A Special Determination petition challenging the bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017" was filed before the Supreme Court by MP Bandula Gunawardena today.
The petition was filed by the MP, seeking a declaration that the bill shall become law only through a two-third majority in Parliament and the approval of the people at a referendum.
The petitioner stated that a bill titled “Foreign Exchange, 2017" was presented to the Parliament and placed on 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 deprives and abrogates 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 deprives and abrogates 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 instructions authorised to act as dealers or otherwise dealing with foreign exchange," the petitioner added.
This special determination petition was filed through senior counsel Kanishka Vitharana and counsel H.M.Tillekaratne.