The Supreme Court’s determination on the legality of the proposed Constitutional Amendments has been intimated over to the Speaker.
A five-Judge Bench headed by Justice Shirani Bandaranayake took up for consideration the draft Bill directed to the Supreme Court by the President. Making submissions, Attorney General Mohan Peiris said that it has been proposed to do away with the Cluase which restricts the President to holding only two terms of office. According to the amendments, person who has the mandate of the public can hold the Presidency for several terms. It would strengthen the universal franchise and sovereignty of the people. At the same time, another amendment is the opportunity afforded for the President to participate in Parliamentary proceedings once in three months. The Attorney General opined that this further consolidates the concept that the President is responsible to Parliament.
Pointing out that a Parliamentary Council will replace the Constitutional Council established under the 17th Amendment, the Attorney General noted that all powers of the National Police Commission will be vested in the Public Service Commission. At the same time, it has been proposed to vest in the Cabinet powers related to policy decisions on appointments, promotions, transfers and dismissals related to high designations in the Public Service. The Attorney General underlined that there is no need to go for a referendum for the ratification of the Constitutional Amendment. Counsels who appeared on behalf of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the Democratic National Alliance and the Centre for Alternative Policy centre made submissions against the Bill.