Supreme Court battle on 20th Amendment set to begin today

The petitions filed challenging the draft bill of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution will be taken up for consideration before the Supreme Court today.

The petitions will be considered before a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira De Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena and Vijith Malalgoda.

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its determination pertaining to the Constitutional Amendment within 21 days from the commencement of the consideration of the petitions.

As of yesterday, 39 petitions had been filed before the Supreme Court against the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Petitions were filed by member of the Election Commission Ratnajeevan Hoole, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the Tamil National Alliance, the United National Party, the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Transparency International, the Ceylon Teacher Services Union and several other groups.

The petitioners are challenging the constitutionality of several clauses of the proposed 20th Amendment and also seeking an order that the draft bill has to be passed in Parliament with a two thirds majority and requires to be approved by a public referendum to become a legislation.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna yesterday stated that the party will act as an intermediary in the petitions.

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