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  • EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    EU delegation calls on Sampanthan

    A special delegation of the European Union called on Tamil National Alliance Leader Parliamentarian R.Sampanthan and held discussion. Sampanthan briefed them of the problems of the Tamils and the need to enact a new constitution for Tamils to live as equals in the island.
  • Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    Alice Wells at St.Anthony’s shrine in Kochchikade

    The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells visited the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, one of the churches bombed by Muslim extremists on April 21, and laid a wreath in remembrance of the victims.
  • Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Rajitha hands over 20 endoscopy machines to hospitals

    Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne handed over 20 endoscopy machines to authorities to be distributed to various hospitals in the island at a ceremony held recently. Health Services Director Dr.Anil Jayasinghe and Health Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera were also present.
  • Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Ranil graces opening of Green Valley Apartment Complex in Kaduwela

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the ceremony held to mark the opening of the Green Valley apartment complex in Ranala Kaduwala on Sunday as its Chief Guest.
  • Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Our next president will be one selected democratically by the UNP: Mangala

    Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has observed that the next president of Sri Lanka will be the person democratically selected by the United National Party and its allies to stand on a platform of democracy, safeguarding the judiciary, public service and other independent institutions and putting ordinary citizens before any family.
  • Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Rajapaksa’s with new party, new slogans are the same - a Kobeyya will never be an eagle: Ranil

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday has charged that even though the Rajapaksa family was attempting to return to power with a new party, new candidate, and new slogans, voters must understand that “a kobeyya (dove), whether it is fried or cooked in milk, is still a kobeyya, and will never be a rajaaliya (eagle).”
  • I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    I will make Sri Lanka a peaceful, secure, safe country: Gotabaya in his maiden address

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate has observed that if entrusted with the stewardship of this country by the people, his first task would be to ensure complete safety and security throughout the nation. He had complete confidence that we would once again be able to make Sri Lanka one of the most peaceful, secure, and safe countries in the world. He would accept responsibility for people’s safety, and the safety of children and loved ones.
  • Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Gotabaya is SLPP’s Presidential candidate: Mahinda announces

    Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has announced that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa would be the Presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.
  • US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    US Assistant Secretary Alice Wells calls on Mahinda

    United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Alice Wells called on Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at his official residence in Wijerama on Sunday morning, August 11 and held discussions. She is currently on a regional tour visiting India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    SLPP leadership handed to Mahinda Rajapaksa

    The Leadership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has been handed to the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa at its National Convention held at the Sugathathasa Indoor Stadium today, Sunday, August 11.
  • Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Govt plans to sign agreements violating the constitution: Dinesh charges

    Joint Opposition Parliamentarian MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena has charged that the government was entering into international agreements detrimental to the country and in violation of the constitution.
  • Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Navin Dissanayake at Naga Vihara

    Plantation Minister Navin Eranjan Dissanayake visited Yarl Naga Vihara on Saturday, August 10 during his visit to Jaffna.
 

Power to dissolve Parliament is President’s prerogative power, not be subjected to judicial review: AG Jayantha Jayasuriya

ag jayantha jayasuriya 700 02

Attorney General AG Jayantha Jayasuriya has observed that the power to dissolve Parliament is a prerogative power which cannot be subjected to judicial review. The President’s proclamation is a political question which courts are ill-equipped to review. He was making submissions before the Supreme Court that was hearing the ten Fundamental Rights Petitions against the Declaration of dissolution of Parliament by the President.

Attorney General Jayasinghe in his submission argued:

“The dissolution of Parliament cannot constitute a violation of Fundamental Rights. It enhances the sovereignty of the people to exercise their franchise.

“The President as custodian of the executive power of the people, is empowered to exercise the power to dissolve Parliament in the best interests of the people.

“The Proclamation of dissolution of Parliament was exercised by the President in good faith and in the best interests of the people.

“The allegations on the dissolution of Parliament prior to the expiration of four years and six months and the intentional violation of the Constitution and an abuse of power by the President are not justifiable under Article 126 of the Constitution, as there is a specific and prescribed procedure set out in Article 38(2) of the Constitution, setting out the manner in which the Supreme Court may exercise jurisdiction regarding an alleged intentional violation of the Constitution and abuse of power by the President.

“Any Member of Parliament may by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution alleging that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity, or that the President had been guilty of intentional violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, misconduct or corruption, involving the abuse of powers of his office or any offence under any law, involving moral turpitude.

“He is to set out full particulars of the allegation or allegations made and seek an inquiry and report thereon by the Supreme Court.

“No notice of such resolution shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament unless it complies with the provision and such resolution is passed by no less than one-half of the whole number of Members of Parliament.

“Where such resolution is passed by not less than two-third of the whole number of members voting in its favour, the allegation or allegations contained in such resolution shall be referred by the Speaker to the Supreme Court for inquiry and report.

“Where the Supreme Court reports to Parliament, the Parliament may by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the whole number of Member remove the President from office.

“When the Executive Head of State is vested with paramount power and duties, he should be given immunity in the discharge of his functions.

“Article 38 has made provision for the removal of the President for intentional violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, misconduct or corruption and any offence under any law involving moral turpitude.

“It is essential that special immunity must be conferred on the person holding such high executive office from being subject to legal process or legal action and from being harassed by frivolous actions.

“That is the rationale for the immunity cover afforded for the President’s actions, both official and private.

“However this would not be the case, as the Supreme Court may continue to exercise jurisdiction in respect of the conduct of the President which constitutes executive and administrative action.

“The acts of President impugned do not constitute executive and administrative action under Article 126 and is therefore covered by the immunity conferred by Article 35 of the Constitution.

“The dissolution of Parliament cannot be considered an act of the Government or agency of the Government to constitute executive and administrative action for the purpose of Article 126.

“The dissolution is a power exercised by the President under Article 33(c) and 70(1) qua (in the capacity of) the Head of State, and the Supreme Court cannot exercise jurisdiction in respect of such conduct under Article 126.

“Article 126 was not intended to be an instrument by which the judicial arm of Government could usurp the function of the Head of State.

“The President’s power to dissolve Parliament at any time is reinforced by Article 62(2) of the Constitution."

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasinghe, with Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, Senior Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam, Additional Solicitors General Demuni de Silva and Farzana Jameel, as well as Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, Senior State Counsel Shaheeda Barrie, State Counsels Kanishka de Silva and Manohara Jayasinghe instructed by Senior Additional Solicitor General Sepalika Tiranagama appeared for the Attorney General.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando.

 

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