‘Commissioner General’s actions cannot be legally challenged’
The Commissioner General of Essential Services has been empowered only to coordinate the distribution and sale of essential consumer goods including rice and sugar, which are required for maintaining the normal life of the people, Adviser to the Ministry of Justice U.R. de Silva, PC, said.
He said some interpret the transfer of power as a declaration of emergency and stressed that it has been done only to look into issues related to the food items needed to maintain the normal life of the people.
Explaining the powers of the Commissioner General of Essential Services, President’s Counsel de Silva said the most significant factor is that in such a case, there is no possibility of challenging the action taken by the authorised officer in a Magistrate’s Court or any other similar court or higher court.
“This gazette notification is valid for 14 days and it can be implemented for a period of one month when the Parliament approves it within 10 days,” he added.
The President’s Counsel said that the authorized officers would also be empowered under the supervision of the Commissioner General of Essential Services and would be empowered to take action if there were essential items hidden and to act on them if they were sold at a higher price.