Parliament today approved a motion calling for the gazetting of the ‘Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill' deviating from the procedure to refer it to the Attorney General.
The bill was handed over to the parliamentary authorities earlier by UNP MP Bandula Lal Bandarigoda as a private member's bill.
According to the procedure, such a bill should be referred to the Attorney General for approval in keeping with Standing Orders.
However, House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said he gave notice on the bill to be gazetted without such reference to the Attorney General. He said the relevant Standing Order was suspended enabling the government to proceed with the gazetting of the bill without seeking approval of the Attorney General.
The Abolition of Death Penalty Bill which is in the form of a private member's motion provides provisions to quash the death penalty and commute the sentence to one of life imprisonment to those under the death sentence from the date the legislation was enacted.
It also proposes an interim arrangement under which the Bill is given retrospective effective effect for this purpose. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)