May 26, Colombo: The Attorney General informed the Supreme Court today that if the 21st Amendment to the Constitution presented in parliament is to be passed, it must obtain the approval of the people in a referendum.
The Attorney General informed his stance to the apex court when the petitions filed against the 21st and 22nd Amendments were taken for hearing today.
The petitions seek the apex court to rule that some of the provisions contained in the private resolutions of the 21st and 22nd Amendments to the Constitution presented to Parliament by the General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe are unconstitutional and must be approved by a two-thirds majority in Parliament and a public referendum.
The petitions seeking a verdict were taken up for hearing today before a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Janak de Silva and Arjuna Obeysekera.
The petitions were filed by a group including Attorney-At-law Nuwan Ballanthudawa, a member of the Central Committee of the Patriotic National Front, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara and Colonel Anil Amarasekera on behalf of the United National Organizations.
Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva, appearing for the Attorney General, told the court that the Attorney General's instructions had also been communicated to the Speaker.
During the hearing, the Additional Solicitor General stated that Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa had informed the Speaker that the 22nd Amendment, which had been tabled in Parliament as a motion by a private member to reduce the powers of the Executive Presidency, would be withdrawn.