Aug 09, 2019

SC dismisses petitions in favour of bill to abolish death penalty

The Supreme Court today (Aug 9) dismissed three petitions which had been filed in favour of the private member's bill submitted in Parliament seeking to abolish the death penalty.

The petitions had been dismissed after the Attorney General had raised objections citing that the Supreme Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear petitions filed under Section 120 and 121 of the constitution.

Professor Kamina Gunaratne and lawyer Radhika Coomaraswamy were among the petitioners who sought a court order declaring that the bill could be considered as a legal document.

The petitioners argued that the bill submitted by government parliamentarian Bandula Lal Bandarigoda had been prepared in keeping with the constitution and that it could be passed with a simple majority in Parliament.

The petitions had been put forward to court in the wake of President Maithripala Sirisena's remarks this week that the Attorney General had informed him that the bill was unconstitutional.