SC determination on 20A in House on October 20 | Sunday Observer

SC determination on 20A in House on October 20

11 October, 2020

The Supreme Court determination on the petitions filed against the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will be presented in Parliament on October 20.

The Supreme Court determination regarding the constitutionality of the 20th Amendment Draft Bill has already been referred to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. The Speaker will convey the Court determination when Parliament convenes on October 20.

The Draft Bill was presented to Parliament on September 22 by Justice Minister Ali Sabri. The new Amendment was gazetted on September 2 and included in the Parliament Order Paper on September 22.

The 20th Amendment will replace the 19th Amendment to the Constitution enacted in May 2015 during the tenure of the former Yahapalana Government and will restore the powers of the Executive President which were scaled down in the 19th Amendment.

However, a few salient features such as the two-term limit on the Presidency and the five-year term limit on the President and Parliament have been retained in the 20th Amendment.

The 20th Amendment Bill needs a two-thirds majority in Parliament, including those who are not present, for approval.

Thirty-nine petitions have been filed against the Draft Bill of the 20th Amendment at the Supreme Court, citing the Attorney General as respondent.

The Supreme Court concluded the consideration of petitions filed challenging the 20th Amendment Draft Bill on October 5.

During the hearing, Attorney General Dappula de Livera said all the provisions contained in the Draft Bill of the 20th Amendment are in accordance with the Constitution.

The petitions were filed by Election Commission member Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene, SJB Youth Wing Chairman Mayantha Dissanayake and Attorney-at-Law P. Liyanaarachchi of the Sirilaka Janatha Peramuna, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), former Governor and Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon, human rights activist Abdul Zanoon and several others.

Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Gamini Lokuge and Prof. G.L. Peiris had filed intervenient petitions seeking permission to present cross-submissions pertaining to the petitions challenging the 20th Amendment draft Bill.

In addition, SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam, Ven. Omare Kassapa Thera, M. Dayaratne, W.A. Weerathilake and P.G.B. Abeyratne had also filed intervenient petitions.