By Yoshitha Perera
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya yesterday directed the Attorney General’s Department to submit the proposed amendments to the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill by President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara to the Court today.
Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel representing the AG’s Department, while making her submission to the petitions filed, challenging the CPC Economic Commission Bill, informed the Court that a letter had been sent by President’s Secretary to the AG mentioning the proposed amendments to the Bill.
Accordingly, Chief Justice Jayasuriya directed the ASG to submit the proposed amendments to the Bill and suggestions made by the AG to the amendments before the Court to proceed with the further submission.
However, while conducting the submission, ASG Jameel informed Court according to Section 03 of the Administrative District Act the boundaries of the Western Province administrative district have been declared and in 2019 the Parliament had passed CPC as a part of Colombo administrative district.
“As per the arguments made by the petitioners, CPC cannot be challenged under Article 5 of the Constitution since it is a part of Colombo Administrative District. In this manner according to the provision 60(5) of the State Land Ordinance and the Crown Lands Ordinance, the President has the power to lease a reclaimed land,” the ASG said.
Pointing out submissions regarding to arguments made by the petitioners on the absence on Parliamentary control to public funds on the Bill, ASG Jameel said that according to Article 148 of the Constitution and the Appropriation Bill, there was no necessity to obtain Parliament approval for the financial activities taking place at the CPC.
However, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing for the petitioners informed Court that even after four days of hearing the petitions, the AG’s Department had failed to provide relevant proposed amendments to the Bill.