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Supreme Court has no power to intervene into DDR process – AG

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The Attorney General told the Supreme Court yesterday (4) that the Domestic Debt Restructuring (DDR) is subject to Parliamentary approval under the final stage of the International Monetary Fund’s proposal, so court has no power to intervene, Additional Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne presenting preliminary objections to the petitions said.

This was stated at the hearing a petition filed requesting to decide that fundamental rights are violated by the decision to reduce the interest entitlement of nine percent when investing money from the Employees’ Provident Fund in Treasury bills and bonds under Domestic Debt Restructuring.

The petition was taken up for hearing in the presence of the Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Judges Vijith Malalgoda, Gamini Amarasekara and Yasantha Kodagoda. Dayaratne, representing the Attorney General, stated that he would submit preliminary objections regarding this petition. He mentioned that the restructuring of foreign debt is done according to the proposal of the International Monetary Fund.

He said that it is a matter related to public finances and has been submitted to the Parliament for approval. He stated further that the authority related to finance belongs to Parliament and since the domestic debt restructuring has been brought to the attention of the Parliament, court does not have the ability to intervene or give orders in this regard. Therefore, he requested

Court to dismiss these petitions without hearing them.

President’s Counsel Kanageeswaran, who appeared on behalf of the Central Bank Finance Board, stated that the decision regarding the reduction of the Employees’ Provident Fund interest to nine percent or the increase of the tax levied on Treasury Bonds to 30 percent will be made on the eleventh.He also mentioned that the petitions have not presented complete facts regarding this process and it is necessary to submit the facts through objections. Therefore, he requested the court to grant permission to file objections against these petitions.

President’s Counsel M.A.Sumanthiran, who appeared before Court on behalf of the petitioner, stated that the government will make a decisive pronouncement on the matter mentioned in the petition on August 11. Therefore, he requested to give an approximate date for considering this petition as an urgent matter, prior to that.

After considering facts, the Bench allowed objections to be filed and ordered the objections be filed on August 8. Any opposing objections were also directed to be filed on August 9.

Accordingly, it was ordered that court be convened on August 10 in order to consider the petition.

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