“Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear FR petitions” – AG

“Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear FR petitions” – AG

Written by Staff Writer

05 Dec, 2018 | 9:25 pm

Colombo (News1st): The Fundamental rights petitions filed against the dissolution of parliament by the president, were taken up for consideration for the second consecutive day today before a 7 member bench headed by Chief Justice.

Attorney General PC Jayantha Jayasuriya made submissions before the court and pointed out that the president has acted in his capacity as the head of state and therefore his actions are not amenable to the supreme court under article 126 of the constitution.

The Attorney General, therefore, pointed out that the petitioners have no lawful basis to challenge the legality of the proclamations made by the president and that the people’s franchise should not be curtailed.

He also noted that this is a situation where the head of state is excising his powers with political considerations and queried as to weather the judges of the supreme court should be getting into political affairs.

The attorney general added it is alleged that the president has violated the constitution and if that were so the correct procedure would have been the passage of an impeachment motion in parliament and for charges to then be presented to the supreme court. This should not be by way of a fundamental rights petition challenging the head of state’s actions.

Following the AGs submissions, PC Sanjeewa Jayawardena addressed the court and pointed out that the president has the power to dissolve parliament. He read out the Sinhalese and English texts of the constitution and observed that the Sinhala text prevails.

The PC added that it is possible to read the provisions of the constitution harmoniously and that the dissolution of parliament by the president is legal.

Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila, Prof. Channa Jayasumana and Attorney at law Premarathne Dollawatta and other intervening parties to the petition will make submissions tomorrow (December 06).

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