At the hearings of the petitions filed in favour and against the 20th Amendment to the Constitution yesterday, Counsel Iraj de Silva, representing the Deputy Leader of the UNP Ruwan Wijewardene said before a five-judge Supreme Court bench that the priority given to the Sovereignty of the people and Buddhism in the country could not be harmed and could not be changed by any Amendment to the Constitution.
Counsel Silva said the people would be deprived of their sovereignty and all the powers would be vested in the hands of the President and the power of the Legislative and the Judiciary would be diminished.
Yesterday was the second day of the hearings of the petitions filed in favour and against the draft bill before the Supreme Court.
The Five Judge bench consisted of the Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardana and Vijith Malalgoda.
He further said that Paragraphs from 3-57 of this draft were against the Constitution. In such a situation, the people would be deprived of their sovereignty. This draft was completely against the fundamental framework of the Constitution. As per the provisions of the draft, the full power would be vested in the President causing the powers of the Judiciary and the Legislative to diminish.
This draft vests the power of the Legislative and the Judiciary in the hands of the President. By the provisions of this draft, the Rule of Law, accountability and the equilibrium among the three main sectors of governance would be lost. That is also against the power sharing policy. The Law of Trust is also violated. This draft also delegates ruling powers to a person with dual citizenship, he added.
PC Roland Perera, representing the General Secretary of the UNP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that with this draft, the judiciary power of the people mentioned in Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution as well as the Executive Power of the people are violated. In addition, Fundamental Rights and the Franchise of the people are violated, he added.(Ranjan Katugampola and Thilini de Silva)