The Supreme Court convened a special court hearing during vacation to support three Special Determination petitions filed challenging the bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017", today.
These petitions are to be taken up for support on April 24 before a three-judge-bench comprising Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare and Justice Anil Goonaratne.
These petitions were filed by MP Bandula Gunawardena, Attorney-at-law Dharshana Weraduwage and Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku seeking a declaration that bill shall become law only through a two-third majority in Parliament and the approval of the people at a referendum.
In his petition, MP Bandula Goonaratne stated that a bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017" was presented to the Parliament and placed on Order Paper of the Parliament on April 7.
The petitioner stated that clauses 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32 of the bill are in violation of and inconsistent with Articles 03, 04, 12(1), 14(1)(g), 75 and 148 of the Constitution.
The petitioner said that clauses 2(2), 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22 and 24 of the Foreign Exchange Bill deprive and abrogate the power of Parliament to have full control over public finance as enshrined by Article 148 of the Constitution.
The petitioner further stated that the said bill further deprive and abrogate the powers and duties of the Central Bank and the Monetary Board to supervise, regulate and control matters in relation to foreign exchange including Gold, currency, payments, securities, debts and import, export, transfer and settlement of property as provided by the Exchange Control Act Mo.24 of 1953.
"The bill empower the Minister and the cabinet of Ministers with the authority to be in charge of and thereby to regulate and control affairs and matters in relation to foreign exchange and all instructions authorised to act as dealers or otherwise dealing with foreign exchange," the petitioner added.