Supreme Court delivers Prevention of Terrorism Act Bill determination to Parliament

Sri Lanka Parliament and Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has determined that certain clauses in the Bill to amend the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 need to be revised, Speaker of Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed the Parliament today (March 08).

Further, the Supreme Court has concluded that some other clauses in the relevant Bill need to be passed with a two-thirds majority in the House.

The Bill tilted Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) was challenged in the court in terms of Article 121 (1) of the Constitution.

The determination read out by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is as follows:

Clause 2 of the Bill is NOT inconsistent with any provision of the constitution.

Clause 3 of the Bill cannot be enacted into law unless the number of votes cast in favor amounts not less than 2/3 of the whole number of members, including those not present, as per the constitution.

The Supreme Court is however of the view that if the provisions of Clause 3 of the bill are amended as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court, it would ease to be inconsistent with any provision of the constitution.

Clause 4 of the Bill, the Supreme Court states that be that as it may, the learned Additional Solicitor General had informed the court that the Attorney General would be advising the Minister to insert article 141 into the body of the proposed section 10 in Clause 4 of the Bill and the Minister would move that amendment at the Parliament Committee stage to address the concerns of the petitioners.

Clause 5 of the Bill, for the reason mentioned in the determination of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court holds that Clause 5 is NOT inconsistent with any provision of the constitution.

Clause 6 of the Bill, the Supreme Court holds that it cannot inquire into pronounce upon or in any manner called into question, the validity of section 11 of the PTA on any grounds whatsoever, in terms of article 83 of the constitution.

Clause 10 of the Bill, the Supreme Court holds that if amended as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court would cease to be inconsistent with any provision of the constitution.

Clause 11 of the Bill, the Supreme Court had stated that there is no basis to hold Clause 11 of the Bill is inconsistent with the constitution.

Clause 12 of the Bill, the Supreme Court is of the view that proposed section 26 (2) of Clause 12 in that form would be inconsistent with article 12 (1) of the constitution.

The Supreme Court had stated that as per article 123 (1) (c) if the provisions of the proposed section 26 (2) in Clause 12 of the bill are amended as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court if would cease to be inconsistent with any provisions of the Constitution.

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