Former Chief justice Sarath N. Silva said today it was illegal and unconstitutional to grant one million US dollars to Palestine without following the proper procedure to do so.
Mr. Silva said spending of one million US dollars by the Finance Ministry Secretary and the President as the Finance Minister had violated Section 148 of the Constitution.
“This amount of money had been spent outside budgetary allocations. If the government was spending any money beyond the budgetary allocations or appropriation Bill, they need to submit a special supplementary Bill in parliament. But in this instance the Finance ministry has not followed that procedure,” Mr. Silva said.
He said according to section 148 of the Constitution, the power to control public money was assigned to Parliament.
“In all the democratic countries such as India, England, America and Australia, financial control was vested in the Parliament. Public money cannot be spent by the executive as he pleases,’ Mr. Silva said.
He said Sri Lanka would have to cover this expense through another loan because the country’s economy was not on a sound footing.
“The government income is not sufficient to pay loan installments we have obtained. We will have to get another loan to pay back the one million US dollars,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Indika Sri Aravinda)