By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Provincial High Court of Civil Appeals of Mt. Lavinia held that it has no jurisdiction to hear restitutio in integrum (restoration to original condition in contracts) matters.
The court in its recent judgment held that the powers of restitutio in ingrum though exercised by the Provincial High Court of Civil Appeals have not been vested in them under and in terms of Article 38 of the Constitution read together with Section 5 of the High Court Act No. 19 of 1990.
High Court Judge P.R. Walgama with Judge M.Z. Razeen made these findings in his judgment in an application filed by Rani Lokugalappaththi against Hilary Howard Dunstan De Silva and two others against the Order of the District Court of Mt. Lavinia fixing the matter for exparte trial and entering terms of settlement in the matter.
The application was filed to set aside the Order of the District Court of Mt. Lavina where an application has been filed to declare certain properties as being held in trust by the Defendant for the Plaintiff and declaring that the properties owned by the Plaintiff in this matter proceeded exparte.
Thereafter a settlement was entered into between two parties to the action, to the exclusion of the third. Lokugalappaththi made an application to the Provincial High Court of Civil Appeals of Mt. Lavinia by way of restitutio in integrum to set aside the said Order fixing the matter for exparte trial and setting aside the terms of settlement.
The Court dismissed the application of 1st Defendant – Petitioner Rani Lokugalapaththi subject to a cost of Rs. 5,000.
K. Aziz appeared for the Petitioner. V.K. Choksy instructed by Amal Jayasekera appeared for the Plaintiff – Respondent Hilary Howard Dunstan de Silva.