Supreme Court determines certain provisions of draft 22A inconsistent with Constitution

Supreme Court Sri Lanka

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has determined that some clauses of 22nd Amendment to the Constitution are inconsistent with the Constitution and needs to be approved through a special majority in Parliament and a referendum, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyawardane told Parliament today (September 06).

He also said according to the determination, if the clauses were suitably amended, they can be passed without a referendum.

The Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena’s announcement is as follows:

I wish to announce to Parliament that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill entitled “Twenty Second Amendment to the Constitution” which was challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121(1) of the Constitution.

On an overall consideration of the provisions of the Bill, the Supreme Court has made the following Determination:

1. The Supreme Court states that the bill complies with the provision of Article 82 (1) of the constitution and requires it to be passed by a Special Majority specified in Article 82 (5) of the constitution.

2. Clause 2 of the bill contains provisions inconsistent with Article 3 read together with Article 4 (b) of the constitution, as such may be enacted only by the Special Majority specified in Article 82 (5) of the constitution, and upon being approved by the people at a referendum by virtue of Article 83.

However, the necessity of a referendum shall cease if the proposed Articles 41 (a), 41 (a) (6), and 41 (b) (4) in clause 2 are suitably amended to remove the deeming provisions set out therein.

3. Clause 3 of the bill contains provisions inconsistent with Article 3 read together with Article 4 (b) of the constitution, as such may be enacted only by the Special Majority specified in Article 82 (5) of the constitution, and upon being approved by the people at a referendum by virtue of Article 83.

However, the necessity of a referendum shall cease if the proposed Article 44 (2), 44 (3) , 45 (1), 46 (1), 43 (7) (a), 48 (3), and 50 in Clause 3 are suitably amended by deleting the reference to ‘The President Acting on the advice of the Prime Minister” and replacing instead, the President acting in consultation with the Prime Minister.

&, If provisions of Articles 47 (2) (a) are restored, and Restored proposed Articles 47 (2) in clause number 3.

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