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
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.