Proposed 20A requires referendum: AG

Published : 12:06 am  September 18, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (179) reads | 

Life-2-1 

 

  • Says also needs 2/3rds majority in Parliament 

 

By S.S. Selvanayagam   

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that they were of the view that the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution required a 2/3rds majority in Parliament and the consent of the people at a referendum.   

 

 

  • The document was presented by JVP MP Vijitha Herath as a private member’s Bill
  • Petitioners are seeking Court to determine that the Bill violated Article 3 of the Constitution

 

Additional Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe with Deputy Solicitors General Indika Demuni de Silva, Nerin Pulle, Senior State Counsel Shaheeda Barrie and State Counsel Suren Gnanaraj informed Court that the AG had received a copy of the proposed Bill from the Parliament Secretary General for his observation.   


She said the document was presented by JVP MP Vijitha Herath as a private member’s Bill on September 5 and the AG had submitted his observations to the Secretary General in terms of Standing Order 52.   
The Bill seeks to curtail the powers of the executive presidency.   


Petitions challenging the Bill were taken up by the Bench comprising Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Prasanna S. Jayawardena and Murdu N.B.Fernando for determining its constitutionality.   


Counsel Manohara de Silva PC appeared for Udaya Gammanpilla of Pivituru Hela Urumaya.   


Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC appeared for Intervenient petitioner Ven. Iththekande Sadhatissa Thera.   


Petitioners are seeking Court to determine that the Bill violated Article 3 of the Constitution.   


 The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu intervened in the petition filed by Udaya Gammanpila.   


It seeks a determination that none of the Clauses in the proposed Bill are inconsistent with any of the Articles referred to in Article 83 of the Constitution and therefore the Bill does not need to be submitted for the approval of the people at a Referendum.   


M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Viran Corea, Ms. Bhavani Fonaseka, Shushmitha Thayanandan, Khyati Wickramanayake and Ms. Inshira Faliq appeared for CPA.