Wijewickrema r. Attorney-General
SHARVANANDAj J., WANASUNDERA. J.. WIMALARATNF. J..RATWATTH. JVICTOR PERERA. J.. COLIN-1 HOME J . AND SOZA J.
S.C. REFERENCE 7/82 – D C. COLOMBO 22CVSPL.
DECEMBER 01, 1982.
Constitution – Article 124 – Constitutionality of Bill to amend Constitution –
The plaintiff alleged that 144 members Of Parliament '-had signed and deliveredundated letters of resignation and thus they were iiteSpaBle'of voting-, according'o law and the Constitution, for the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,rherefore the Fourth Amendment is not a Bill that' Has- been duly passed byParliament and cannot be submitted to the People at a Referendum.'
Hiat in term's of Article 124 the Court has no power or jurisdiction to inquireinto or pronounce upon the Constitutionality of such a Bill or its due compliancewith the legislative process on any ground whatsoever.
Case referred to:
Billimona's Case 1978-79, 2 Sri L.R. Vol, 1. Part I, It).
REFERENCE to the Supreme Court under Article-125 of the Constitution.Felix Rr I). Bandttrahaike with P. Somaratne for plaintiff.
K. M. M 8. Kulatunga, Solicitor-General., with 5. Ratnapala, Acting Senior Statec 'ounsel, for Attorney-General.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
(m2) 2 S.L.R
December 1st, 1982.
SHARVANANDA, J. read the following unanimous order of. theCourt:
On the alleged ground that 144 members of Parliament had signedand delivered undated letters resigning their office to His Excellencythe President, the plaintiff contends that "the said 144 members ofParliament were incapable of voting according to the law and theConstitution for the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution on 4thNovember, 1982, and that notwithstanding the purported certificationof the Speaker of the Parliament that the Fourth Amendment to theConstitution has been duly passed by a two-thirds majority ofParliament, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is not a Billthat has been duly passed by the Parliament at all and cannottherefore be submitted to the People at a Referendum” – videparagraph 10 of the plaint.
The plaintiff therefore prays:-
for a declaration that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitutionhas not been validly passed by the Parliament as a Bill for
the amendment of the Constitution;
for a declaration that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitutionshould not be submitted to the People at a Referendum;
for a reference of the constitutional questions arising in thisaction to the Supreme Court for determination under Article125 of the Constitution.
The fundamental question involved in this action is whether Article124 of the Constitution bars the jurisdiction of any CouTt to decidethe constitutional t issue raised by the plaintiff.
In our view the plaintiff's action involves basically the questionwhether the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution has been validlyvoted upon as a Bill for the amendment of the Constitution. Ourunanimous decision in this basic question is that the Court is barredby the provisions of Article 124 of the Constitution which provides:
“Save as otherwise provided in Articles 120, 121 and 122, no
Court shall in relation to any Bill, have power or
jurisdiction to inquire into, or pronounce upon, theconstitutionality of such Bill or its due compliance with thelegislative process, on any ground whatsoever.”
Wijfwickrema v. Attorney-deneral (Sharvanamla. J.i
from inquiring into or pronouncing upon the validity of the Bill forthe amendment of the Constitution, referred to in the plaint.
We are also of the view that the plaintiff cannot therefore maintainthis action. Consequently, in the exercise of our power under Article125(2), we dismiss the plaintiffs action.
Before parting with this matter, wc wish to draw the attention ofthe District Judge to the requirements of Rule 64 of the SupremeCourt Rules 1978 and to the observations of this C'ourt in Rillimoria'scase (1) whenever a reference is made under Article I25(l).**
Determination sent to District Court.