Sarath N. Silva files petition against PC Elections Bill
September 28, 2017 02:04 pm
Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today filed a petition challenging the legality of the Provincial Council Elections Amendment Bill, which was recently passed in Parliament.
Ada Derana court correspondent said that the former CJ had filed the petition with the Supreme Court, requesting the court to determine that the bill was unlawful.
The Provincial Council Elections (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority on September 20, with 154 voting in favour and 43 against.
Several organizations and associations had voiced concern over the procedure adopted in passing the bill while the Joint Opposition had also accused the government of forcing amendment to the bill before it was taken for a vote and that it will be used to delay polls.
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE),a local election watchdog, had charged that the government deceived women’s rights organizations, civil society organizations and all interested parties by indicating that the laws ensure higher female representation at provincial councilors.
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) had expressed alarm by the lack of consultation and procedure adopted in the passage of the bill.
In making substantial committee stage amendments, a key democratic check has been sidestepped as there is no opportunity to assess the constitutional conformity of the amendments, it said.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had also stated that the manner in which the bill was passed was problematic and that it would take up the issue with the government.