Centre for Policy Alternatives on 17 August, 2012

The Centre for Policy Alternatives Vs. Attorney General (Divinaguma Bill (1)) (SC SD 3/2012)

Categories: Public Interest Litigation submissions

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr.P.Saravanamuttu filed a Petition on 17th August 2012 in the Supreme Court (SC SD 3/2012) challenging the constitutionality of the Bill.

CPA challenged the Bill on the basis that the Bill contains several clauses which were in relation to subject’s enumerated in the Provincial Council list in the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

CPA further contended that the Bill if enacted will take away the ambit of oversight mechanisms, especially in the area of financial control and accountability as provided in Chapter XVII of the Constitution which amounts to a violation of Articles 148 and 150 of the Constitution which will in turn be a violation of Article 4 (A) read with Article 3.

Therefore the CPA sought that the said bill shall not become law unless such bill is referred to every Provincial Council in terms of article 154(G) (3) of the Constitution and since it is inconsistent with several provisions of the Constitution including entrenched clauses, shall only be passed by following the procedure laid down in Article 83 of the Constitution. 

The matter was taken up in the Supreme Court on 27th and 29th August 2012. Written Submissions were filed on 30th.

On 18th September 2012 Hon. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament that the Supreme Court had held that the Bill contained several provisions which are in relation to the Provincial Council’s list and can only be placed on the order paper of Parliament after it is referred to all Provincial Councils as per article 154G (3). Thereafter on 21 September 2012 the Leader of the House informed Parliament that the Bill would be withdrawn from the order paper.