The Supreme Court today postponed further consideration of the petitions filed challenging the ‘controversial’ Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill until 10 am tomorrow (20th).
The Bill aims to provide the legal framework for China-backed Colombo Port City which aims to become a regional business hub by appointing a 7-member Commission to govern the Port City area as a special area outside of the country’s local government system.
ourt today postponed further consideration of the petitions filed challenging the ‘controversial’
The Supreme Court commenced consideration of the petitions this morning before a five-member judge bench consisted of Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Supreme Court Judges Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Murdu Fernando, and Janak de Silva.
The Bill drew almost 20 petitions from various parties including the United National Party (UNP) Chairman Vajira Abeywardena, UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara, former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Wasantha Samarasinghe, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, and the IT Professionals Association Chairman G. Kapila Renuka.
The petitioners claimed that certain clauses of the bill violate the country’s constitution and therefore sought a court ruling that the clauses in the bill must be passed by a two-thirds majority in the Parliament followed by a public referendum.
At the beginning of the hearing, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya requested each legal counsel to limit their oral submissions to 20-30 minutes each considering the number of lawyers representing petitioners challenging the Draft Bill.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) today urged the government to bring in the amendments to current the Colombo Port city Economic Commission Bill while bringing the proposed Commission under the oversight of the Parliament.