යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter XIX

 CHAPTER XIX

 

COURTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

 

THE SUPREME COURT (SC)

 

150.       The Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the highest and final superior Court of record in the Republic and shall subject to the provisions of the Constitution exercise:

 

(1)    Jurisdiction in respect of constitutional matters;

(2)    Final appellate jurisdiction;

(3)    Jurisdiction in election petitions;

(4)    Final appellate jurisdiction for the protection of Fundamental Rights;

(5)    Jurisdiction in respect of any breach of privileges of Parliament or State Assembly; and

(6)    Jurisdiction in respect of such other matters which Parliament or State Assembly may by law vest or ordain.

151.       (1) Supreme Court shall consist of Chief Justice (CJ) and of not less than fifteen and not more than twenty two other Judges.

(2) Supreme Court shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and no act or proceeding of the Court shall be, or shall be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a Judge.

152.       (1) Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question as to whether any Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution.


(2) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ordinarily determine any such question as aforesaid may be invoked by President by a written reference addressed to Chief Justice or by any Citizen by a petition in writing addressed to Supreme Court. Such reference shall be made, or such petition shall be filed, within one week of the Bill being placed on the Order Paper of Parliament or State Assembly and a copy thereof shall at the same time be delivered to Speaker. In this paragraph “Citizen” includes a body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, if not less than three-fourths of the members of such body are Citizens.

(3) Where the jurisdiction of Supreme Court has been so invoked no proceedings shall be had in Parliament or State Assembly in relation to such Bill until the determination of Supreme Court has been made, or the expiration of a period of three weeks from the date of such reference or petition, whichever occurs first.

(4) Supreme Court in a seven-Judge bench shall make and communicate its determination to President and to Speaker within three weeks of the making of the reference or the filing of the petition, as the case may be.

(5) The determination of Supreme Court shall be accompanied by the reasons therefor and shall state whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution and if so, which provision or provisions of the Constitution.

(6) Where Supreme Court determines that the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall also State:

(a) whether such Bill is required to be passed in State Assembly, not in Parliament;

(b) whether such Bill is required to be passed in State Assembly with a two third majority and approved by the People at a Referendum.

(7) Where any Bill has been determined or is deemed to have been determined, to be inconsistent with the Constitution, such Bill shall not be passed except by way of a new Bill with inconsistencies removed, being placed on the Order page.

(8) Save as otherwise provided in the paragraphs of this Article, no court or tribunal created and established for the administration of justice or other institution, person or body of persons shall in relation to any Bill, have power or jurisdiction to inquire into, or pronounce upon, the constitutionality of such Bill or its due compliance with the legislative process, on any ground whatsoever

153.       (1) Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution and accordingly, whenever any such question arises in the course of any proceedings in any other court or tribunal or other institution empowered by law to administer justice or to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions, such question shall forthwith be referred to Supreme Court for determination. Supreme Court may direct that further proceedings be stayed pending the determination of such question.

 

(2) Supreme Court, in a seven Judge bench, shall determine such question within two months of the date of reference and make any such consequential order as the circumstances of the case may require.

154.       (1) Supreme Court, in a bench of not less than five Judges, shall, subject to the Constitution, be the final Court of criminal appellate jurisdiction for and within the Republic of Sri Lanka for the correction of all errors in fact or in law which shall be committed by Court of Appeal or any Court of First Instance, tribunal or other institution and the judgments and orders of Supreme Court shall in all cases be final and conclusive in all such matters.

 

(2) Supreme Court shall, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, have sole and exclusive cognizance by way of appeal from any order, judgment, decree, or sentence made by Court of Appeal, where any appeal lies in law to Supreme Court and it may affirm, reverse or vary any such order, judgment, decree or sentence of Court of Appeal and may issue such directions to any Court of First Instance or order a new trial or further hearing in any proceedings as the justice of the case may require and may also call for and admit fresh or additional evidence if the interests of justice so demands and may in such event, direct that such evidence be recorded by Court of Appeal or any Court of First Instance.

155.       (1) An appeal shall lie to Supreme Court from any final order, judgment, decree or sentence of Court of Appeal in any criminal matter or proceedings, which involves a substantial question of law, if Court of Appeal grants leave to appeal to Supreme Court ex mero motu or at the instance of any aggrieved party to such matter or proceedings.

 

(2) Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal to Supreme Court from any final or interlocutory order, judgment, decree, or sentence made by Court of Appeal in criminal matter or proceedings, where Court of Appeal has refused to grant leave to appeal to Supreme Court or where in the opinion of Supreme Court, the case or matter is fit for review by Supreme Court:

Provided that Supreme Court shall grant leave to appeal in every matter or proceedings in which it is satisfied that the question to be decided is of public or general importance.

(3) Any appeal from an order or judgment of Court of Appeal, made or given in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 166, 167, 168, 169 or 170 to which President, Prime Minister, a Minister, a Governor, a Deputy Minister or a public officer in his official capacity is a party, shall be heard and determined within two months of the date of filing thereof.

 

(4) An appeal shall lie directly to Supreme Court on any matter and in the manner specifically provided for by any other law passed by Parliament or State Assembly.


(5) Any application for leave to appeal or special leave to appeal made to Supreme Court under this Article may be granted or refused, as the case may be, by not less than three Judges of Supreme Court.

156.       (1) If at any time it appears to President of the Republic that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise which is of such nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of Supreme Court upon it, he may refer that question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, within the period specified in such reference or within such time as may be extended by President, report to President its opinion thereon.


(2) Where Speaker refers to Supreme Court for inquiry and report all or any of the allegation or allegations, as the case may be, contained in any such resolution as is referred to in paragraph 43(3), Supreme Court shall inquire into such allegation or allegations, hearing President in person or by an attorney-at-law, and shall report its determination to Speaker within two months of the date of reference.

(3) Such opinion, determination and report shall be expressed after consideration by at least seven Judges of Supreme Court, of whom, unless he otherwise directs, Chief Justice shall be one.

157.       (1) The Supreme Court shall have the power to hear and determine and make such orders as provided for by law on:


(a) any legal proceeding relating to election of President as per the provisions of Article 53, or the validity of a Referendum;

(b) any appeal from an order or judgment of Court of Appeal in an election petition case:

Provided that the hearing and determination of a proceeding relating to the election of President or the validity of a Referendum shall be by at least seven Judges of Supreme Court of whom, unless he otherwise directs, Chief Justice shall be one.

158.       Supreme Court, in a bench of not less than five Judges, shall have according to law the power to take cognizance of and punish any person for the breach of the privileges of Parliament.

159.   (1) The several jurisdictions of Supreme Court shall be ordinarily exercised at Colombo unless Chief Justice in consultation with the Judicial Commission otherwise directs.

(2) The jurisdiction of Supreme Court may be exercised in different matters at the same time by the several Judges of that Court sitting apart:

Provided that its jurisdiction shall, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, be ordinarily exercised at all times by not less than five Judges of the Court sitting together as Supreme Court.

(3)  The selection of Judges for a bench shall be purely random.

(4) Chief Justice may, of his own motion, or at the request of two or more Judges hearing any matter, or on the application of a party to any appeal, proceeding or matter if the question involved is in the opinion of Chief Justice one of general and public importance, direct that such appeal, proceeding or matter be heard by a Bench comprising seven or more Judges of Supreme Court.

160.   The judgment of Supreme Court shall be the decision of the majority.

161.   (1) Attorney General shall be noticed and have the right to be heard in all proceedings in Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction in matters of constitutionality and in official matters relating to President, Parliament or State Assembly, Vice President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, Governor, Deputy Minister, or Head of State institution.

(2) Any party to any proceedings in Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction shall have the right to be heard in such proceedings either in person or by representation by an attorney-at-law. This provision shall apply to other courts too.

(3) Supreme Court may in its discretion grant to any other person or his legal representative such hearing as may appear to the Court to be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction under this Chapter.

162.   The Registry of Supreme Court shall be in charge of an officer designated the Registrar of Supreme Court who shall be subject to the supervision, direction and control of Chief Justice.

 යෝජිත ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව PDF

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