Supreme Court of Sri Lanka – SC (FR) Application No. 179/2016
EFL v. Anura Wijepala, Chairman Ceylon Electricity Board and 15 others
Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), along with other experts and organizations, filed a Fundamental Rights Application (Bearing No. SCFR 179/16), against the proposed controversial coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee. On September 13th , when this matter was taken up before the Honourable Chief Justice in Supreme Court, Deputy Solicitor General Mr. Sanjaya Rajaratnam, appearing for the 1st to the 8th Respondents informed Court he had received instructions from Dr. A. Batagoda, the Secretary to the Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy Sri Lanka that the proposed Coal Power Plant would not be initiated in Sampur, leading to the case being withdrawn.
The grievances highlighted in the petition included the discrepancies in the EIA as well as the long term environmental and health impacts that a coal power plant would have caused. The legal team for the Petitioner (EFL) was led by President’s Counsel Mr. K. Kanag-Isvaran and dedicated environmental lawyer Ms. Wardani Karunaratne AAL. The FR Application, focused on, inter alia, the unsuitability of coal in terms of health, highlighting the impacts already felt in Norochcholai, and economic benefit when compared with LNG.
Significance of the case
EFL filed this Fundamental Rights application against the proposed controversial coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee. The Fundamental Rights Application, focused, inter alia, on the unsuitability of coal in terms of health, highlighting the impacts already felt in Norochcholai, and the superior economic and environmental suitability of Liquefied Natural Gas in comparison. The case was withdrawn subsequent to the Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy informing Courts that the proposed Coal Power Plant would not be initiated in Sampur.