Former Governor Keerthi Tennakoon files petition in SC challenging 20A

Friday, 25 September 2020 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By T. Farook Thajudeen

Former Governor and Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

The Petitioner suspected that as a citizen having sufficient and reasonable public interest with regard to the grievances pertaining to and inconsistencies in the Amendment.

He contends that the 20th Amendment reverses, repeals and/or amends the provisions which places checks on powers of the President, which were brought about by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

It also alleges that the Amendment to the Constitution grans vast powers to the President, which is an infringement of the Constitution and the rights of which was not envisaged under the 1978 Constitution.

The Petitioner further claims that the amendment directly impacts upon the Petitioner’s sovereignty by weakening and/or making defunct the legislative powers of the Parliament, subordinating the Judiciary to the will of the Executive, and granting the Executive immunity on any Fundamental Rights violations he may commit in the course of his tenure. Further, the Amendment paves way for bartering Sri Lankan sovereignty with elected representatives who have dual nationality and dual State loyalties.

Therefore, the Petitioner pleads Court to determine that the Bill is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, and requires passing by the Special Majority and approving by the people at a referendum under the provisions of Article 83 of the Constitution.

The Petitioner further pleads to determine that the Bill is inconsistent with the fundamental democratic sovereign independent nature of the Sri Lankan State, which respects the principles of representative democracy and assures the people freedom, equality, justice, fundamental human rights and the independence of the Judiciary.