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Supreme Court Ruling announced by Speaker
Some clauses in Elections Bill inconsistent with Constitution

Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara yesterday announced that the Supreme Court had ruled certain clauses in the Bill titled Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) were inconsistent with the Constitution and a two-thirds majority was necessary to pass the Bill in Parliament.

The Speaker made this announcement in terms of Article 50 (2) (C) of the Standing Orders of Parliament, on the determination of the Supreme Court in regard to the Bill titled Parliamentary Elections (Amendment), which was challenged before the Supreme Court under Article 121 (1) of the Constitution.

The Speaker said: "The Court under Article 123 of the Constitution has determined that subsection 7 (5) (b) on words "or signifies any religion or community" in Subsection 7 (b) in Clause 2 and sub-section 9 (3) in Clause 4 of the Bill in their present form are inconsistent with Articles 12 (1), 14 (1), (a) and 14 (1) (e) of the Constitution and, therefore, this Bill may only be passed by a Special Majority in terms of 84 (2) of the Constitution.

The Court has further determined that sub-sections 7 (5) (b) and 7 (6) in Clause 2 and sub-section 9 (3) in Clause 4 of the Bill will not be inconsistent with the Constitution, if those clauses are amended as determined by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has further determined that apart from the above none of the other provisions of the Bill are inconsistent with any provisions of the Constitution."

The Speaker ordered that the determination of the Supreme Court be printed in the official report of yesterday’s proceedings.

The UNP, SLMC and the TNA had challenged the Bill before the Supreme Court.

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