Certain clauses of 20A need referendum: Supreme Court informs Speaker

Oct 20, 2020 (LBO) – Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today announced in Parliament the determination of the Supreme Court on the ‘Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution’.

As per the determination, the bill could pass in parliament with a two-third majority without a referendum provided that inconsistencies in several clauses would be amended.

“I wish to inform Parliament that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the bill titled ‘Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution’ which has been challenged in the Supreme Court in terms of Article 121(1) of the constitution,” Speaker Abeywardena said.

“The Supreme Court has determined as follows. The bill complies with provisions of Article 82(1) of the constitution requires the pass by special majority specified in Article 82(5) of the constitution. Clauses 3, 5, 4, and 22 in their present form are inconsistent with Article 3 read with Article 4 of the constitution and therefore require approval by the people at a referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article number 83,”

“However, such inconsistencies in clauses 3 and 14 would be ceased by amending in accordance with the proposed committee stage amendments and inconsistency in clause number 5 would be ceased if clause 5 is suitably amended specified in the determination.”