SC concludes hearing Petitions against 22A

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The Supreme Court yesterday (23) concluded hearing of the Petitions challenging certain provisions of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

This was when the nine Special Determination Petitions were taken up before a three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare and Arjuna Obeysekera. The Petitioners are due to file written submissions today (24).

The Supreme Court determination will be submitted to the Speaker of the Parliament whilst the decision will be announced in Parliament.

The Petitioners sought a determination that a referendum is required to pass certain clauses contained in the Bill for the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution that are in conflict with the sovereignty clauses contained in the Constitution. The Attorney General was named as the respondent to the Petitions.

Secretary of the ‘Vinivida Peramuna,’ Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku, who was amongst the Petitioners, stated that according to Article 41A (1) of the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution, there shall be a Constitutional Council comprising the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Opposition Leader, an MP appointed by the President, two MPs nominated by both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, a professional nominated by the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka, a person nominated by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, a professor of a State University nominated by the University Grants Commission, appointed by the President.

He stated that the 22nd Amendment provides that the appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal could only be done upon the recommendations made by the President to the said Constitutional Council and upon the approval of the Constitutional Council which is an interference with judicial independence and would subject the Judiciary to be under the Executive.

BY Faadhila Thassim