CJ nominates five-judge-bench to hear petitions against 20th Amendment | Daily News


CJ nominates five-judge-bench to hear petitions against 20th Amendment

The Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya has nominated a fuller bench comprising five judges of Supreme Court to hear Special Determination petitions filed challenging the constitutionality of the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution.   

Accordingly, these petitions will be heard before a five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith Malalgoda on September 29.

Eighteen petitions have been filed so far against the twentieth amendment to the constitution. They are; Attorney-At-Law Indika Gallage, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, Centre for Policy Alternative, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Anil Kariyawasam, Nagananda Kodituwakku, S.S.C. Elankovan, Sithara Shreen Abdul Saroor, Transparency International, former Central Province Governor Keerthi Tennakoon, Rasika Jayakody, Lihini Fernando, Young Lawyers Association, General Secretary at Ceylon Mercantile, Industrial and General Workers Union Sylvester Jayakody, Dr. Ajantha Perera, Ceylon Teachers Union, T.D.B. Wijegunawardena and G.K.R. Perera. 

The petitioners are seeking a declaration that the bill in whole or in part thereby requires the approval by people at a referendum and requires a two-third majority in Parliament.

Two lawyers Jayantha Dehiattage and Migara Doss representing the Young Lawyers Association also filed a petition against the 20th amendment to the constitution. They stated that clause 27 of the proposed Amendment has introduced Article 122 whereby Cabinet of Ministers can introduce to Parliament Bills ‘urgent in the national interest’.

“The nature of ‘Urgent Bills’ passed into laws thus far amply demonstrate that this provision has only been used to surpass citizen’s rights to challenge legislation in the Supreme Court before it is enacted”, they said. This petition had been filed through counsel Manjula Balasuriya.