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Select Committee's Report on Constitutional Reforms
Presented to Parliament on 24.10.1997

 


Chapter XVI

STATE LAND, WATERS AND MINERALS

Lands, Minerals &c. underlying the ocean

(142) (1) All lands, minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, rights pertaining to the continental shelf and rights pertaining to the exclusive economic zone of the Republic, shall continue to vest in the Central Government and be held for the purposes of the Republic.

(2) The limits of territorial waters, the continental shelf, the exclusive economic zone and other maritime zones of Sri Lanka shall be such as specified, from time to time, by law.

Mines and Minerals the responsibility of Central Government

(143) Mines and minerals, including the regulation, development and exploitation of mineral resources, oil fields, petroleum and petroleum products and the collection of royalties thereon shall continue to be the responsibility of the Central Government.

State land

(144) (1) State land within a Region shall vest in the Region and shall, subject to this Article, be at the disposal of the Regional Council for the purposes set out in the Regional List.

(2) (a) Subject to sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph, a Regional Administration shall be entitled to exercise rights in or over such land, including land tenure, transfer or alienation of land, land use, land settlement and land improvement in accordance with applicable written law.

(b) Priority in land settlement schemes after the commencement of the Constitution shall be accorded first to persons of the District and then to persons of the Region.

(3) If the Central Government is satisfied that State Land in a Region is required for the purpose of a subject in List I of the Second Schedule, the Central Government may, after consultation with the relevant Regional Administration, require the Regional Administration to make available to the Central Government, or to such public authority as the Central Government may specify, such land as may reasonably, be required for such purpose, and the Regional Administration shall comply with such requirement.

Inter-regional Irrigation

(145) (1) Inter-regional irrigation projects are schemes where the command area falls within two or more Regions.

(2) Projects referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, including the relocation of persons displaced as a result of their implementation, shall be the responsibility of the Central Government and such relocation shall be undertaken in consultation with the Chief Ministers of the Regions which benefit from such projects, and the provisions of paragraph (3) of Article 144 shall apply.


Chapter XVII

THE JUDICIARY

Institutions for the Administration of Justice

Establishment of Courts &c.

(146). (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the institutions for the administration of justice which protect, vindicate and enforce the rights of the People shall be -

(a) the Supreme Court of the Republic, which shall be the highest and final Superior Court of record in the Republic;

(b) the Court of Appeal of the Republic;

(c) the High Courts established for each Region and for the Capital Territory; and

(d) such courts of first instance, tribunals or institutions as Parliament may by law, from time to time, ordain and establish.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, all courts, tribunals and institutions created and established by existing written law for the administration of justice and for the adjudication and settlement of industrial and other disputes, shall be deemed to be courts, tribunals and institutions created and established by Parliament.

(3) Parliament may replace or abolish or, amend the powers, duties, jurisdiction and procedure of, courts, tribunals and institutions referred to in paragraph (2) of this Article.

(4) The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Regional High Courts and the courts, tribunals and Institutions referred to in this Chapter shall have and exercise such powers and jurisdiction conferred on such Courts, Tribunals and Institution by the Constitution or, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, by existing law as well as any such powers and jurisdiction, appellate or original, as Parliament may by law vest and ordain.

(5) (a) The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal shall each be a superior court of record and shall have all the powers of such court including the power to punish for contempt of itself, whether committed in the court itself or elsewhere, with imprisonment or fine or both as the court may deem fit.

(b) The power of the Court of Appeal shall include the power to punish for contempt of any other court, tribunal or institution referred to in sub-paragraphs (c) and (d) of paragraph (1) of this Article, whether committed in the presence of such court or elsewhere.

(c) A Regional High Court shall have the power to punish for contempt of itself, whether committed in the presence of such court or elsewhere, or of any other court, tribunal or institution referred to in sub-paragraph (d) of paragraph (1) of this Article situated within the Region.

(d) The provisions of sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this paragraph shall not prejudice or affect the rights now or hereafter vested by any law in such other court, tribunal or institution to punish for contempt of itself.

(6) Parliament may by law provide for the creation and establishment of courts, tribunals or institutions for the adjudication and settlement of matters relating to the discipline of bhikkus or any dispute between bhikkus or any other dispute relating to the performance of services in, or in relation to, temples and such law may, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution make provision:-

(a) for the appointment, transfer dismissal and disciplinary control of the member or members of such courts, tribunals or institutions by the President or by such other person or body of persons as may be provided for in such law;

(b) for the exclusion of the jurisdiction of any other institution referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article in relation to such matters and disputes.

(7) In paragraph (6), the expressions ``bhikku'' and ``temple'' shall have the same meanings as in the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance, as at the commencement of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Regional High Courts

Constitution of the Supreme Court

(147). (1) The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than six and not more than ten other judges who shall be appointed as provided for in Article 151.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and any act or proceeding of the court shall not be, or shall be deemed not to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in appointment of a judge.

(3) The several jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be ordinarily exercised at Colombo, unless the Chief Justice otherwise directs.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5) of this Article, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be exercised in different matters at the same time by the several judges of that Court sitting apart.

(5) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, ordinarily be exercised at all times by not less than three judges of the court sitting together as the Supreme Court.

(6) Where the question involved is, in the opinion of the Chief Justice, one of general and public importance, the Chief Justice may, -

(a) ex mero motu; or

(b) at the request or two or more Judges hearing any appeal, proceeding or matter; or

(c) on the application by a party to any such appeal, proceeding or matter,

direct that such appeal, proceeding or matter be heard by a Bench comprising of five or more judges of the Supreme Court.

(7) The judgment of the Supreme Court shall, when it is not a unanimous decision, be the decision of the majority.

(8) Any party to any proceedings in the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction shall have the right to be heard in such proceedings either in person or by representation by an Attorney-at-law.

(9) The Supreme Court may in the discretion, grant to any other person or the legal representative of the person, such hearing as may appear to the Court to be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction.

(10) The Registry of the Supreme Court shall be in charge of an officer designated the Registrar of the Supreme Court who shall be subject to the supervision, direction and control of the Chief Justice.

(11) Parliament may by law confer any additional jurisdiction and powers on the Supreme Court.

Rules of Court

(148). (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and of any law the Chief Justice with any three Judges of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice, may, from time to time, make rules regulating generally the practice and procedure of courts including:-

(a) rules as to the procedure for hearing appeals and other matters pertaining to appeals including the terms under which appeals to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the Regional High Courts are to be entertained and provision for the dismissal of such appeals for non-compliance with such rules;

(b) rules as to be proceedings in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the Regional High Courts in the exercise of the several jurisdictions conferred on such Courts by the Constitution or by any law, including the time within which such matters may be instituted or brought before such Courts and the dismissal of such matters for non-compliance with such rules;

(c) rules as to the stay of proceedings;

(d) rules providing for the summary determination of any appeal or any other matter before such Court by petition or otherwise, which appears to the Court to be frivolous and vexations or brought for the purpose of delay;

(e) the preparation of copies of records for the purpose of appeal or other proceedings in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and the Regional High Courts;

(f) the admission, enrolment, suspension and removal of attorneys-at-law and the rules of conduct and etiquette for such attorneys-at-law;

(g) the attire of Judges, attorneys-at-law, officers of court and persons attending courts in the Republic.

(h) the manner in which panels of jurors may be prepared, and the mode of summoning, empanelling and challenging of jurors;

(i) proceedings of the Fiscal and other ministerial officers of courts and the process of such courts and the mode of executing the same;

(j) the binding effect of the decisions of the Supreme court;

(k) all matters of practice and procedure including the nature and extent of costs that may be awarded, the manner in which such costs may be taxed and the stamping of documents in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Regional High Courts, and courts of first instance not specially provided by or under any law.

(2) Every rule made under this Article shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or on such later date as may be specified in such rule.

(3) All rules made under this Article shall as soon as convenient after their publication in the Gazette be brought before Parliament for approval and any such rule which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded as from the date it was not so approved, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(4) The Chief Justice and any three Judges of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice may amend, alter or revoke any such rules of Court and such amendment, alteration or revocation of the rules shall operate in the like manner as set out in paragraph (3) of this Article with reference to the making of the rules of Court.

(5) All rules made under Article 136 of the 1978 Constitution and in force at the commencement of the Constitution shall, mutatis mutandis, be deemed to be rules made and approved under this Article.

(6) In the absence of rules relating to the exercise by Regional High Courts of their respective appellate, revisionary and writ jurisdictions and for appeals from Regional High Courts to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, the corresponding rules relating to the Court of Appeal shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

(7) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that in the event of any inconsistency between a rule made under this Article and the provision of any law, the provisions of such law shall prevail.

Constitution of the Court of Appeal.

(149). (1) The Court of Appeal shall consist of the President of the Court of Appeal and not less than six and not more than eleven judges who shall be appointed as provided in Article 151.

(2) The Court of Appeal shall ordinarily exercise its jurisdiction at Colombo, but the Chief Justice may, from time to time where the Chief Justice deems it so expedient, direct that the Court of Appeal shall, without prejudice to the exercise of its jurisdiction at Colombo, hold its sittings and exercise its jurisdiction in any other place specified in the direction.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) of this Article, the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal may be exercised in different matters at the same time by the several judges of the Court sitting apart:

(4) The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in respect of -

(a) judgements and orders of a Regional High Court pronounced at a trial at Bar, shall be exercised by at least three judges of the Court; and

(b) other judgements and orders of a Regional High Court, shall be exercised by at least two judges of the Court;

(c) petitions relating to election to membership of Parliament or a Regional Council, shall be exercised by the President of the Court of Appeal or any judges of that court nominated by the President or two or more of such judges nominated by the President of whom such President may be one;

(d) other matters, shall be exercised by a single judge of the Court unless the President of the Court of Appeal, by general or special order, otherwise directs.

(5) In the event of any difference of opinion between two judges constituting the Bench, the matter shall be considered by a Bench of three judges.

(6) The judgement of the Court of Appeal shall, when it is not a unanimous decision, be the decision of the majority.

(7) The Registry of the Court of Appeal shall be in charge of an officer designated the Registrar of the Court of Appeal who shall be subject to the supervision, direction and control of the President of the Court of Appeal.

(8) Parliament may by law confer any additional jurisdiction and powers on the Court of Appeal.

Regional High Courts

(150). (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, there shall be a High Court for every Region and for the Capital Territory.

(2) Every such High Court shall be designated the High Court of the relevant Region or the High Court of the Capital Territory as the case may be and every reference in the Constitution to a Regional High Court shall be deemed, unless otherwise provided, to be a reference also to the High Court of the Capital Territory.

(3) The senior most Judge of a Regional High Court shall be appointed by the Chief Justice as the Chief Judge of that High Court.


Chapter XVIII

THE JUDICIARY

The Independence of the Judiciary

Appointment &c. of Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

(151) (1) The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President of the Republic by warrant under the hand of the President.

(2) The President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal shall be appointed by the President of the Republic by warrant under the hand of the President after ascertaining the views of the Chief Justice.

(3) The Chief Justice and every Judge referred to in paragraph (2) of this Article shall hold office during good behaviour, and shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

(4) A resolution for the presentation of such an address shall not be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament unless -

(a) notice of such resolution is signed by not less than one-third of the total number of Members of parliament and sets out full particulars of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity; and

(b) an inquiry has been held -

(i) in the case of the Chief Justice by a committee consisting of three persons each of whom hold, or have held, office as a Judge in the Highest Court of any Commonwealth country;

(ii) in the case of any other judge referred to in paragraph (2) of this article, by a committee consisting of three persons who hold or have held office as a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal created and established by this Constitution, the 1978 Constitution or any other law,

and appointed by the Speaker to inquire into allegations of misbehaviour or incapacity made against the Chief Justice or such Judge, as the case may be, and such committee has determined that a prima facie case of misbehaviour or incapacity has been established against such judge.

(5) Parliament shall by law or by Standing Orders provide for all matters relating to the presentation of such an address including the procedure for the passing of such resolution, the holding of inquiries by a Committee of Parliament for the investigation and proof of the alleged misbehaviour and incapacity and the right of the Chief Justice or such Judge to appear before and be heard by such committee in person or by representative.

(6) Every person appointed to be or to act as Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal or a Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall not enter upon the duties of office as Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal or Judge until the person makes and subscribes or takes and subscribes the affirmation or oath set out in the fifth schedule before the President.

(7) Subject to paragraph (8) of this article, a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal shall be entitled to hold office until the judge reaches the age of sixty five years.

(8) Any such judge may opt to retire on completion of such period of service as would entitle the judge to the grant of a pension under the minute on pensions or resign from office by a writing addressed to the President, prior to reaching the age of sixty five years.

Salaries of Judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

(152) (1) The salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeal shall be determined by Parliament and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka.

(2) The salary payable to, and the pension entitlement of, a Judge of the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Court of Appeal shall not be reduced after appointment.

Acting appointments.

(153) (1) If the Chief Justice or the President of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office for any period by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the President of the Republic shall appoint, another Judge of the Supreme Court, or of the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, to act in the office of Chief Justice or President of the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, during such period.

(2) If any Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office for any period by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause, the President the Republic may appoint another person to act as a Judge of the Supreme Court, or Court of Appeal, as the case may be, during such period.

Performance or discharge of other duties or functions by Judges.

(154) (1) A Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal may be required by the president of the Republic to perform or discharge any other appropriate duties or functions under any written law.

(2) A Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal shall not perform any other office (whether paid or not) or accept any place of profit or emolument, except as authorized by the constitution or by written law or with the written consent of the President.

(3) Any person who had held office as a permanent Judge of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal created and established by this constitution, the 1978 constitution or any other law may not appear, plead, act or practise in any court, tribunal or institution as an Attorney-at-Law at any time after retirement or resignation, without the written consent of the President of the Republic or accept any place of profit in the Service of the State.

Regional High Court Judges.

(155) (1) Every Judge of a Regional High Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic by warrant under the hand of the President after ascertaining the views of the Chief Justice, and shall be removable, and be subject to disciplinary control, by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Service Commission.

(2) Every person appointed as a Judge of a Regional High Court shall not enter upon the duties of the office until the person makes and subscribes or takes and subscribes the affirmation or oath set out in Fifth Schedule before the Chief Justice.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4) of this article a Judge of a Regional High Court shall be entitled to hold office until the judge reaches the age of sixty five years.

(4) Any Judge of a Regional High Court may opt to retire on completion of such period of service as would entitle the judge to the grant of a pension under the minute on pensions, or resign from the office by a writing addressed to the President, prior to reaching the age of sixty five years.

(5) A Regional High Court Judge may be transferred from one Regional High Court to another by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Justice.

National Judicial Service Commission.

(156) (1) There shall be a national Judicial Service Commission (in this chapter referred to as the "National Commission'') appointed by the President of the Republic which shall consist of the Chief Justice who shall be the Chairman and two other Judges of the Supreme Court, appointed by the President, one of whom shall have functioned as a judicial officer of a court of first instance.

(2) The quorum for any meeting of the National Commission shall be two members.

(3) The National Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and any act or proceeding by such commission shall not, or be deemed not to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

(4) A judge appointed as a member of the National Commission shall, unless the judge earlier resigns from office or is removed there from as here in after provided or ceases to be a Judge of the Supreme Court, hold office for a period of five years from the date of appointment, but shall be eligible for reappointment.

(5) The president may for cause assigned remove from office any member of the National Commission appointed by the President.

(6) The President may grant to any member of the National Commission leave from the duties, and may appoint a Judge of the Supreme Court to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.

(7) A member of the national Commission may be paid such salary or allowance as may be determined by Parliament and the salary or allowance payable to a member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka and shall not be reduced during the term of office.

(8) The salary or allowance payable under paragraph (7) of this article to a member of the National Commission shall be in addition to the salary or other emoluments attached to, and received from, the substantive appointment of the member.

(9) The National Commission may - (a) advise a Regional Judicial Service Commission whenever such Regional Judicial Service Commission seeks the advice of the commission on any matter relating to the exercise by such Regional Judicial Service Commission of the powers conferred on it by this constitution;

(b) make rules regarding schemes for recruitment and procedure for the appointment of scheduled national public officers;

(c) determine the principles and procedure to be followed by Regional Judicial Service Commissions in the exercise of the powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of Judicial Officers and scheduled regional public officers conferred on such commissions by the constitution, including formulation of schemes of recruitment, and principles to be followed in making promotions and transfers, relating to such judicial officers and scheduled regional public officers;

(d) determine the principles to be followed by Regional Judicial Service Commissions in giving directions to judicial officers as to the proper and efficient administration of the courts to which such judicial officers are appointed;

(e) make provision for such matters as are necessary or expedient for the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of such commission.

Secretary to the national Judicial Service Commission

(157) (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, there shall be a Secretary to the national Commission who shall be appointed, for a period not exceeding three years, by the National Commission.

(2) The Secretary shall be appointed from among senior judicial officers of courts of first instance.

Transfer of judicial officers and appointment, disciplinary control &c. of scheduled national public offers.

(158) (1) The transfer of judicial officers from one region to another in consultation with the relevant Regional Judicial Service Commissions, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Chapter XX, the appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and dismissal of scheduled national public officers, is vested in the National Commission.

(2) The National Commission may, by Order published in the Gazette, delegate to the Secretary to the Commission the power to make all transfers, other than transfers involving increase of salary, of scheduled national public officers or to make acting appointments in such cases and subject to such limitations as may be specified in the order.

(3) The Chairman of the National Commission or any Judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal authorised by the Chairman, shall have full power and authority to inspect any court of first instance or the records, registers or other documents maintained in such court and to hold such inquiry as may be necessary.

(4) In this chapter - "scheduled national public officer'' means the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the Registrar of the Court of Appeal, the Fiscal, or any national public officer employed in the Registry of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal included in a category specified in the Sixth Schedule or in such other categories as may be specified by order made by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Justice and approved by Parliament.

Interference with National Judicial Service Commission or Regional Judicial Service Commission, an offence.

(159) (1) Every person who, otherwise than in the course of the person's duty, directly or indirectly, alone or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision of the National Commission or of any member thereof, or a Regional Judicial Service Commission or of any member thereof, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction by a Regional High Court, be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or to imprisonment fro a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Anything in paragraph (1) of this article shall not prohibit any person from giving a certificate or testimonial to any applicant or candidate for any judicial office.

Interference with judiciary an offence.

(160) (1) Every judge, presiding officer, public officer in the service of the state or other person entrusted by law with judicial powers or functions or with functions under this chapter or with similar functions under any law enacted by parliament shall exercise and perform such powers and functions without being subject to any direction or other interference proceeding from any other person except a superior court tribunal, institution or other person entitled under law to direct or supervise such judge, presiding officer, public officer or such other person in the exercise or performance of such powers or functions.

(2) Every person who, without legal authority, interferes or attempts to interfere with the exercise or performance of the judicial powers or functions of any judge, presiding officer, public officer in the service of the state or such other person as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this article, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction by a Regional High Court be liable to a fine or to imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to a period of five years or with both such fine and imprisonment and may, in addition, be disqualified for a period not exceeding seven years from the date of such conviction from being an elector and from voting at a referendum or at any election of Members of Parliament or of Members of a Regional Council or any local authority or from holding any public office and from being employed as an officer in the service of the state.

Immunity of members of National or Regional Judicial Service Commissions.

(161) Any suit or proceedings shall not lie against any member of the National Commission or a Regional Judicial Service Commission for any act which in good faith is done or is purported to be done by the member in the performance of the duties or discharge of the functions under the constitution.

Fiscal.

(162) There shall be a fiscal who shall be the fiscal for the whole island and shall exercise supervision and control over Deputy Fiscals attached to all courts.

Regional Judicial Service Commissions.

(163) (1) (a) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, there shall be a Regional Judicial Service Commission for every region.

(b) the capital territory shall be deemed to be a region for the purpose of this article.

(c) the Chief Justice may, having regard to the number of judges in any Region or Regions, by order published in the Gazette establish a common Regional Judicial Service Commission for two or more adjacent regions.

(2) The Chief Justice may, at any time, vary an order made under paragraph (1).

(3) (a) The Regional Judicial Service Commission shall consist of the three senior most judges of the Regional High Court who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice;

(b) the Chief Judge of the Regional High Court shall be the chairman of such commission.

(4) (a) Where a common Judicial Service Commission is established -

(i) for two adjacent regions, the Regional Judicial Service Commission shall consist of the two Chief Judges of he High Courts of such Regions and the next senior most Judge of those Regions, appointed by the Chief Justice;

(ii) for more than two adjacent regions, the Regional Judicial Service Commission shall consist of the Chief Judges of the High Courts of such Regions, appointed by the Chief Justice.

(b) The senior most Chief Judge of each such Regional Judicial Service Commission shall be appointed by the Chief Justice as Chairman.

(5) Subject to the provisions of the constitution, the appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and dismissal of judicial officers and scheduled regional public officers of a region is vested in the Regional Judicial Service Commission established for that region.

(6) The Chairman of the Regional Judicial Service Commission or any Judge of the Regional High Court duly authorised by the chairman shall have full power and authority to inspect any court of first instance in the region or the records, registers or other documents maintained in such court and hold such inquiry as may be necessary.

(7) A member of the Regional Judicial Service Commission may be paid such allowance as may be determined by Parliament by resolution and such allowance payable to a member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka.

(8) The provisions of paragraphs (5) (6) and (7) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to a common Judicial Service Commission established in accordance with paragraph (1) of this article.

(9) Where a common regional Judicial Service Commission is established for two or more adjacent regions in accordance with paragraph (1) of this article, the regions for which such commission is established shall, for the purposes of this chapter, be deemed to be one region.

(10) In this chapter - "scheduled regional public officer'' means the Registrar and Deputy Fiscal of a Regional High Court or any court of first instance or any regional public officer employed in the registry of such court included in the sixth schedule or in such other categories as may be specified by order made by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in Charge of the subject of Justice and approved by Parliament.


Chapter XIX

THE JUDICIARY

The Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, The Court of Appeal and The Regional High Courts

The Supreme Court

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with respect to Bills.

(164) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of this Article, the Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question as to whether any Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution.

(2) Where a Bill is described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether such Bill requires approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 101.

(3) Where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that a Bill, which is described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 100 and submitted to the People at a Referendum, the Supreme Court shall have and exercise no jurisdiction in respect of such Bill.

(4) Where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that a Bill which is not described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution, or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 102, the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether such Bill requires approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 101 or whether such Bill is required to comply with paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 100.

(5) Where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies that any provision of any Bill which is not described in its long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution is intended to be passed with the special majority required by Article 102 the only question which the Supreme Court may determine is whether any other provisions or such Bill requires to be passed with the special majority required by Article 102 or whether any provision of such Bill requires the approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 101 or whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 100.

Ordinary exercise of Jurisdiction of Supreme Court with respect to Bills.

(165) (1) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ordinarily determine any such question referred to in Article 164 may be invoked by the President by a written reference addressed to the Chief Justice, or by any citizen by a petition in writing addressed to the Supreme Court.

(2) A reference shall be made, or a petition shall be filed under paragraph (1) of this Article, within two weeks of the Bill being placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and a copy thereof shall at the same time be delivered to the Speaker.

(3) In paragraph (1) of this Article, ``citizens'' includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, if not less than three-fourths of the number of members of such body are citizens.

(4) Where the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court has been invoked under this Article, proceedings shall not be had in Parliament in relation to such Bill until the determination of the Supreme Court has been made, or the expiration of a period of three weeks from the date of such reference or petition, whichever occurs first.

(5) The Supreme Court shall make and communicate its determination to the President and to the Speaker within three weeks of the making of the reference or the filing of the petition, as the case may be.

Special exercise of Jurisdiction of Supreme Court with respect to Bills.

(166) (1) In the case of a Bill which is, in the view of the Cabinet of Ministers, urgent in the national interest, and bears an endorsement to that effect under the hand of the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers.

(a) the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 94 and Article 165 shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, have no application;

(b) the President shall by a written reference addressed to the Chief Justice, require the special determination of the Supreme Court as to whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution and shall at the same time be delivered to the Speaker a copy of such reference;

(c) the Supreme Court shall make its determination within twenty-four hours (or such longer period not exceeding three days as the President may specify) of the assembling of the Court, and shall communicate its determination only to the President and the Speaker.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (4) of Article 165 shall, mutatis, mutandis apply to such Bill.

Determination of Supreme Court in respect of Bills.

(167) (1) The determination of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 165 and 166 shall be accompanied by the reasons therefor, and shall state whether the Bill or any provisions thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution and if so, which provision or provisions of the Constitution.

(2) Where the Supreme Court determines that the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall also state -

(a) whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 100, or

(b) whether such Bill or any provision thereof may only be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 102; or

(c) whether such Bill or any provision thereof requires to be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 102 and approved by the People at a referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 101;

and may specify the nature of the amendments which would make the Bill or such provision cease to be inconsistent.

(3) In the case of a Bill endorsed as provided in Article 166, if the Supreme Court entertains a doubt as to whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall be deemed to have been determined that the Bill or such provision of the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution and the Supreme Court shall comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article.

(4) Where any Bill or any provision of any Bill has been determined to be inconsistent with the Constitution, such Bill or such provision shall, subject to paragraph (5) of this Article, not be passed except in the manner stated in the determination of the Supreme Court.

(5) It shall be lawful for any Bill referred to in paragraph (4) of this Article to be passed after such amendment as would make the Bill cease to be inconsistent with the Constitution.

Power of review of Acts passed after commencement of the Constitution.

(168) (1) The Supreme Court shall, on its jurisdiction being invoked under paragraph (2) of this Article and subject to the provisions of this Article, have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether any Act of Parliament passed after the commencement of this Constitution or any provision thereof is inconsistent with any provision of Chapter III of this Constitution and where it so determines, to declare that Act or provision void to the extent of that inconsistency, without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(2) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to determine any such question as aforesaid, may be invoked by any citizen by a petition in writing addressed to the Supreme Court filed within two years of the enactment of the Act by Parliament.

(3) In paragraph (2) of this Article ``citizen'' includes a body persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, if not less than three fourths of the number of members of such body are citizens.

(4) Save as otherwise provided in articles 164, 165, 166 and this Article, any court or tribunal created and established for the administration of justice or other institution, person or body of persons shall not, in relation to any Bill or Act, have power or jurisdiction to inquire into or pronounce upon, the constitutionality of such Bill or Act or its due compliance with the legislative process on any ground whatsoever.

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in respect of Statutes of Regional Councils.

(169) (1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question as to whether any Statute passed by a Regional Council or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution.

(2) The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to ordinarily determine any such question as aforesaid shall be invoked -

(a) by a Regional Attorney General by a petition in writing addressed to the Supreme Court, in every case where such Regional Attorney-General has communicated an opinion to the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers of the Region, prior to the passing of that Statute, that the draft statute or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, and the Statute has been passed despite such opinion; or

(b) by any citizen by a petition in writing addressed to the Supreme Court with leave of such Court first had and obtained.

(3) In paragraph (2) of this Article, ``citizen'' includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, if not less than three fourths of the number of members of such body are citizens.

(4) Where the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court has been invoked under paragraph (2) of this Article in respect of a Statute by a Regional Attorney-General, such Statute shall be inoperative until the Supreme Court has made a determination thereon as to its consistency with the Constitution.

(5) The Supreme Court shall make and communicate its determination to the President, the Governor of the Region and to the Speaker of the Regional Council making such Statute.

(6) Whenever any question as to whether a Statute passed by a Regional Council or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution arises in the course of any proceedings in any other court or tribunal or other institution empowered by law to administer justice or to exercise quasi-judicial or judicial functions, such question shall forthwith be referred to the Supreme Court for determination and on such reference, the Supreme Court may direct that further proceedings be stayed pending the determination of such question.

(7) Where the Supreme Court determines that a Statute is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution it may declare such Statute or provision thereof void to the extent of such inconsistency.

Constitutional jurisdiction in respect of the interpretation of the Constitution.

(170) (1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the interpretation of the Constitution, and accordingly, whenever any such question arises in the course of any proceedings in any other court or tribunal or other institution empowered by law to administer justice or to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial functions, such question shall forthwith be referred to the Supreme Court for determination and on such reference, the Supreme Court may direct that further proceedings be stayed pending the determination of such question.

(2) The Supreme Court may, when determining such matter, also make any such consequential Order as the circumstances of the case may require.

Jurisdiction regarding fundamental and language rights.

(171) (1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringment by State action, including executive or administrative action, of any fundamental right or language right declared and recognized by Chapter III or Chapter IV or by judicial action by courts exercising original criminal jurisdiction, of a fundamental right declared and recognized under Article 10.

(2) Where any person alleges that any such fundamental right or language right relating to such person has been infringed or is about to be infringed by State action including executive or administrative action, or by judicial action the person may personally or by an Attorney-at-law or a person or a body of persons in terms of Article 30 may, on the person's behalf, within three months thereof, in accordance with such rules of Court as may be in force, apply to the Supreme Court by way of petition in writing addressed to such Court praying for relief or redress in respect of such infringement.

(3) An application under paragraph (2) of this Article may be proceeded with only with leave to proceed first had an obtained from the Supreme Court, which leave may be granted or refused as the case may be by not less than two Judges of such Court.

(4) Where in the course of hearing in the Court of Appeal or a Regional High Court, of an application for orders in the nature of a writ of habeas corpus, certiorari, prohibition, mandamus or quo warranto, it appears to such Court that there is prima facie evidence of an infringement or imminent infringement of the provisions of Chapter III or Chapter IV by a party to such application, such Court shall forthwith refer such matter for determination by the Supreme Court.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) of this Article, the Supreme Court shall have power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable in the circumstances in respect of any petition or reference referred to in paragraphs (2) or (4) of this Article or refer the matter back to the Court if, in its opinion, there is no infringement of a fundamental right or language right.

(6) Where the Supreme Court holds that there has been an infringement of a fundamental right by judicial action any order for compensation or costs shall not be made against a judicial officer who had acted bona fide and the Supreme Court may order the State to pay any compensation or costs.

(7) Where at the hearing of a petition or reference referred to in paragraphs (2) or (4) of this Article there are any disputed questions of fact, the Supreme Court may refer such questions to the Human Rights Commission or other appropriate body or person for inquiry and report.

(8) The Supreme Court shall hear and finally dispose of any petition or reference under this Article not later than three months of the filing of the petition or the making of the reference, as the case may be, and in computing the period of three months, any period taken for inquiry and report by the Human Rights Commission or any other body or person referred to in paragraph (7) shall be excluded.

Jurisdiction in respect of validity of Referendum.

(172) The Supreme Court shall have power to hear and determine and make such orders as are provided for by law on any legal proceeding relating to the validity of a Referendum.

Jurisdiction in respect of breach of Parliamentary privilege

(173) The Supreme Court shall have, according to law, the power to make cognisance of, and punish, any person for the breach of the privileges of Parliament.

Appellate Jurisdiction

(174) (1) The Supreme Court shall, subject to the Constitution, be the final Court of civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction for and within the Republic for the correction of all errors in fact or in law which shall be committed by the Court of Appeal in any case or by a Regional High Court in the exercise of its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction or by or any court of first instance, tribunal or other institution from which a right of appeal has been provided by law direct to the Supreme Court and the judgements and orders of the Supreme Court shall in all cases be final and conclusive on all such matters.

(2) The Supreme Court shall, in the exercise of its jurisdiction, have sole and exclusive cognizance by way of appeal, where any appeal lies in law to the Supreme Court, from any order, judgement, decree, or sentence made by -

(a) the Court of Appeal;

(b) a Regional High Court in the exercise of appellate or revisionary jurisdiction; or

(c) any court of first instance, tribunal or other institution where a right of appeal has been provided by law direct to the Supreme Court,

and it may affirm, reverse or vary any such order, judgement, decree or sentence of the Court of Appeal, or a Regional High Court or of any court of first instance, tribunal or institution and may issue such directions to any court of first instance, tribunal or institution or order a new trial or further hearing in any proceedings as the justice of the case may require, and may also call for and admit fresh or additional evidence if the interests of justice so demand and may in such event, direct that such evidence be recorded by the Court of Appeal, a Regional High Court or any court of first instance, tribunal or other institution.

Right of Appeal.

(175) (1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any final order, judgement, decree or sentence of -

(a) the Court of Appeal; or

(b) a Regional High Court in the exercise of its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction,

in any matter or proceeding, whether civil or criminal, which involves a substantial question of law, if the Court of Appeal or the Regional High Court, as the case may be, grants leave to appeal to the Supreme Court ex mero motu or at the instance of any aggrieved party to such matter or proceeding.

(2) The Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court from any final or interlocutory order, judgement, decree, or sentence made by the Court of Appeal, or by a Regional High Court in the exercise of its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction, in any matter or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, where the Court of Appeal or Regional High Court has refused to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, or where in the opinion of the Supreme Court, the case or matter is fit for review by the Supreme Court and shall, in every matter or proceeding in which it is satisfied that the question to be decided is of public or general importance, grant leave to appeal.

(3) An appeal shall lie direct to the Supreme Court on any matter and in the manner specifically provided for by any other law passed by Parliament.

Review of judgements and orders of Supreme Court.

(176) The Chief Justice may, on application made within a reasonable time, by an aggrieved party direct that any judgement pronounced, or order made, by the Supreme Court be reviewed by a fuller bench of judges where the question for determination in that judgement or order relates to the interpretation of the Constitution and which question had not been considered in such judgement or order.

Other jurisdictions of the Supreme Court.

(177) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have and exercise all such powers and jurisdiction as are at the commencement of the Constitution vested in the Supreme Court created and established by the 1978 Constitution insofar as such powers and jurisdiction are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution.

Right of the Attorney-General to be heard.

(178) The Attorney-General shall be noticed and have the right to be heard in all proceedings in the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 164, 165, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173 and 176 of the Constitution.

Supreme Court to give priority to the hearing of certain matters.

(179) The Supreme Court shall give priority to the hearing and determination of any matter in respect of which its jurisdiction under Articles 165, 166, 167 and 170 is invoked and shall dispose of such matter as expeditiously as possible.

The Court of Appeal

Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal

(180) (1) The Court of Appeal shall have and exercise subject to the provisions of the Constitution or of any law, an appellate jurisdiction for the correction of all errors in fact or in law which shall be committed by a Regional High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction or writ jurisdiction and by any court of first instance, tribunal or other institution and sole and exclusive cognizance, by way of appeal, revision and restitutio in integrum, of all causes, suits, actions, prosecutions, matters and things of which such court, tribunal or other institution may have taken cognizance:

(2) The Court of Appeal shall also have and exercise all such powers and jurisdiction, appellate and original, as Parliament may by law vest or ordain.

Powers in Appeal

(181) (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, the Court of Appeal may in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 180, affirm, reverse, correct or modify any order, judgement, decree or sentence according to law or it may give directions to such Court, tribunal or other institution or order a new trial or further hearing upon such terms as the Court of Appeal shall think fit.

(2) Any judgement, decree, order or sentence of any court, tribunal or institution shall not be reversed or varied on account of any error, defect or irregularity, which has not prejudiced the substantial rights of the parties or occasioned a failure of justice.

(3) The Court of Appeal may further receive and admit new evidence additional to, or supplementary of, the evidence already taken in such court, tribunal or institution touching the matters at issue in any original cause, suit, prosecution or action, as the justice of the case may require.

Powers to issue writs other than writs of habeas corpus.

(182) (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall have full power and authority to inspect and examine the records of any court of first instance or tribunal or other institution, and grant and issue according to law, orders in the nature writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and quo warranto against the judge of any court of first instance or tribunal or other institution or any other person.

(2) Parliament may by law provide that in such category of cases as may be specified in such law, the jurisdiction conferred on the Court of Appeal by paragraph (1) of this Article shall be exercised by the Supreme Court and not by the Court of Appeal.

Powers to issue writs of habeas corpus.

(183) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the Court of Appeal may grant and issue orders in the nature of writs of habeas corpus to bring up before such Court:

(a) the body of any person to be dealt with according to law; or

(b) the body of any person illegally or improperly detained in public or private custody,

and to discharge or remand any person so brought up or otherwise deal with such persons according to law:

(2) On an application for an order under paragraph (1) of this Article, it shall be lawful for the Court of Appeal to require the body of such person to be brought up before the most convenient court of first instance and to direct the judge of such Court to inquire into and report to the Court of Appeal upon the acts of the alleged imprisonment or detention and to make such provision for the interim custody of the body produced as to such court shall seem proper and the Court of Appeal shall upon the receipt of such report, make order to discharge or remand the person so alleged to be imprisoned or detained or otherwise deal with such person according to law, and the court of first instance shall conform to, and carry into immediate effect. The order so pronounced or made by the Court of Appeal.

(3) Where provision is made by law for the exercise, by any court, of jurisdiction in respect of the custody and control of minor children, then the Court of Appeal, if satisfied that any dispute regarding the custody of any such minor child may more properly be dealt with by such court, direct the parties to an application for an order under paragraph (1) of this Article to make application in that court in respect of the custody of such minor child.

Powers to bring up and remove prisoners.

(184) The Court of Appeal may direct (a) that a prisoner detained in any prison be brought before a court-martial or any Commissioners acting under the authority of any commission from the President of the Republic for trial or to be examined relating to any matters pending before any such court-martial or Commissioners respectively; or

(b) that a prisoner detained in prison be removed from one custody to another for purpose of trial.

Power to grant Injunctions

(185) (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, the Court of Appeal shall have the power to grant and issue injunctions to prevent any irremediable mischief which might ensue before a party making an application for such injunction could prevent the same by bringing an action in any court of first instance.

(2) It shall not be lawful for the Court of Appeal to grant an injunction to prevent a party to any action in any court from appealing to or prosecuting an appeal to the Court of Appeal or to prevent any party to any action in any court from insisting upon any ground of action, defence or appeal, or to prevent any person from suing or prosecuting in any court, except where such person has instituted two separate actions in two different courts for and in respect of the same cause or action, in which case the Court of Appeal shall have the power to intervene by restraining the person from prosecuting one or other of such actions as to it may seem fit.

Election petitions

(186) The Court of Appeal shall have and exercise jurisdiction to try election petitions in respect of the election to the membership of Parliament or a Regional Council in terms of any law for the time being applicable in that behalf.

Other jurisdictions of the Court of Appeal

(187) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall have and exercise all such other powers and jurisdiction as are at the commencement of the Constitution vested in the Court of Appeal created and established by the 1978 Constitution in sofar as such powers and jurisdiction are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution.

Inspection of Records.

(188) The Court of Appeal may, ex mero motu or on any application made, call for, inspect and examine any record pertaining to the exercise of original jurisdiction or writ jurisdiction by a Regional High Court and any record of any court of first instance, tribunal or other institution and in the exercise of its revisionary powers may make any order thereon as the interests of justice may require.

The Regional High Courts

Jurisdiction of the Regional High Courts

(189) (1) Every Regional High Court shall exercise, according to law (a) the original criminal jurisdiction of the High Court of Sri Lanka at the commencement of the Constitution, in respect of offences committed within the Region or the Capital Territory as the case may be;

(b) appellate and revisionary jurisdiction in respect of convictions, sentences and orders imposed by Magistrate's Courts and Primary Courts within the Region or the Capital Territory as the case may be;

(c) the several jurisdictions and powers conferred by law on Provincial High Courts under Article 154P(3) (c) of the 1978 Constitution and exercisable at the commencement of the Constitution, in respect of the relevant Region or the Capital Territory as the case may be; and

(d) such other jurisdiction and powers as Parliament may, by law, or the relevant Regional Council may, by statute, provide.

(2) Every such High Court, other than the High Court of the Capital Territory, shall have jurisdiction (in this Constitution referred to as "writ jurisdiction'') to issue according to law -

(a) orders in the nature of habeas corpus, in respect of persons illegally detained within the Region; and

(b) orders in the nature of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and quo warranto against the judge of any court of first instance, tribunal, other institution or person exercising, within the Region, in respect of any matter set out in the Regional List, any power under (i) any law, or (ii) any statute made by the Regional Council established for that Region.

(3) Unless Parliament otherwise provides by law, the several jurisdictions and powers exercised by the High Court of Sri Lanka at the commencement of the Constitution shall be exercised, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, by the High Court of the Capital Territory.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, the High Court of the Capital Territory shall also exercise the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Western Region, including the jurisdiction provided for in paragraph (2) of this Article, in respect of such judicial divisions of the Western Region as may be determined by the Chief Justice by Order published in the Gazette.

(5) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution or any law, any person aggrieved by a final order, judgement or sentence of any Regional High Court in the exercise of its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction may appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court.

(6) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution or any law, any person aggrieved by a final order, judgement or sentence of any Regional High Court, in the exercise of its original jurisdiction or writ jurisdiction, may appeal therefrom to the Court of Appeal.

(7) (a) Save as provided by any law, the jurisdiction of a Regional High Court shall be exercised by a single Judge of the Court.

(b) The Chief Justice may, having regard to available facilities, determine by Order published in the Gazette the judicial divisions in respect of which the Regional High Court holden in a particular place shall have exclusive original criminal jurisdiction.

(c) The Chief Justice may by Order published in the Gazette specify the place at which a Judge of a Regional High Court shall exercise one or more of the appellate, revisionary and writ jurisdictions vested in that Court.

(8) The Chief Judge of a Regional High Court shall, from time to time, determine the place of sitting of each Judge of that Regional High Court.

(9) The Chief Justice may, at any time, vary an order made under this Article.

(10) In this Article _ "the High Court of Sri Lanka'' means the High Court of Sri Lanka created and established by the 1978 Constitution.


Chapter XX

THE PUBLIC SERVICE

Appointment by the President.

(190.) (1) The President shall subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, appoint all national public officers required by the Constitution or other written law to be appointed by the President, as well as the Attorney-General and the Heads of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Police Force.

(2) Where any national public officer is required to be appointed on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council or the Parliamentary Committee on High Posts, such public officer shall be appointed by the President only in conformity with such recommendation.

National Public Service Commission.

(191) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution the appointment, transfer, promotion, dismissal and disciplinary control of all national public officers vest in the National Public Service Commission.

Tenure of the National Public Officers

(192.) Save as otherwise expressly provided by the Constitution, all national public officers shall hold office at pleasure.

Cabinet of Ministers to determine policy

(193.) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers shall provide for and determine all matters of policy relating to national public officers.

Constitution of the National Public Service Commission.

(194.) (1) The National Public Service Commission shall consist of not more than ten persons appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council and the President shall nominate one of the members of the Commission to be its Chairman.

(2) A person shall not be appointed or continue as a member of the National Public Service Commission if the person is a Member of Parliament or of a Regional Council.

(3) (a) Every person who, immediately before the appointment as a member of the National Public Service Commission, was a public officer in the Service of the State or a judicial officer shall, when such appointment takes effect, cease to hold such office, and shall be ineligible for further appointment as a national or regional public officer or judicial officer.

(b) Every person referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph shall, until the person ceases to be a member of the National Public Service Commission, or while continuing to be such a member, attains the age at which the person would be required to retire from such service, be deemed to be a public officer in the service of the State or a judicial officer as the case may be, and to hold a pensionable office in the service of the State, for the purposes of any provision relating to the grant pensions, gratuities or other allowances in respect of such service.

(4) Every member of the National Public Service Commission shall hold office for a period of four years from the date of appointment, unless the Member earlier resigns from office by a writing addressed to the President, or is removed from office by the President for cause assigned, but shall be eligible for reappointment.

(5) The President may grant leave from duties to any member of the National Public Service Commission and may nominate a person qualified to be a member of the National Public Service Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.

(6) A member of the National Public Service Commission shall be paid such salary as may be determined by Parliament and the salary payable to any such member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka and shall not be reduced during the term of office.

(7) There shall be a Secretary to the National Public Service Commission who shall be appointed by the Commission.

(8) The quorum for any meeting of the National Public Service Commission shall be three members.

(9) The National Public Service Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and any act or proceeding of the Commission shall not be, or be deemed not to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

(10) For the purposes of Chapter IX of the Penal Code, a member of the National Public Service Commission shall be deemed to be a public servant.

(11) For the purpose of this Article and Articles 191, 192 and 193 "national public officer'' does not include a member of the army, navy or air force.

Delegation by the Nationals Public Service Commission of certain powers to a Committee.

(195.) (1) The National Public Service Commission may delegate to a Committee of the National Public Service Commission consisting of three members as shall be named by the Commission, the powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control in respect of such categories of national public officers as are specified by the Commission.

(2) Where the Chairman of the National Public Service Commission is a member of the Committee so appointed, the Chairman of the Commission shall be the Chairman of the Committee, and where the Chairman of the Commission is not, such member of the Committee as may be nominated in writing by the Chairman of the Commission, shall be the Chairman of that Committee.

(3) There shall be a Secretary to each such Committee who shall be appointed by the National Public Service Commission.

(4) The quorum for any meeting of any such Committee shall be two members.

(5) Any such Committee shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership and any act or proceeding of any such Committee shall not be, or be deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

National Public Service Commission or Committee to delegate powers to a national public officer

(196.) (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the National Public Service Commission or any Committee thereof may delegate to a national public officer, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the National Public Service Commission, its powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control of any category of national public officers.

(2) Any national public officer aggrieved by any order of transfer or of dismissal, or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made by a national public officer to whom the National Public Service Commission or any Committee thereof has delegated its powers under paragraph (1) of this Article, shall have a right of appeal to the National Public Service Commission or such Committee, as the case may be.

(3) The National Public Service Commission shall have the power to alter, vary or rescind any appointment, order of transfer or dismissal or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made, on appeal or otherwise, by a Committee to which the National Public Service Commission has delegated its powers or by a national public officer to whom the National Public Service Commission has delegated its powers under this Article.

(4) A Committee of the National Public Service Commission shall, on appeal to the Committee under paragraph (2) of this Article, have the power to alter, vary or rescind any appointment, order of transfer, dismissal or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made by a National Public Officer to whom the Committee had delegated its powers under paragraph (1) of this Article.

Any Court or Tribunal not to pronounce upon or call in question any order or decision relating to public service.

(197.) Any court, tribunal or institution other than the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal shall not have power or jurisdiction to inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question, any order or decision of the National Public Services Commission, a Committee of the National Public Service Commission or of a national public officer in regard to any matter concerning the appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control of a national public officer.

Existing rules and regulations relating to public services to continue.

(198.) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution and until the National Public Service Commission otherwise provides, the rules, regulations, and procedures relating to the public service that were in force at the commencement of the Constitution shall, mutatis mutandis, be deemed to continue in force as rules, regulations and procedures relating to the National public service as if they had been made or provided for under this Constitution.

Interference with National Public Service Commission to be an offence.

(199.) (1) Every person who, otherwise than in the course of the person's duty, directly or indirectly, alone or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any decision of the National Public Service Commission, or of any Committee thereof, or of any member of such Commission or of any national public officer exercising any powers delegated by such Commission or Committee, shall be guilty of an offence, and shall, on conviction by a Regional High Court be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(2) Anything in paragraph (1) of this Article shall not prohibit any person from giving a certificate or testimonial to any applicant or candidates for any public office.

Regional Public Service Commission

200. (1) (a) There shall be a Regional Public Service Commission for each Region established under Chapter XV, which shall consist of not less than three and not more than seven persons appointed by the Governor of that Region upon being nominated by the Constitutional Council acting in consultation with the Board of Ministers of that Region and the Governor shall nominate one of the members of the Commission to be the Chairman thereof.

(b) In making nominations under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, the Constitutional Council shall have regard to the ethnic composition of that Region.

(2) A person shall not be so appointed or continue as a member of the Regional Public Service Commission if the person is a Member of Parliament, a Member of a Regional Council, a member of a local authority, a public officer in the service of the State or a judicial officer.

(3) Every member of a Regional Public Service Commission shall hold office for a period of four years from the date of the member's appointment unless the member earlier resigns from office by writing addressed to the Governor of the Region or is removed from office by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, acting on a request of the Board of Ministers for that Region, for cause assigned.

(4) A member of a Regional Public Service Commission shall be paid such salary as may be determined by the Regional Council for that Region and such salary payable to any such member shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of the Region and shall not be reduced during term of office of the member.

(5) A Regional Public Service Commission shall have the power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and any act or proceedings of such Commission shall be deemed not to be invalid by reason only of such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.

Chief Secretary and Secretaries of Regional Ministries

(201.) The Chief Secretary of a Region and the Secretary of the Ministry of every Minister of the Board of Ministers of a Region shall be appointed by the Governor of the Region on the advice of the Chief Minister.

Tenure of regional public officers

(202.) Save as otherwise expressly provided by the Constitution, all regional public officers shall hold office at pleasure.

Regional Public Service

(203.) (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the appointment, promotion, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of officers of the Regional Public Service of each Region vest in the Regional Public Service Commission of that Region.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Board of Ministers of the Region shall provide for and determine all matters of policy relating to regional public officers of that Region.

(3) The Regional Public Service Commission may provide for and determine the procedure for the exercise and the delegation of the powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of officers of the regional public service of the Region.

(4) (a) Every person who otherwise than in the course of duty directly or indirectly, alone or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or attempts to influence any order to decision of a Regional Public Service Commission or any member thereof shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction by a Regional High Court be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(b) Anything in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph shall not prohibit any person from giving a testimonial or certificate to any applicant for any office in the Regional Public Service.

(5) Any court or tribunal other than the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or the relevant Regional High Court shall not have power or jurisdiction to inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question, any order or decision of a Regional Public Service Commission or of a public officer in regard to any matter concerning the appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control of an officer of the Regional Public Service.

Forum of Chairmen of Public Service Commissions

(204.) (1) There shall be a forum of Chairmen of Public Service Commissions (hereinafter in this Article referred to as "the Forum'') consisting of the Chairman of the National Public Service Commission, the Chairman of the National Police Commission, the Chairman of every Regional Public Service Commission and the Chairman of every Regional Police Commission.

(2) The Secretary to the National Public Service Commission shall act as the Secretary to the Forum.

(3) (a) The quorum for any meeting of the Forum shall be one half of the number of members of the Forum.

(b) Subject to the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, the Forum may regulate the procedure in regard to its meetings, including the election of a Chairman in such manner as would enable the rotation of the Chairmanship amongst all members of the Forum, and the transaction of business at such meetings.

(4) The functions of the Forum shall be - (a) to co-ordinate policies on the appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of National Public Officers, Officers of the National Police Service and Officers of Regional Public and Police Services, with a view to ensuring uniformity of practice and adherence to minimum standards, wherever practicable;

(b) to make recommendations to the appropriate authorities, on the measures that should be taken to improve the quality and efficiency of the National Public Service, the National Police Service and the Regional Public and Police Services including the holding of common examinations for recruitment and promotion.

(5) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) of this paragraph, a Public Officer of the National Public Service may be appointed to a post in a Regional Public Service and an officer of a Regional Public Service may be appointed to a post in the National Public Service or in another Regional Public Service, on such terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to salary, allowances and pension entitlement) as may be determined by the Forum.

(b) An appointment under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph shall not take place unless the relevant public service commission agrees to the release of the public officer concerned.

Official oath or affirmation

(205) A person appointed to any office referred to in this chapter shall not enter upon the duties of the office until the person makes and subscribes the affirmation or takes and subscribes the oath in the fifth schedule.

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