Supreme Court scrutinises amended Local Government Act
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 February 2002, 18:46 GMT]
The Supreme Court Wednesday after considering the proposed Local Government Ordinance amendment bill referred to by the Executive Presidency to determine its constitutionality, announced that it would convey its determination to the President and the Speaker of the Parliament in due course. The bill was taken up for scrutiny Wednesday before a three member bench comprising of Justices S.W.B.Wadugodapitiya, D.P.S.Gunasekara and Ameer Ismail.
Attorney General Mr.K.C.Kamalasbaeysan, in support of the government, said that the bill has been drafted according to the basic tenets of the Constitution to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections to local government institutions in the country.
President Chandrika Kumaratunge referred the amended Local Government Ordinance Bill to the Supreme Court under Section 122 of the Constitution to determine whether the said amendment is consistent with the present Constitution.
The Local Government Ordinance is being amended to enable the Minister or the Commissioner of Elections to put off polls on the report submitted by the Returning Officers of respective districts. The amended act empowers the Commissioner of Elections to call for fresh nominations before the next date of polls, said authoritative sources.
The Tamil National Alliance has demanded that the elections to local authorities in the northeast province be postponed saying that the prevailing situation was not favourable for holding elections.