26 October, 2020

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CPA Challenges Constitutionality Of Govt. Appropriation Bill: Case Fixed For Monday

For the second consecutive year, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director challenged the provisions of the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2014 which was placed on the order paper of Parliament on the 22nd of October 2013.

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu - Co-Convenor CMEV

In its Petition CPA challenged the constitutionality of Clause 5, 6, 7 and 2(1) b of the Bill. Clause 5 and 6 of the Bill permits the Secretary to the Treasury or any authorised officer to reallocate funds between heads/programmes without prior permission or subsequent ratification by Parliament. Furthermore Clause 7 permits the Finance Minister, with the approval of the ‘Government’- as opposed to Parliament- to withdraw monies allocated to a particular purpose, if he thinks such monies are not required. Clause 2(1)(b) of the Bill grants blanket authorisation to the Executive to raise foreign or local loans up to Rs.1100 billion (in the next financial year) without any requirement for Parliament to scrutinize and approve the terms related to the raising of each of such loans.

CPA in its Petition contended that the Bill amounts to a clear violation of the Constitution which mandates that Parliament shall have full control over Public Finance. Sovereignty, which includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise, is in the People and is inalienable. The removal of specific public funds from within the control of Parliament is directly inconsistent with the Constitution and amounts to a grave violation of the inalienable sovereignty of the People. The matters and concerns emphasised in the case include the reality that the Sovereignty of the People, the Rule of Law and the Supremacy of the Constitution would be imperilled through the provisions of the said Bill that are inconsistent with and / or in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution, and thus ought not be permitted to pass validly into law through a simple majority in Parliament alone.

CPA has on several occasions in the past challenged Bills- including the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2013- which had a direct impact on Parliaments full control over public finance. The said same provisions were challenged by CPA and its Executive Director in 2012 and subsequent to the determination by the Supreme Court the budget had to be passed by a majority of two-thirds of the whole number of Members of Parliament voting in favour of it.

CPA is concerned that the proposed Bill is part of a continued effort to denude Parliamentary oversight over public finance which is essential to promote accountability and transparency in the manner in which tax payer money is utilised. The resulting position would be that Parliament would be rendered impotent to curb the excesses of the Executive arm of government, and thereby consolidate Executive control over the other arms of government.

This matter (SC SD 19/2013) will be heard by a divisional bench of the Supreme Court on the 4th of November 2013.

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Latest comments

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    There is also the “President’s Fund”.
    Details are a secret.
    It is not audited.
    Most beneficiaries are stooge politicians and their kith & kin.
    There are no guidelines for selection of beneficiaries.
    This “Fund” has been queried on many occasions but no replies were forthcoming.

    The CPA is taking up a very serious violation of the constitution.
    But the “Yes Men” of the 2/3 majority in parliament will never support this matter,as their own luxurious lives depend on this violation.
    The response of the Captive ‘Supreme court’ headed by the De Facto CJ is, I think, a foregone conclusion.

  • 0
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    Is Sara bigger than Praba and Raja as well?.

    • 0
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      yes why not, absolutely bigger in mind, please come out of racial religious lenses

  • 0
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    This unemployed $$$ driven NGO who0 is aimless has nothing else to do.

    Hey, [Edited out], engage yourself in something useful & worthwhile or visit Thondamanaru, we will show you which lives to be uplifted and the development or improvements need to take place.

    Using words and time to show he is the greatest NGO with the assistance of a hidden hand with the vested in Sri Lanka & thereby intent on destabilising the country from being internally.

    Rajapakshes may be bad not to you even to us but try to find the good side of them and exploit it to the benefit of masses instead of poking spokes in the wheel.

    We vcan not reign in the R’s as they are alive and its going to be a fruitless exercise as they are well & truly entrenched in politics.
    So even attempt to with the assistance of your hidden hand as you will turn this country into another blood bath.
    FOR YOU IT DOES NOT MATTER BUT TO US IT MATTERS.

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      Opposing the Rajapaksa designs on SL is required to turn the ship around, not acquiescence and kow tow to their demands like you propose.

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    HR NGOs who live overseas allege that the Srilankan Army boys are raping women in the North and torturing them on a weekly basis.

    This NGO who is on the same payroll and is supposed to be the hands on operator is only interested in taking on the big boys like the CJ and even the President and the Constitution of the Republic.

    Is he just on an Ego booster?

    Doesn’t he care about the welfare of the indiginous Tamil women?.

  • 0
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    Human Rights activists who live overseas allege that the Srilankan Army boys are raping women in the North and torturing them on a weekly basis.

    This NGO who is on the same payroll and is supposed to be the hands on operator is only interested in taking on the big boys like the CJ and even the President and the Constitution of the Republic.

    Is he just on an Ego booster?

    Doesn’t he care about the welfare of the indiginous Tamil women?.

  • 0
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    True that few have been made to fight for the entire Srilankans, but at least others should appreciate their courage and determination to restore rule of law in his country.

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    good work Dr. Savaranamuttu, keep the pressure. It is our hard earned tax money and we need to hold the government accountable. We did not give MR a free hand to spend our money on himself. I will go a step further and ask for an audit on the actual spending of our money in the last year.

  • 0
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    Is this Centre for PAID Alternatives?

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