Hearing of Colombo Port City Commission Bill petitions commences

The hearing of the petitions challenging the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill commenced today (19) before a five member bench of the Supreme Court.

The petitions will be heard by a five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Murdu Fernando and Janak de Silva.

Speaking in open court before the commencement of the hearing of the petition, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya requested that all lawyers limit their oral debates to 20 to 30 minutes as a large number of lawyers are appearing.

President’s Counsel K. Kanagishwaran then proceeded to make submissions on behalf of the petitioners.

The hearing of the petition is still underway.

Vajira Abeywardena, President of the United National Party, Palitha Range Bandara, General Secretary of the United National Party, Wasantha Samarasinghe, Former Member of Parliament for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Center for Alternative Policies, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawega, Chairman of the IT Professionals Association and a group including Kapila Renuka Perera has submitted about 20 petitions.

Minister Prof. GL Peiris, Secretary to the Sri Lanka People’s Front MP Sagara Kariyawasam, Bar Association of Sri Lanka and others have also filed interlocutory petitions seeking permission to intervene in the relevant petitions.

The petitioners allege that certain provisions of the relevant Bill violate the Constitution of this country.

The petitioners have also asked the Supreme Court to rule that if the relevant clauses are to be passed, they must be passed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament and a referendum.