Election Commission, Election Secretariat, Sarana Mawatha, Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka. 10107


There are several important judgments that have a bearing upon the franchise.   Judgments have also been passed on the interpretation of the election law and the conduct of free and fair elections at the hearings of election petitions.

  • ශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජයේ ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 17 සහ 126 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා යටතේ සහ එම ව්‍යවස්ථා ප්‍රකාර වූ ඉල්ලීම පිළිබඳ වූ කාරණය

ඉල්ලීම් අංකය (SC FR 35/2016)

01. Franchise is a fundamental right under the Constitution.

It has been decided that the casting of votes and expressing opinions on political platforms are identified within the freedom of expression in the Constitution.

(Deshapriya- Karunathilaka V. Commissioner of Elections and 13 others – {1999 -1-SLR-157})


02. Every vote is a part of citizen's freedom of expression

Article 4(e) of the Constitution says that franchise is exercised at Parliamentary elections, referenda and Presidential elections, but it does not mention about provincial councils or local authorities. (The reason may be that, there was no provincial council structure at the time of formulating the Constitution 1978 and it was established only in the year 1988). Supreme Court has expressed that peoples sovereignty is implemented by the people through franchise at every election and therefore it is a part of the freedom of expression of citizens exercised at all elections conducted to elect people's representatives.

(Egodawela / Mediwaka V.Disanayake – 2001-1-SLR-177)


03. Prevention of movement of the public and obstructing voters to go and cast vote- A violation of Fundamental Rights.

Security forces did not allow some Tamil voters coming from Batticaloa to enter into the area of a polling station to cast their vote. Three persons out of these people complained to the Supreme Court that prevention of their free movement and obstruction to cast their vote was a violation of Article 14 (1)(c) and 14 (1) (g) of the Constitution. This was seriously considered by the Supreme Court and decided it was a violation of freedom of expression under Article 14(1)(a) of the Constitution. It was therefore, ordered the government should pay one hundred thousand rupees and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army should pay Rs.30,000 to each of the 3 petitioners and the Commissioner of Election was ordered to pay a nominal sum of Rs.1000.

(Sothilingam Navananthan V. Dayananda Dissanayake and Kanapathipillai V. Dayananda Dissanayake & others – SC FR -25-26/2002)


04. An election petition is not only a fundamental right of the parties of the petition, but it is a fundamental right of the citizens of the area. It is a common matter that impacts the whole country.

(Judgment and the declaration of the Chief Justice Bertram in the case Rambukwella V. Silva which was highlighted in the case Saravanamuttu V. de mel – 1924-26 NCR -253-254)


05. The question of violating the current election law is not an issue between the petitioner and a defendant, but it is a matter that has a bearing on the common good of the electorate.

Judgment against the withdrawal of an election petitioner for Buttala electorate.

(Alexander V.Leo Fernando – 1949-NLR-202)


06. It has been decided that the relationship between a candidate and his agent is similar to the relationship between an employer and employee.

(S.J.V. Chelvanayagam V.S. Natesan – 1956 NLR – 271)