යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter XXV

CHAPTER XXV

 

THE ELECTIONS COMMISSION (EC)

 

205.       (1) There shall be an Elections Commission (in this Chapter referred to as the “Commission”) consisting of five members appointed by President subject to the provisions of Article 181, from amongst persons who have distinguished themselves in any profession or in the field of administration or education. One of the members so appointed shall be a retired officer of the Elections Commission, who has held office as a Deputy Commissioner of Elections or above. The President shall appoint one member as its Chairman.

(2) The object of the Commission shall be to conduct free and fair elections and Referenda, and to execute and perform the functions, duties, powers, and responsibilities under Chapter XIII.

206.       Provisions of Articles 186, 187, 188, 190, 193, 194, 202, 203, 224, and paragraph (2) and (6) of Article 184, paragraph (5) of Article 195 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to this Commission.

207.       The quorum for any meeting of the Commission shall be three members.

 

208.       Subject to the jurisdiction conferred on Supreme Court under Article 157, and on Court of Appeal under Article 164 and Article 172 and the jurisdiction conferred on any court by any law to hear and determine election petitions or Referendum petitions,

(a) no court shall have the power or jurisdiction to entertain or hear or decide or call in question on any ground and in any manner whatsoever, any decision, direction or act of the Commission, made or done or purported to have been made or done under the Constitution or under any law relating to the holding of an election or the conduct of a Referendum as the case may be, which decisions, directions or acts shall be final and conclusive; and

(b) no suit or prosecution or other proceeding shall lie against any member or officer of the Commission for any act or thing which in good faith is done or purported to be done by him in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his functions under the Constitution or under any law relating to the holding of an election or the conduct of a Referendum as the case may be.

 

209.       (1) The Commission shall exercise, perform, and discharge all such powers, duties, responsibilities, and functions conferred or imposed on or assigned to the Commission or the Commissioner General of Elections by the Constitution and by the law for the time being relating to the election of Members of Parliament, the election of Local Members, and the conduct of Referenda; including but not limited to all the powers, duties, and functions relating to the preparation and revision of Registers of Electors for the purposes of such elections and Referenda.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Commission to secure the enforcement of all laws relating to the holding of any such election or the conduct of Referenda and it shall be the duty of all authorities of the State charged with the enforcement of such laws, to co-operate with the Commission to secure such enforcement.

(3) The Commission shall be responsible and answerable to Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders of Parliament for the exercise, performance and discharge of its powers, duties and functions and shall forward to Parliament for each calendar year a report of its activities for such year.

 

210.       (1) The Commission shall have the power during the period of an election, to prohibit the use of any movable or immovable property belonging to the State or any public corporation:

 

(a) for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate or any political party or independent group contesting at such election;

(b) by any candidate or any political party or any independent group contesting at such election,

by a direction in writing by the Chairman of the Commission on the instructions of the Commission.

(2) It shall be the duty of every person or officer in whose custody or under whose control such property is for the time being, to comply with, and give effect to, such direction.

(3) The Commission shall have the power to issue from time to time, in respect of the holding of any election or the conduct of a Referendum, such guidelines as the Commission may consider appropriate, to any broadcasting or telecasting operator or any proprietor or publisher of a newspaper, as the case may be, as the Commission may consider necessary to ensure a free and fair election.

(4) It shall be the duty of any broadcasting or telecasting operator or any proprietor or publisher of a newspaper, as the case may be, to take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with any guidelines as are issued to them under paragraph (3).

(5) The Commission shall cause the directions and guidelines referred to in this Article to be published in at least one newspaper widely circulated, in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages; and in the Gazette; and such direction and guidelines shall come into operation on the date of such publication in the Gazette or such later date as may be specified therein.

(6) Every such direction and guideline shall, within three months from the date of publication in the Gazette, be brought before Parliament for approval. Any direction or guideline which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded as from the date of such disapproval, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

211.       (1) Upon the making of an Order for the holding of an election or the making of a Proclamation requiring the conduct of a Referendum, as the case may be, the Commission shall notify Inspector General of Police of the facilities and the number of police officers required by the Commission for the holding or conduct of such election or Referendum, as the case may be.


(2) Inspector General of Police shall make available to the Commission the facilities and police officers specified in any notification made under paragraph (1) of this Article.

(3) The Commission may deploy the police officers and facilities made available to the Commission in such manner as is calculated to promote the conduct of a free and fair election or referendum, as the case may be.

(4) Every police officer made available to the Commission under paragraph (2) of this Article shall be responsible to and act under the direction and control of the Commission during the period of an election.

(5) No suit, prosecution or other proceeding shall lie against any police officer made available to the Commission under this Article for any lawful act or thing in good faith done by such police officer, in pursuance of a direction of the Commission or his functioning under the Commission.

212.       It shall be lawful for the Commission, upon the making of an Order for the holding of an election or the making of a Proclamation requiring the conduct of a Referendum, as the case may be, to make recommendations to President regarding the deployment of the armed forces of the Republic for the prevention or control of any actions or incidents which may be prejudicial to the holding or conducting of a free and fair election or Referendum, as the case may be.

213.       (1) The Commission shall from time to time by notice published in the Gazette appoint by name or by office a person to be an Assistant Elections Commissioner to each Province, and may appoint by name or by office one or more persons to assist the Assistant Elections Commissioner in the performance of his duties.

(2) The Commission shall from time to time by notice published in the Gazette appoint by name or by office a person to be a Returning Officer to each Locality, and may appoint by name or by office one or more persons to assist the Returning Officer in the performance of his duties.

(3) Every Officer appointed under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall in the performance and discharge of such duties and functions as are assigned to him, be subject to such directions as may be issued by the Commission and shall be responsible and answerable to the Commission therefor.

(4) All public officers performing duties and functions at any election or Referenda shall act in the performance and discharge of such duties and functions under the directions of the Commission and shall be responsible and answerable to the Commission therefor.

214.   (1) Any public officer, any employee of any public corporation, business or other undertaking vested in the Government under any other written law and any company registered or deemed to be registered under the Companies Act, in which the Government or any public corporation or local authority holds fifty per centum or more of the shares of that company, who :


(a) refuses or fails without a reasonable cause to cooperate with the Commission, to secure the enforcement of any law relating to the holding of an election or the conduct of a Referendum; or


(b) fails without a reasonable cause to comply with any directions or guidelines issued by the Commission,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand LKRS or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.


(2) Every High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any matter referred to in paragraph (1).

215.   (1) The jurisdiction conferred on the Court of Appeal under Article 167 of the Constitution shall, in relation to any matter that may arise in the exercise by the Commission of the powers conferred on it by the Constitution or by any other law, be exercised by Supreme Court.

(2) Every application invoking the jurisdiction referred to in paragraph (1), shall be made within one month of the date of the commission of the act to which the application relates. Supreme Court shall hear and finally dispose of the application within two months of the filing of the same.

216.   In this Chapter “during the period of an election” shall mean the period commencing on the making of a Proclamation or Order for the conduct of a Referendum or for the holding of an election, as the case may be, and ending on the date on which the result of poll taken at such Referendum or election, as the case may be, is declared.

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