Anti-Corruption Bill passed with amendments

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Anti-Corruption Bill was passed in Parliament on Wednesday (19 July) with amendments.

The Bill which was presented before the House on 06 July, was passed in Parliament this morning without a vote.

The Bill was presented before the Parliament, with amendments, today, for the Committee Stage.

The Bill was surrounded by much controversy, however, as several parties, including Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), had highlighted key concerns within the clauses of the Bill, stating that certain provision of the Bill in question are ‘unconstitutional’.

Filing a petition in this regard, TISL challenged 37 clauses of the Anti-Corruption Bill in total, including clauses 28(3), 161 and 119, stating that they were disproportionate and could have a chilling effect on whistleblowing, the right to information and the freedom of expression, and could affect the concepts of transparency and accountability.

Meanwhile, the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus (WPC) also submitted proposals to amend the Anti-Corruption Bill.

The Supreme Court had also determined that certain clauses of the Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore should be tabled after amendments.

Delivering the Supreme Court determination, however, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena stated that the said inconsistencies cease, if the amendments, as set out in the determination of the Supreme Court, are made to the Bill.

The Additional Solicitor General also informed the Supreme Court that amendments to clauses 8 (3), 136, 141, 142 and 156 of the Bill, as set out in the determination, would be made in a bid to address several concerns raised by the petitioners.

The determination of the Supreme Court was then printed in the Hansard report of the parliamentary proceedings on 06 June.


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