Home Sri Lankan Cases R.M. Dayawathie v Principal of Girl’s High School Kandy and Others.

Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
Justice B.P. Aluwihare Justice Prasanna Jayawardena Justice Vijith K. Malagoda
Key words
Article 12 (1)
Cases referred to

Cases referred to

  1. SC FR 335/2016
  2. Wijesinghe v Attorney General

Counsel who appeared

Elmore Perera for the petitioner 

Rajiv Goonetilake for AG

Counsel who appeared
Date of Decision
Judgement by Name of Judge/s
Justice B.P. Aluwihare
Noteworthy information relating to the case

FR Application dismissed.

Other information

R.M. Dayawathie v Principal of Girl’s High School Kandy and Others.

SC No.459/2019(FR)

Facts of the case

The Petitioner complained that her fundamental right to equality guaranteed has been infringed by the Principal, Girls’ High School Kandy by refusing admission of her daughter to Grade 01 of the school. She further claimed that Respondent failed to give regard to clause 3.2 of the Instructions issued by the Ministry of Education regarding the admission of Children to Grade one in Government Schools for the year 2018 which states that due consideration should be given to the proportion of children belonging to different religions at the time of vesting the school to the government.

Findings related to FoRB

FoRB violation – Conscience (i.e. having or adopting a religion of one’s choice); Discrimination


(1) ‘If religion was to be the sole criteria for eligibility, the circular could have made it a separate category. The fact that it isn’t, means that religion must be viewed within the framework of the overarching eligibility criteria. The religious quota is a special factor for consideration—and not a separate tier of admission. It does not make eligible an otherwise ineligible applicant. This is the reason for proportionately dividing remaining slots apportioned to a religion among other categories—to facilitate the intake of eligible candidates in other categories.’ (2) ‘In the present case, the School has conducted their admission process based on the proportion of children belonging to different denominations that existed at the time of vesting the school to the government… The Court cannot necessarily fault them for adopting the said criterion since it is not repugnant to the statutory requirements.’ (3) The court held that it ‘cannot conclude that the Respondents acted with an insidious discriminatory purpose when they refused to admit the Petitioner’s daughter. Every similarly circumstanced candidate in the non Roman Catholic category has been treated in the similar manner’.