SL CoA | Court holds Urban Development Authority as competent authority to form an opinion about the land to be recovered

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Mahinda Samayawardhena, J., dismissed an appeal filed seeking to quash by certiorari the Notice to Quit issued by the competent authority of the Urban Development Authority under the State Lands (Recovery of Possession) Act, 1979 to recover possession of the premises.

The basis of filing this application by the petitioner was to establish that the competent authority of the UDA had no legal basis to form an opinion that the premises belonging to the petitioner was State land. The respondents filed objections stating that the petitioner was an unauthorized occupant of premises 50/1C Mayura Place (the premises in question) which was a State Land made out to the 3rd respondent (UDA) by way of a Grant dated 30th May 2000 under the State Lands Ordinance, 1947 as amended read with Plan CO/8021 dated 4th June 1999. According to the petitioner, she was the owner of the premises which was an Executive Conveyance prepared after her mother’s testamentary case on the basis that the petitioner’s deceased mother was the purported owner of the premises.

The Court while dismissing the petition held that position of the petitioner that she was the owner of the premises was belied by her own letters as per the respondents wherein she has admitted directly and/or indirectly the ownership of the premises with the State or at least that the petitioner was not the owner of the premises. [Samaraweera Mudalige Deeksha Senika Wijegunarathna Samaraweera v. Chairman, 2019 SCC OnLine SL CA 12, decided on 28-01-2019]

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