Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC: Despite 19A Prez can dissolve parliament

Interim order extended till tomorrow


By Chitra Weerarathne

The President could dissolve Parliament under Article 62/2 despite the 19th Amendment, said Sanjeewa Jayawardena P.C., in the Supreme Court, when he supported an intervenient petition in support of the dissolution of Parliament by the President.

President’s Counsel Jayawardena said that Article 62/2 referred to dissolution of Parliament by President before the prescribed period.

Despite the 19th Amendment to the Constitution the Article 62/2 was effective. President Chandrika Kumaratunga in 2000 had dissolved Parliament under the Parliamentary Election Ordinance and fixed the date for summoning under Article 70/5 Section 10/2 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, Jayawardena said, adding that the President should make only an order in the gazette.

When dissolution was premature, Section 10 of Parliamentary Election Ordinance, could be made use of.


Jayawardena PC said that Article 125 stated that the Supreme Court could interpret the Constitution, but could not transplant a view.

Article 70 was on the legislative power of the people exercised by the Parliament. The executive power of the people should not be rendered impotent, he argued.

The Counsel said if President dissolved parliament prematurely, under Article 62/2, he resorted to Article 70/5/b to set the date of the poll.

Manohara de Silva P.C., supporting an intervention petition said that, after the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, under Article 62/2 President could prematurely dissolve Parliament. Article 70/1 had four provisos, a, b, c, d. The 19th Amendment removed provisos b, c, d. Only proviso (a) remained. If the Appropriation Bill was rejected for a second time, the President could dissolve the Parliament, he argued.

The President could appoint as Prime Minister any member "whom he thinks commands the respect of the Parliament."

The bench comprised Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira De Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardene, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, Justice Vijith Malalgoda and Justice Murdhu Fernando.

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