By Saman Indrajith
The Supreme Court had determined that the Bill titled ‘Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution’ could pass in Parliament with a two-thirds majority without going for a referendum provided that the inconsistencies in four clauses therein were amended, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in Parliament, yesterday (20).
Making the announcement, the Speaker said: “I wish to announce that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill titled ‘Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution’ which has been challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121 (1) of the Constitution.
“The Supreme Court has determined as follows: the Bill complies with the provisions of the Article 82 (1) of the Constitution; requires to be passed by a special majority specified in Article 82 (5) of the Constitution; Clauses 3, 5, 14 and 22 in their present form are inconsistent with the Article 3 read with Article 4 of the Constitution and therefore require approval by the people at a referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 83.
“However, such inconsistency in Clauses 3 and 14 would cease by amending in accordance with the proposed committee state amendments and the inconsistency in Clause 5 would cease if Clause 5 is suitably amended as specified in the determination.
“I order that the determination of the Supreme Court be printed in the official report of today’s proceedings.”
Chief Opposition Whip Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella: The Supreme Court has approved some amendments. Will the MPs get those amendments?
Speaker: Yes, they should have already been provided to you.