Speaker reveals SC determination on 20A

2020-10-20 at 10:19

Speaker of House Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says the Supreme Court has determined that certain clauses of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution must be passed with an absolute majority in Parliament and also at a public referendum to become a legislation.

During the commencement of this morning’s Parliament session, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed that he received the determination of the Supreme Court pertaining to the 20th Amendment.

The Speaker noted that according to the Supreme Court, despite inconsistencies in certain clauses, the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution can be passed without a public referendum, if such articles are amended at the Committee Stage.

The Supreme Court’s determination was directed to the President and the Speaker on the 10th of October. The Supreme Court for two weeks considered submissions pertaining to the special determination petitions filed challenging the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

39 petitions were filed before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the 20th Amendment.

The petitioners were seeking a declaration that the proposed bill in whole or in part, requires the approval of voters at a public referendum and also requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the debate on the draft bill of the 20th Amendment will take place tomorrow and on Thursday between 10am and 7.30pm during extended Parliament sittings.

The government has also announced that it will amend the draft bill according to the determination of the Supreme Court and upon taking into consideration proposals put forth by various parties.

If a division was requested on the bill after the debate, a vote will be taken in Parliament at 7.30pm on Thursday.

The bill requires the support of an absolute majority in Parliament to be passed.

The proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution will become a law following the ratification of Parliament and after the signature of the Speaker of House is placed on the amended bill.