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PC election could be held after March - AG

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that Provincial Council elections could be held after March next year following the completion of the delimitation process.

Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appearing on behalf of the Attorney General made these remarks pursuant to Fundamental Rights petitions filed by former Minister G.L. Peiris and six others challenging the enactment procedure of Provincial Council Election Bill which were taken up for support.

The Attorney General raised preliminary objections seeking the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to dismiss (in limine) the Fundamental Rights petitions filed by seven petitioners who challenged the enactment procedure of the Provincial Council Election Bill.

The Attorney General further informed the Supreme Court that the Court does not have a jurisdiction to hear this petition in terms of Article 124 of the Constitution since it challenges the legislative process of the country. ASG Silva stated that by these applications the petitioners are questioning the validity of the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 17 of 2017 which has been duly passed by the Parliament exercising the legislative power of the people.

Seven petitioners filed Fundamental Rights petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the legality of amendments purported to be made to the Provincial Council Election Bill at the committee stage of the Parliament on September 20 this year.

The petitions were fixed for further inquiry on December 14.

President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena appeared for the petitioners.