Certain clauses of 22A inconsistent with Constitution

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed Parliament yesterday (6) that the Supreme Court has determined that certain clauses of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution Bill are not consistent with the Constitution and those clauses are required to be passed by a Special Majority and a Referendum.

However, if those clauses are amended, the Bill can be passed without a Referendum. The Supreme Court states that the Bill complies with the provisions of the Article 82(1) of the Constitution and requires to be passed by the special majority specified in Article 82(5) of the Constitution. Clause 2 of the Bill contains provisions inconsistent with Article 3 read together with Article 4(b) of the Constitution and as such may be enacted only by the special majority required by Article 82(5) and upon being approved by the People at a Referendum by virtue of Article 83. However, the necessity for a Referendum shall cease if the proposed Articles 41A (6) and 41B(4) in Clause 2 are suitably amended to remove the deeming provision set out therein.

Clause 3 of the Bill contains provisions inconsistent with Article 3 read together with Article 4(b) of the Constitution and as such may be enacted only by the special majority required by Article 82(5) and upon being approved by the People at a Referendum by virtue of Article 83.

However, the necessity for a Referendum shall cease: if the proposed Article 44(2), the proviso to Article 44(3), Articles 45(1), 46(1), 47(3)(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 with the President acting in consultation with the Prime Minister; if the provisions of Article 47(2)(a) are restored in the proposed Article 47(2) in Clause 3.