionerwas that the 1st respondent before issuing the quit notice P10, hadfailed to follow the guide lines laid down in circular marked P7issued by him (1st respondent). The petitioner claims that in viewof the said circular, the 1st respondent could not have issued a quitnotice on him as a case was pending against him (the petitioner) inLabour Tribunal. The Labour Tribunal dismissed the petitioner'sapplication and the petitioner has appealed against the order of theLabour Tribunal. Learned Counsel for the petitioner, however
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 1 Sri L.R
conceded that the respondents had not violated any of theprovisions of the State Lands (Recovery of Possession) Act inissuing the quit notice P10. It is, therefore, conceded that therespondents have acted in terms of the provisions contained in theSate Lands (Recovery of Possession) Act in issuing the quit noticeP10.
In order to appreciate the contention of learned Counsel for thepetitioner, it is necessary to consider whether the circular P7 hasany statutory force. In this regard I would like to consider certainjudicial decisions. In Piyasiri v People's BanW) Wijerathne, J.discussing the facts stated thus: "The Minister of Finance, undersection 42A of the People's Bank Act, gave directions to the Boardof Directors to implement the recommendations of a one mancommission relating to promotion of Bank clerks and inconsequence the Board issued a circular 186/82 formulated toimplement the said recommendations."
Wijerathne, J. observed thus: "Mandamus did not lie to compelthe Board to call the petitioner, a Bank clerk, for an interview with aview to promotion in terms of the circular as the said circular 186/82does not have statutory force.
In Weligama Multi Purpose Co-operative Society v DaluwattaMa bench of five judges of the Supreme Court considered thequestion whether a provision in a circular issued by the Co-operative Employees Commission for the payment of salary tointerdicted employees of the Co-operative Societies could beenforced by a writ of mandamus. Sharvananda, J. (as he then was)delivering the judgment observed thus: "A circular is not referableto the exercise of any delegated ligislative power. It does notprescribe any duty having any statutory potential."
The circular P7, in this case, claims to have been issued by the1st respondent but no one has signed it. Further, this circular doesnot prescribe any duty having statutory potential. Has this circularbeen issued in accordance with any of the provisions of the StateLands (Recovery of Possession) Act? The answer is 'no.' LearnedCounsel for the petitioner admitted before us that the respondentshave not violated the provisions of the said Act in issuing the quitnotice P10. Having considered these matters, I am of the opinion
Aravindakumar vAlwis and others
fSisira de Abrew. J.)
that there is no legal duty on the part of the 1 st respondent to followthe guide lines laid down in the circular P7 before issuing the saidquit notice. Considering all these matters, I hold the view that thereis no legal basis to issue writs of certiorari and prohibition as prayedfor by the petitioner. The petitioner's application should fail on thisground alone.
The next question that should be considered is whether thepetitioner has any valid permit or written authority to occupy theland described in the quit notice. According to the scheme providedin the Act a person who is in possession or occupation of any stateland and has been served with quit notice under Section 3 of theAct can continue to be in possession or occupation of the land onlyupon a valid permit or other written authority of the State describedin Section 9 of the Act. In the instant case the petitioner does nothave any valid permit or written authority of the State. This wasadmitted by learned Counsel for the petitioner, at the hearing of thisapplication. Therefore, the petitioner is not entitled to be inpossession or occupation of the land described in the quit notice.The petition should fail on this ground as well.
For the reasons set out in my judgment, I dismiss thisapplication with costs fixed at Rs. 5000/-.
SRIPAVAN, J. – I agree.
ARAVINDAKUMAR v. ALWIS AND OTHERS