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* Sri Lanka Supreme Court rules on 19th Amendment to the Constitution
Thu, Apr 9, 2015, 07:05 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has today determined that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is consistent with the Constitution but certain sections require a referendum.

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Supreme Court's decision in Parliament today.

The Supreme Court took up 19 petitions filed against the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which was presented to Parliament on March 24. The Supreme Court also heard seven intervening petitions.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan, and justices Chandra Ekanayake and Priyasath Dep, has ruled that the Bill titled "The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution" complies with the provisions of Article 82(1) of the Constitution.

The bench further ruled that the bill requires to be passed by a special majority specified in Article 82 (5) of the Constitution.

Several sections of the Bill require the approval of the people at a referendum according to the Constitution, the apex court determined.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution mainly seeks the reduction of executive powers of the Presidency and restoration of independent commissions.

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking on the court's decision said the relevant clauses of 19th Amendment will be amended and it will be presented to Parliament on April 20. He said Parliament will be dissolved after the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the sections which require a referendum will be omitted from the 19th Amendment.


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