Five PCs say bill needs two thirds, referendum | Daily News
Judicature (Amendment) Bill argument fixed for March 19:

Five PCs say bill needs two thirds, referendum


Seven Special Determination petitions challenging the constitutionality of the bill entitled the Judicature (Amendment), a bill to amend the Judicature Act No.2 of 1978 was yesterday fixed for argument on March 19 by the Supreme Court.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, Gamini Marapana PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC, Manohara de Silva PC and Kushan de Alwis PC appearing on behalf of the petitioners yesterday made their oral submissions against the concerned bill. They argued that the bill shall become law only through a two-third majority in Parliament and the approval of the people at a referendum.

The three-judge-bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasad Dep, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare and Justice Nalin Perera.

Meanwhile, thirteen parties including Megalopolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva had filed intervention petitions in support of this bill and the oral submissions on behalf of these intervention petitioners are to be made on the next date.

Seven Special Determination petitions had been filed by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chairman G.L. Peiris, Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardene, BASL President U.R. de Silva and four others. They stated that the concerned bill would vest in the ‘executive’ with arbitrary powers to decide as to whom to be tried before the proposed High Court and thereby deprive the citizens of equal application of the Criminal Procedure, which is essential for the upholding of the ‘Rule of Law.

In their intervention petitions Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavitharana, State Minister Ajith P. Perera, Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Saman Rathnapriya, Jayadeva Uyangoda, Attorney-at-law K.W. Janaranjana, Gamini Viyangoda and Jagath Premachandra sought Court’s intervention to make their submissions.

They also sought a declaration that the bill shall not become law through a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the approval of the people at a referendum.

The intervention petitioners further said the clauses of the said bill are not in violation of and inconsistent with Articles 3, 4(a), (b) (c), 12(1), 12(2), 13(3),14, 14(1)(g) 27, 75, 83 and 84(2) and the other Articles of the Constitution.

President’s Counsel J.C. Weliamuna, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne PC and Saliya Peiris PC appeared for the intervention petitioners.

Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda PC with Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana PC appeared for the Attorney General.




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