TNA to file contempt charges if governor endorses bill
Oct 9, 2012

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday it would file contempt charges against Northern Governor G.A. Chandrasiri if he had endorsed the controversial Divi Neguma Bill before the Supreme Court announced its determination on it.

TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Daily Mirror he had learnt that the government would present the Bill in Parliament tomorrow on the basis it had been endorsed by the nine provincial councils including the endorsement by the Northern Governor.

When the Bill was first presented in Parliament, the TNA and some others challenged its constitutionality. The party argued that the Bill could not be enacted without constituting the Northern Provincial Council, which also had to endorse it. The TNA said the Northern Governor was not an elected representative of the people and did not express their views. As such he could not endorse it in place of the NPC. The Court of Appeal referred the matter to the Supreme Court for its interpretation. The government had obtained the support of eight provincial councils for the Bill.

“Now, that the Bill has been challenged and if the government presents the bill again in the House, it can be done only on the basis that all nine provincial councils have endorsed it. Yet, the Northern Governor cannot endorse it before the Supreme Court gives its interpretation. We referred the case for an interpretation by the Supreme Court in agreement with the Governor’s lawyer. Therefore, if he has endorsed the Bill then it amounts to contempt of court,” Mr. Sumanthiran said. “We will look at the possibility of filing contempt charges against him.”

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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