Rowdy MPs to be re­ported to AG; may face ac­tion in Supreme Court

Deputy Speaker's com­mit­tee has iden­ti­fied those who should be pun­ished for dis­rupt­ing ses­sions dur­ing con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Chan­dani Kirinde

Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who have been iden­ti­fied for cre­at­ing chaos within the Cham­ber, dur­ing two days of sit­tings last year, as the 52-day-long po­lit­i­cal tur­moil un­folded, may face Supreme Court ac­tion.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral is to be called upon to ex­am­ine if there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to war­rant the Supreme Court to go into their con­duct and take ac­tion against them for a breach of the Par­lia­ment ( Pow­ers and Priv­i­leges) Act.

Un­der the Act, the Supreme Court can ex­er­cise ju­ris­dic­tion in cases of breaches of priv­i­lege by MPs.

The names of MPs who acted in breach of the priv­i­leges of Par­lia­ment by caus­ing may­hem in­side the Par­lia­men­tary Cham­ber in mid-Novem­ber will be for­warded to the AG's Depart­ment to ex­am­ine if they should face pros­e­cu­tion be­fore the Supreme Court.

Deputy Speaker Ananda Ku­marasiri headed the Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee that looked into the dis­or­derly con­duct of MPs on Novem­ber 14 and 15 and iden­ti­fied those who had acted in vi­o­la­tion of the law.

The com­mit­tee fi­nalised its re­port this week and it will now be sent to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral to ex­am­ine the pos­si­bil­ity of pros­e­cut­ing the law­mak­ers who breached Par­lia­men­tary priv­i­leges, Deputy Speaker Ku­marasiri said.

“We had our fi­nal meet­ing on Fri­day and once the Speaker re­turns to the coun­try, the re­port will be sent to the AG,” Mr. Ku­marasiri who headed the six- mem­ber com­mit­tee said. The find­ings of the Com­mit­tee have been based on ex­am­i­na­tion of the video footage of the in­ci­dents and the re­port would be sub­mit­ted with the video ev­i­dence,” he said.

Un­der the Par­lia­ment (Pow­ers and Priv­i­leges) Act, an ap­pli­ca­tion may be made to the Supreme Court by the At­tor­ney- Gen­eral in the case of any al­leged of­fence only if the At­tor­ney- Gen­eral has fur­nished a re­port to the Pres­i­dent or the Speaker of Par­lia­ment stat­ing that, in the AGs opin­ion there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to war­rant the tak­ing of fur­ther steps or, if, Par­lia­ment af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion of such re­port, by res­o­lu­tion re­quires the AG to make the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The Deputy Speaker said that given the ex­tent of the mis­be­haviour of the MPs, sus­pend­ing them for a two weeks or a month from Par­lia­ment would be in­suf­fi­cient.

The com­mit­tee com­prised the Deputy Speaker, Chamal Ra­japaksa, a for­mer Speaker, Ran­jith Mad­duma Ban­dara, Chan­drasiri Ga­jad­heera, Bi­mal Rat­nayake, and Mavai Se­nathi­ra­jah.

Mean­while, the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CID) is con­duct­ing a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the as­sault on po­lice per­son­nel and the dam­ages caused to pub­lic prop­erty by the er­rant MPs.

Mean­while, Put­t­lam Dis­trict's UPFA Par­lia­men­tar­ian Arundika Fer­nando this week apol­o­gised to Par­lia­ment for his role in the ugly scenes. Mr.Fer­nando had sat on the Speaker’s Chair and con­ducted a mock ses­sion of the House, thus pre­vent­ing Speaker Karu Jaya­suirya from tak­ing the Chair.

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