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Certain clauses in PTA (Amendment) Bill not consistent with Constitution – SC

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The Supreme Court has determined that certain clauses in the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill are not consistent with the Constitution and need to be amended before passage in Parliament, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in Parliament yesterday.

The full announcement of the Speaker is given below. “I wish to announce to the Parliament that I have received the Determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill entitled “Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment)” which was challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121(1) of the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court holds that Clause 2 of the Bill is not inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution. It holds that the Clause 3 of the Bill cannot be enacted into law unless the number of votes cast in favour thereof amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), as per the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court is however of the view that if the provisions in Clause 3 of the Bill are amended as set out in the Determination of the Supreme Court, it would cease to be inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court states that be that as it may, the learned Additional Solicitor General has informed the Court that the Attorney General would be advising the Minister to insert Article 141 into the body of the the proposed Section 10 in Clause 4 of the Bill and that the Minister would move that amendment at the Committee Stage of Parliament to address the concerns of the Petitioners.

“For the reasons mentioned in the Determination of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court holds that Clause 5 of the Bill is not inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution. It holds that it cannot inquire into or in any manner called in question, the validity of Section 11 of the PTA on any ground whatsoever in terms of Article 80 (3) of the Constitution. It holds that Clause 10 of the Bill, if amended as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court, would cease to be inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution.

“The Supreme Court has stated that there is no basis to hold that Clause 11 of the Bill is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution. It is of the view that the proposed Section 26(2) in Clause 12 in that form would be inconsistent with Article 12(1) of the Constitution. It has stated that as per Article 123(1)(c), that if the provisions in the proposed Section 26(2) in Clause 12 of the Bill are amended as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court, it would ceased to be inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution”.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 – 01:09











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