Oct 18, Colombo: The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has today taken up for consideration three petitions filed against the controversial Divi Neguma Bill.
In addition to today's petitions, there are currently 11 petitions filed against the Bill before court.
One of the petitions taken up by the Supreme Court today had been filed by TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah where he had challenged the authority of the Northern Province Governor to approve the Bill in the absence of a Northern provincial Council.
TNA parliamentarian and lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for Senathirajah has said the Divi Neguma Bill should not have been placed in the parliament Order Paper a second time after the Supreme Court had determined that the Bill should not have been placed before the Parliament on the first time.
He has stated that Clause 154(g) of the Constitution required the Bill to be passed by all the nine Provincial Councils and since the Bill has not been passed by the Northern Provincial Council, the Governor of the Province who is an appointee of the President could not approve it.
According to Sumanthiran, Governors of Provincial Councils do not have legislative powers.
Sumanthiran has earlier said that the Indian government was keeping a close watch on the Divi Neguma Bill since the government through the bill was attempting to take over powers devolved to the provincial councils under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
The Supreme Court is to take up the other petitions on Monday.