Shammi Silva led administration term at SLC over – Attorney General

Written by Abhishek Patil

The Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department has recommended that Shammi Silva led administration term at Maitland Place is over and the board will be placed under a new management committee until its election of office bearers in on May 20.

The recommendation came after Nishantha Ranatunga, the seasoned administrator and current President of Colts Cricket Club,  on March 2 wrote a letter to Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, asking him to appoint an interim committee at the Maitland Place to run the cricket in the Island until the next election.

In the letter, Nishantha had stated that the two year term of Shammi Silva led administration has already expired on February 20 and thus it has no legality to continue as office bearers.

“As you are aware, the last election of office bearers of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the National Association for the sport Cricket, was held on 21st February 2019. The office bearers of the Sri Lanka Cricket are elected for term of two years. This is provided in the most categorical terms in the provision contained in section 7(2)(b), which states that:

“Office Bearers shall hold office for a period not exceeding two (2) years and shall be eligible for re-election, provided he has not been removed on disciplinary grounds by the Disciplinary Committee”.

The Regulations made by the Minister of Sports under section 41 and read with section 31 of the Sports Law No. 25 of 1973 also provides that, inter alia, the term of office bearers of a National Association shall be determined by the constitution of the said Association. The Regulations published in Extraordinary Gazette bearing number 1990/23 dated 27th October 2016, in Schedule III, states:

“Every National Association of Sports shall have the constitution containing the following matters:

(n) ​to specify the procedure for election, removal, qualification, composition, term and the responsibilities of the office bearers of the Committee and the member of the Election Committee, Decision Making Committee, Selection Committee, Seeding Committee or Ranking Committee, Technical Committees, Finance Committee and Disciplinary Committee;”

Hence, it is manifestly evident that the Office Bearers of Sri Lanka Cricket are elected to hold office for a period of two years and not more. Thereby, the office of the Office Bearers of Sri Lanka Cricket elected 21st February 2019, expired on the 20th February 2021, and are not legally entitled to hold office, or exercise the powers of the office anymore, and the said Office Bearers continuing to hold office and exercise the powers of the office are blatantly ultra vires, wrongful, illegal, unlawful, and has no avail in law” the letter, addressed to Sports Ministry secretary and director general, reads.

“In these circumstances, we being a Controlling Member of the Sri Lanka Cricket, are concerned that the Sri Lanka Cricket may not be able to lawfully function as the term of the Office Bearers are ended, and the next election would not take place until 20th May 2021.

Therefore, we kindly urge you, Sir, to exercise your discretion vested under section 32 of the Sports Law No. 25 of 1973 and suspend the registration of Sri Lanka Cricket up until the election in concluded in May 2021, and until then under the powers vested under section 33 of the Sports Law No. 25 of 1973, appoint an interim committee to carry out the duties and functions of Sri Lanka Cricket and thereby ensure the smooth and lawful functioning of Sri Lanka Cricket.

We make this humble request in order to safeguard the smooth and lawful functioning of Sri Lanka cricket, and to avoid/prevent wrongful, illegal, and unlawful actions of the Office Bearers whose term of office is expired.” the letter further reads.

After AG’s recommendation, now Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa will have to appoint a new committee for the day-to-day affairs of SLC till the election.

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Abhishek Patil