20th Amendment to the Constitution: Six petitions before SC

By Skandha Gunasekara

A total of six petitions were filed before the Supreme Court as of yesterday (23), including by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), challenging the 20th Amendment bill.

Attorney-at-Law Indika Gallage lodged a special application claiming the bill required a referendum to be enacted as it violated the basic rights of the people.

The SJB yesterday was the second to file a case in the Supreme Court.

“Our lawyers went before the Supreme Court to challenge the 20th Amendment bill,” SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara told The Morning.

The SJB charged that certain provisions of the 20th Amendment bill violated fundamental rights as well as sections of the current Constitution.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) also went before the Supreme Court over the same.

“Our legal team tendered papers to courts objecting to the 20th Amendment bill,” TNA Leader MP R. Sampanthan told The Morning.

The TNA alleged that the bill was contrary to the current Constitution and infringed the fundamental rights and other provisions guaranteed by the Constitution.

Public interest litigation activist and Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodithuwakku too challenged the 20th Amendment bill before the Supreme Court.

“People are the supreme authority. The bill takes away the sovereignty of the people. The Constitution speaks of democracy, independent judiciary, and the separation of power doctrine. The bill is a direct violation of all this.”

Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu and Anil Kariyawasam too challenged the 20th Amendment yesterday.