Legal Services and Laws of Sri Lanka


SLR-1982 Vol.1-P19

SLR - 1982 Vol.1, Page No - 19

CHANDRASENA AND TWO OTHERS
v.
NATIONAL PAPER CORPORATION AND TWO OTHERS

SUPREME COURT.
SHARVANANDA , A.C. J., COLIN-THOME, J. AND SOZA, J.
S.C. APPLICATION No. 88/82
NOVEMBER 11 AND 15, 1982.

Application to the Supreme Court under Article 126 of the Constitution-Refusal to collect and remittradeunionmembership
fees-Executive and administrative action.

The petitioners were employees of the Embilipitiya Factory of the National Paper Corporation (1st respondent) and members of
the local branch of the trade union called the All Ceylon Corporation Employees Union. Union membership feeswerecollected
and remitted to the Treasurer of the Union by the 1strespondentuntilJuly1982butnotthereafter.ThePetitioners
attributed the refusal to collect these union fees to political motivation.

A preliminary objection that the alleged action of the 1st respondent did not amount to executiveoradministrativeaction
was upheld.

APPLICATION under Article 126 of the Constitution.

Cases referred to
Wijetunga v. Insurance Corporation (1984) 1 S.L.R. 1,

Nimal Senanayake S.A., with Miss S.M. Senaratne and Miss A. Telespha for 1-3 Petitioners.

Sivarasa with A. P. Niles and Miss S. Devathasan for 1st respondent.

Suri Ratnapala, Acting Senior State Counsel, for Attorney-General (3rd respondent).

November 29, 1982.

SHARVANANDA, A. C. J.
The petitioners are members of a trade union called All Ceylon Corporation Employees Union.

The 1st respondent is a Public Corporation duly incorporated under the provisions of the StateIndustrialCorporationsAct
No. 49 of 1957, to carry on the industrial undertaking of manufacturing paper and sponsoringtheproductionofpaperand
paper products.

The petitioners are employees of the Embilipitiya Factory oftherespondentCorporation.Theystatetheyareactively
involved in trade union work. The petitioners further state that the Branch Union of the petitioners' union hadforwardeda
list of persons who have joined the said Union and that till July 1982, unionmembershipfeesofthesaidmemberswere
remitted to the Treasurer of the petitioners' union, but 1st respondenthadforthepurposeofobstructingthelawful
activities of the union deliberately omitted to make deductions from August 1982 andtoforwardthemtotheAllCeylon
Corporation Employees Union. The petitioners allege that the Corporation was actinginconcertwiththemembersofthe
Jatika Sevaka Sangamaya, a rival union affiliated to the U. N. P. and were attempting to demolish the strength andinfluence
of the union to which the petitioners belong. Petitioners further stated that the majority of the members of their unionare
members of the political sympathisers of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. Petitioners complainthatthefailuretodeductthe
membership fees of the members of the All Ceylon Corporation Employees Union members in the EmbilipitiyaFactoryconstitute
political discrimination against the said union.Petitionersstatethatthe1strespondentcorporationhadinfringed
fundamental rights of the petitioners, in that the 1st respondent had discriminated against the petitioners purelyontheir
political opinion. The petitioners have applied to this court invoking the jurisdiction of this court underArticle126of
the Constitution in respect of the alleged infringement of their fundamental rights assetoutinArticle12(2)ofthe
Constitution and have applied for relief.

While denying discrimination and alleged infringement of their fundamental rights complained of by the petitioners,the1st
respondent Union has taken the preliminary objection that this court has no jurisdiction to entertainthepetitionasthe
matter referred to in the petition did not amount to executive or administrative action.

Since the preliminary objection raised in this case was of the same tenor as that raised inasimilarapplicationagainst
the Insurance Corporation of Sri Lanka in case No. 87/82, both applications were heard together.

For reasons set out in my judgment in 87/82, the preliminary objection raised by the 1strespondentisupheldandthis
application is refused without costs.

COLIN-THOME, J. - I agree.

SOZA, J. - I agree.

Preliminary objection upheld and application dismissed.


Wold Wide Shipping available for all merchandise