“Foreign Exchange 2017”: Special Vacation Court to hear Bill | Daily News

“Foreign Exchange 2017”: Special Vacation Court to hear Bill

The Supreme Court has convened a special court hearing during vacation to support three Special Determination petitions filed challenging the Bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017”.

The petitions are to be taken up for support on April 24 before three-judge-Bench comprising Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare and Justice Anil Goonaratne.

These petitions had been 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-thirds majority in Parliament and the approval of the people at a referendum.

In his petition, MP Bandula Gunawardena states that a Bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017” was presented to Parliament and placed on the Order Paper of the

Parliament on April 7, 2017.

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 stated 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 deprived 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 empowers 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 institutions authorised to act as dealers or otherwise dealing with foreign exchange,” the petitioner added. 


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It is quite pathetic to see that our policy-makers haven't learned anything from the past mistakes and they continue to be stupid to provide ample opportunity for an unscrupulous opposition and other undesirable elements to sabotage governace. Isn't wise to refer all new bills to the supreme court for seeking its opinion prior to presenting them to the Parliament?. Also, what is the difficulty for the ministers to present the bills and other cabinet papers for detailed review by legal experts of the govt and discussions among all members of the cabinet and get them thoroughly vetted prior to bringing them to the parliament or to the notice of the public?. HE the Prez and Hon.PM must ensure that all members of the cabinet are given adequate time to study the bills/cabinet papers and their signatures should be obtained. The secretaries of the ministries must be responsible for getting these processes properly attended on time. This is their primary function. Since the literacy rate of our members of the cabinet is of very low level, it would be extremely difficult to expect all of them to understand the subject at equal level Notwithstanding, the process must be in place to avoid criticism and unnecessary delays including protests and court cases.


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