Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill inconsistent with Constitution – Speaker informs parliament

The Supreme Court has determined that the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill as a whole is inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene informed the parliament today (Oct. 20).

Delivering the Supreme Court’s determination, the Speaker stated that the relevant bill can be enacted only by a special majority in the parliament and a referendum.

However, the inconsistency would cease if the clauses in question are amended, the Supreme Court has indicated further.

The Supreme Court’s determination notes that all references to ex-combatants, violent extremist groups and any other groups of persons should be deleted from the Bill.

The Bill should be limited to the rehabilitation of drug-dependent persons and such other persons as may be identified by the law, the Supreme Court has said further.

According to the Supreme Court’s determination, Clauses 3, 4(a), 4(b), 6(b), 23, 24, 25(2), 27, 28(1), 34, 35 and 37 (the definition of rehabilitation) of the Bill are inconsistent with Article 12(1) of the Constitution. Accordingly, these clauses can be enacted only by the special majority required by Article 84(2) of the Constitution.

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