CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST
REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

Arrangement of Articles

CHAPTER I

THE PEOPLE, THE STATE AND SOVEREIGNTY

1.          The State.

2.          Unitary State.

3.          Sovereignty of the People.

4.          Exercise of Sovereignty.

5.          Territory of the Republic.

6.          The National Flag.

7.          The National Anthem.

8.          The National Day.

CHAPTER II

BUDDHISM

9.          Buddhism.

CHAPTER III

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

10.        Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

11.        Freedom from torture.

12.        Right to equality.

13.    Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment and prohibition of retrospective penal legislation.

14.        Freedom of speech, assembly, association, occupation and movement.

14a.     Right of access to information.

15.        Restrictions on fundamental rights.

16.        Existing written law and unwritten law to continue in force.

17.        Remedy for the infringement of fundamental rights by executive action.

CHAPTER IV

LANGUAGE

18.        Official Language.

19.        National Languages.

20.        Use of National Languages in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities.

21.        Medium of instruction.

22.        Language of administration.

23.        Language of legislation.

24.        Languages of the courts.

25.        Provision for adequate facilities for use of languages provided for in this Chapter.

25a.     Provision of any law inconsistent with this Chapter deemed to be repealed.

CHAPTER V

CITIZENSHIP

26.        Citizenship of Sri Lanka.

CHAPTER VI

DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

27.        Directive Principles of State Policy.

28.        Fundamental duties.

29.        Principles of State Policy and fundamental duties not justifiable.

CHAPTER VII

THE EXECUTIVE

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

30.        The President of the Republic.

31.        The election and the term of office of the President.

32.        Assumption of office.

33.        Duties, powers and functions of the President.

33a.     President to be responsible to Parliament.

34.        Grant of pardon.

35.        Immunity of President from suit.

36.        Salary and pension.

37.        Exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of the President by the Prime Minister.

38.        Vacation of office by the President.

39.        Determination by the Supreme Court that the President was not duly elected or the election of the President was void.

40.        Vacation of office by the President and election of succeeding President.

41.        President’s staff.

CHAPTER VIIA

The CONSTITUTIONAL Council

41a.     Constitution of the Constitutional Council.

41b.      Council to recommend appointments.

41c.      Council to approve appointments.

41d.     Secretary-General and other officers of the Council.

41e.      Meetings of the Council.

41f.      Continuation in office of the members of the Council.

41g.     Powers and duties of the Council.

41h.     Expenses to be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

41i.       Finality of decisions of the Council.

CHAPTER VIII

THE EXECUTIVE

THE CABINET OF MINISTERS

42.        Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.

43.        Ministers and their subjects and functions.

44.        Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers.

45.        Deputy Ministers.

46.        Tenure of office of the Prime Minister, and the limitation of numbers and tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

47.        Cabinet of Ministers after dissolution of Parliament.

48.        Dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers.

49.        Acting Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

50.        Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers.

51.        Secretary to the Prime Ministrie.

52.        Secretaries to Ministries.

53.        Official oath and affirmation.

CHAPTER IX

THE EXECUTIVE

The Public Service

54.        Public Service Commission.

55.        Powers and functions of the Cabinet of Ministers and of the Commission.

56.        Committees of the Commission.

57.        Delegation of powers to a public officer.

58.        Right of appeal.

59.        Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

60.        Commission not to exercise power where there is delegation.

61.        Procedure at meetings.

61a.     Immunity from legal proceedings.

61b.      Savings of rules and regulations in force.

61c.      Interference with the Commission.

61d.     Oath or affirmation of office.

61e.      Appointments by the President.

61f.      Interpretation.

CHAPTER X

THE LEGISLATURE

PARLIAMENT

62.        Parliament.

63.        Official oath or affirmation.

64.        Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees.

65.        Secretary-General of Parliament.

66.        Vacation of seats.

67.        Privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and Members.

68.        Allowances of Members.

69.        Power of Parliament to act notwithstanding vacancies.

CHAPTER XI

THE LEGISLATURE

PROCEDURE AND POWERS

70.        Sessions of Parliament.

71.        Adjournment.

72.        Voting.

73.        Quorum.

74.        Standing Orders.

75.        Legislative power.

76.        Delegation of legislative power.

77.        Duties of Attorney-General in regard to published Bills.

78.        Publication of Bills and passing of Bills and resolutions.

79.        Certificate of Speaker.

80.        When Bill becomes law.

81.        Expulsion of Members and imposition of civic disability.

CHAPTER XII

THE LEGISLATURE

AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

82.        Amendment or repeal of the Constitution must be expressed.

83.        Approval of certain Bills at a referendum.

84.        Bills inconsistent with the Constitution.

CHAPTER XIII

THE REFERENDUM

85.        Submission of Bills to people by referendum.

86.        Submission of matters of national importance to people by referendum.

87.        Parliament to provide for procedure.

CHAPTER XIV

THE FRANCHISE AND ELECTIONS

88.        Right to be an elector.

89.        Disqualification to be an elector.

90.        Qualification for election as a Member of Parliament.

91.        Disqualification for election as a Member of Parliament.

92.        Disqualification for election as President.

93.        Election to be free, equal and secret.

94.        Election of the President.

95.        Delimitation Commission.

96.        Electoral districts.

96a.     Repealed.

97.        Proclamation of names of electoral districts.

98.        Number of members to be returned by the several electoral districts and their apportionment among such electoral districts.

99.        Proportional representation.

99a.     Election of Members of Parliament on the basis of the total number of votes polled at a General Election.

100.      Penalty for sitting and voting in Parliament when disqualified.

101.      Parliament may make provision in respect of elections.

102.      Public officer or an officer of a Public Corporation not to function during period of election.

CHAPTER XIVA

Election Commission

103.      Election Commission.

104.      Meetings of the Commission.

104a.   Finality of decisions and immunity from suit.

104b.    Powers, functions and duties of the Commission.

104c.    Deployment of police by the Commission.

104d.   Deployment of Armed Forces.

104e.    Commissioner-General of Elections and other officers of the Commission.

104f.    Returning Officers.

104g.   Public officers.

104gg. Failure to comply with directions to be an offence.

104h.   Power of Supreme Court to issue writs.

104j.     Interpretation.

CHAPTER XV

THE JUDICIARY

105.      Establishment of courts.

106.      Public sittings.

INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY

107.      Appointment and removal of Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

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

109.      Acting appointments.

110.      Performance or discharge of other duties or functions by Judges.

111.      Appointment, removal and disciplinary control of Judges of the High Court.

111a.   Commissioners of the High Court.

111b.    Fiscal for the whole island.

111c.    Interference with judiciary an offence.

CHAPTER XVA

Judicial Service Commission

111d.   Constitution of the Judicial Service Commission.

111e.    Meetings of the Commission.

111f.    Allowances of members of the Commission.

111g.   Secretary to the Commission.

111h.   Powers of the Commission.

111j.     Judicial officers and scheduled public officers may resign.

111k.   Immunity from legal proceedings.

111l.    Interference with the Commission an offence.

111m.   Interpretation.

112.      Repealed.

113.      Repealed.

113a.   Repealed.

114.      Repealed.

115.      Repealed.

116.      Re-numbered as Art 111C.

117.      Repealed.

CHAPTER XVI

THE SUPERIOR COURTS

THE SUPREME COURT

118.      General jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

119.      Constitution of the Supreme Court.

120.      Constitutional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

121.      Ordinary exercise of constitutional jurisdiction in respect of Bills.

122.      [Repealed.]

123.      Determination of the Supreme Court in respect of Bills.

124.      Validity of Bills and legislative process not to be questioned.

125.      Constitutional jurisdiction in the interpretation of the Constitution.

126.      Fundamental rights jurisdiction and its exercise.

127.      Appellate jurisdiction.

128.      Right of appeal.

129.      Consultative jurisdiction.

130.      Jurisdiction in election and referendum petitions.

131.      Jurisdiction in respect of the breaches of the parliamentary privileges.

132.      Sittings of the Supreme Court.

133.      Appointment of ad hoc Judges.

134.      Right to be heard by the Supreme Court.

135.      Registry of the Supreme Court and office of Registrar.

136.      Rules of the Supreme Court.

THE COURT OF APPEAL

137.      The Court of Appeal.

138.      Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.

139.      Powers in appeal.

140.      Power to issue writs, other than writ of habeas corpus.

141.      Power to issue writ of habeas corpus.

142.      Power to bring up and remove prisoners.

143.      Power to grant injunctions.

144.      Parliamentary election petitions.

145.      Inspection of records.

146.      Sittings of the Court of Appeal.

147.      Registry of the Court of Appeal and office of Registrar.

CHAPTER XVII

FINANCE

148.      Control of Parliament over public finance.

149.      Consolidated Fund.

150.      Withdrawal of sums from Consolidated Fund.

151.      Contingencies Fund.

152.      Special provisions as to Bills affecting public revenue.

153.      Auditor-General.

153a.   Constitution of the Audit Service Commission.

153b.    Meeting of the Commission.

153c.    Powers and Functions of the Commission.

153d.   Influencing or attempting to influence decision of the Commission or any officer of the Sri Lanka State Audit Service, to be an offence.

153e.    Immunity from legal preoceedings.

153f.    Costs and expenses.

153g.   Appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

153h.   Commission to be answerable to Parliament.

154.      Duties and functions of Auditor-General.

CHAPTER XVIIA

154a.   Establishment of Provincial Councils.

154b.    Governor.

154c.    Exercise of executive powers by the Governor.

154d.   Membership of Provincial Councils.

154e.    Term of office.

154f.    Board of Ministers.

154g.   Statutes of Provincial Councils.

154h.   Assent.

154j.     Public Security.

154k.   Failure to comply with directions.

154l.    Failure of administrative machinery.

154m.   Parliament to confer powers of the Provincial Councils to President.

154n.   Financial instability.

154p.    High Court.

154q.   Functions, powers and elections of Provincial Councils.

154r.    Finance Commission.

154s.    Special provisions enabling Provincial Councils not to exercise powers under this Chapter.

154t.    Transitional measures.

CHAPTER XVIII

PUBLIC SECURITY

155.      Public Security.

CHAPTER XVIIIA

National Police Commission

155a.   Constitution of the National Police Commission.

155b.    Meetings of the Commission.

155c.    Immunity from legal proceedings.

155d.   Secretary to the Commission.

155e.    Costs and expenses.

155f.    Interference with the Commission.

155ff.  Powers of the Commission.

155fff.   Commission to make rules.

155g.   Powers of the Commission.

155h.   Delegation of certain powers of the Commission to a Committee.

155j.     Delegation of certain functions by the Commission.

155k.   Right of Appeal.

155l.    Appeals to Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

155m.   Saving of existing rules and regulations.

155n.   Commission answerable to Parliament.

CHAPTER XIX

THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR ADMINISTRATION

156.      Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

CHAPTER XIXA

COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF BRIBERY OR CORRUPTION

156a.   Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption.

CHAPTER XIXB

NATIONAL PROCUREMENT COMMISSION

156b.    National Procurement Commission.

156c.    Functions of the Commission.

156d.   Powers of the Commission.

156e.    Meetings of the Commission.

156f.    Staff of the Commission.

156g.   Expenses of the Commission to be charged on the Consolidation Fund.

156h.   Interpretation.

CHAPTER XX

GENERAL

157.      International treaties and agreements.

157a.   Prohibition against violation of territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

158.      Delegation.

159.      Deputy Speaker to act for Speaker.

CHAPTER XXI

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

160.      First President.

161.      First Parliament.

162.      Application of certain provisions.

163.      Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court to cease to hold office.

164.      Continuation in office of Judges, public officers and others.

165.      Oath or affirmation to be taken or made by public officers and others.

166.      Powers, privileges, immunities and rights of the Republic.

167.      Rights, duties and obligations of the Republic.

168.      Past operation of laws, previous acts, offences and pending action.

169.      Provisions relating to judiciary.

169a.   Provisions relating to Queen’s Counsel and Senior Attorneys-at-Law.

CHAPTER XXII

INTERPRETATION

170.      Interpretation.

CHAPTER XXIII

REPEAL

171.      Repeal.

CHAPTER XXIV

PROMULGATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

172.      Promulgation of the Constitution.

EXTRACTS

SCHEDULES

APPENDICES

1st Amendment 1978,

2nd Amendment 1979,

3rd Amendment 1982,

4th Amendment 1982,

5th Amendment 1983,

6th Amendment 1983,

7th Amendment 1983,

8th Amendment 1984,

9th Amendment 1984,

10th Amendment 1986,

11th Amendment 1987,

13th Amendment 1987,

14th Amendment 1988,

15th Amendment 1988,

16th Amendment 1988,

17th Amendment 2001,

18th Amendment 2010.

19th Amendment 2015.

The PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA having, by their Mandate freely expressed and granted on the Sixth day of the waxing moon in the month of Adhi Nikini in the year Two Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty-One of the Buddhist Era (being Thursday, the Twenty-First day of the month of July in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Seven), entrusted to and empowered their Representatives elected on that day to draft, adopt and operate a new Republican Constitution in order to achieve the goals of a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC and having solemnly resolved by the grant of such Mandate and the confidence reposed in their said Representatives who were elected by an overwhelming majority, to constitute SRI LANKA into a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC, whilst ratifying the immutable republican principles of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY and assuring to all peoples FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS and the INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY as the intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well-being of succeeding generations of the People of SRI LANKA and of all the people of the World, who come to share with those generations the effort of working for the creation and preservation of a JUST AND FREE SOCIETY:

WE, THE FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA, in pursuance of such Mandate, humbly acknowledging our obligations to our People and gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain and preserve their rights and privileges so that the Dignity and Freedom of the Individual may be assured, Just, Social, Economic and Cultural Order attained, the Unity of the Country restored and Concord established with other Nations,
do hereby adopt and enact,

this

CONSTITUTION

as the

SUPREME LAW

of the

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

[Date of Commencement: 7th September 1978]

CHAPTER I

THE PEOPLE, THE STATE AND SOVEREIGNTY

1. The State.

Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a Free, Sovereign, Independent and Democratic Socialist Republic and shall be known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

2. Unitary State.

The Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State.

3. Sovereignty of the People.

In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.

4. Exercise of Sovereignty.

The Sovereignty of the people shall be exercised and enjoyed in the following manner—

(a)  the legislative power of the people shall be exercised by Parliament, consisting of elected representatives of the people and by the people at a referendum;

(b)  the executive power of the people, including the defence of Sri Lanka, shall be exercised by the President of the Republic elected by the people;

(c)  the judicial power of the people shall be exercised by Parliament through courts, tribunals and institutions created and established or recognised by the Constitution or created and established by law, except in regard to matters relating to the privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and of its Members wherein the judicial power of the people may be exercised directly by Parliament according to law;

(d)  the fundamental rights which are by the Constitution declared and recognised shall be respected, secured and advanced by all the organs of government and shall not be abridged, restricted or denied, save in the manner and to the extent hereinafter provided; and

(e)  the franchise shall be exercisable at the election of the President of the Republic and of the Members of Parliament and at every referendum by every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and who, being qualified to be an elector as hereinafter provided, has his name entered in the register of electors.

5. Territory of the Republic.

The territory of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall consist of the twenty-five administrative districts, the names of which are set out in the First Schedule and its territorial waters:

Provided that administrative districts may be subdivided or amalgamated so as to constitute different administrative districts, as Parliament may by resolution determine.

[Art 5 am by s 2 of Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.]

6. The National Flag.

The National Flag of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the Lion flag depicted in the Second Schedule.

7. The National Anthem.

The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be “Sri Lanka Matha”, the words and music of which are set out in the Third Schedule.

8. The National Day.

The National Day of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the fourth day of February.

CHAPTER II

BUDDHISM

9. Buddhism.

The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

CHAPTER III

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

10. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

11. Freedom from torture.

No Person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

12. Right to equality.

(1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds:

Provided that it shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any employment or office in the Public, Judicial or Local Government Service or in the service of any Public Corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of the duties of such employment or office:

Provided further that it shall be lawful to require a person to have a sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any such employment or office where no function of that employment or office can be discharged otherwise than with a knowledge of that language.

(3) No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex or any one of such grounds, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of his own religion.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent special provision being made, by law, subordinate legislation or executive action, for the advancement of women, children or disabled persons.

13. Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment and prohibition of retrospective penal legislation.

(1) No person shall be arrested except according to procedure established by law. Any person arrested shall be informed of the reason for his arrest.

(2) Every person held in custody, detained or otherwise deprived of personal liberty shall be brought before the Judge of the nearest competent court according to procedure established by law and shall not be further held in custody, detained or deprived of personal liberty except upon and in terms of the order of such Judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(3) Any person charged with an offence shall be entitled to be heard, in person or by an Attorney-at-Law, at a fair trial by a competent court.

(4) No person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law. The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, pending investigation or trial, shall not constitute punishment.

(5) Every person shall be presumed innocent until he is proved guilty:

Provided that the burden of proving particular facts may, by law, be placed on an accused person.

(6) No person shall be held guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission which did not, at the time of such act or omission, constitute such an offence and no penalty shall be imposed for any offence more severe than the penalty in force at the time such offence was committed.

Nothing in this Article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by the community of nations.

It shall not be a contravention of this Article to require the imposition of a minimum penalty for an offence provided that such penalty does not exceed the maximum penalty prescribed for such offence at the time such offence was committed.

(7) The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, by reason of a removal order or a deportation order made under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act or the
Indo-Ceylon Agreement (Implementation) Act, No. 14 of 1967 or such other law as may be enacted in substitution therefor, shall not be a contravention of this Article.

14. Freedom of speech, assembly, association, occupation and movement.

(1) Every citizen is entitled to—

(a)  the freedom of speech and expression including publication;

(b)  the freedom of peaceful assembly;

(c)  the freedom of association;

(d)  the freedom to form and join a trade union;

(e)  the freedom, either by himself or in association with others and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;

(f)   the freedom by himself or in association with others to enjoy and promote his own culture and to use his own language;

(g)  the freedom to engage by himself or in association with others in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business or enterprise;

(h)  the freedom of movement and of choosing his residence within Sri Lanka; and

(i)   the freedom to return to Sri Lanka.

(2) A person who, not being a citizen of any other country, has been permanently and legally resident in Sri Lanka immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution and continues to be so resident shall be entitled, for a period of ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, to the rights declared and recognised by paragraph (1) of this Article.

14A. Right of access to information.

(1) Every citizen shall have the right of access to any information as provided for by law, being information that is required for the execise or protection of a citizen’s right held by—

(a)  the State, a Ministry or any Government Department or any statutory body established or created by or under any law;

(b)  any Ministry of a Minster of the Board of Ministers of a Province or any Department or any statutory body established or created by a statute of a Provincial Council;

(c)  any local authority; and

(d)  any other person, who is in possession of such information relating to any institution referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) (b) or (c) of this paragraph.

(2) No restrictions shall be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article, other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals and of the reputation or the rights of others, privacy, prevention of contempt of court, protection of parliamentary privilege, for preventing the disclosure of information communicated in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

(3) In this Article, “citizen” includes a body whether incorporated or unincorporated, if not less than three-fourths of the members of such body are citizens.

[Art 14A ins by s 2 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

15. Restrictions on fundamental rights.

(1) The exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognised by Articles 13(5) and 13(6) shall be subject only to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security. For the purposes of this paragraph “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being relating to public security.

(2) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognised by Article 14(1)(a) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony or in relation to parliamentary privilege, contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

(3) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognised by Article 14(1)(b) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony.

(4) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognised by Article 14(1)(c) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony or national economy.

(5) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognised by Article 14(1)(g) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national economy or in relation to—

(a)  the professional, technical, academic, financial and other qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade, business or enterprise and the licensing and disciplinary control of the person entitled to such fundamental right; and

(b)  the carrying on by the State, a State agency or a Public Corporation of any trade, business, industry, service or enterprise whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.

(6) The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognised by Article 14(1)(h) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national economy.

(7) The exercise and operation of all the fundamental rights declared and recognised by Articles 12, 13(1), 13(2) and 14 shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security, public order and the protection of public health or morality or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others or of meeting the just requirements of the general welfare of a democratic society. For the purposes of this paragraph “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being relating to public security.

(8) The exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognised by Articles 12(1), 13 and 14 shall, in their application to the members of the Armed Forces, Police Force and other Forces charged with the maintenance of public order, be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.

16. Existing written law and unwritten law to continue in force.

(1) All existing written law and unwritten law shall be valid and operative notwithstanding any inconsistency with the preceding provisions of this Chapter.

(2) The subjection of any person on the order of a competent court to any form of punishment recognised by any existing written law shall not be a contravention of the provisions of this Chapter.

17. Remedy for the infringement of fundamental rights by executive action.

Every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court, as provided by Article 126, in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by executive or administrative action, of a fundamental right to which such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter.

CHAPTER IV

LANGUAGE

18. Official Language.

(1) The Official Language of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala.

[Art 18 re-numbered as Art 18(1) by s 2(a) of Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(2) Tamil shall also be an official language.

[Art 18(2) ins by s 2(b) of Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(3) English shall be the link language.

[Art 18(3) ins by s 2(b) of Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(4) Parliament shall by law provide for the implementation of the provisions of this chapter.

[Art 18(4) ins by s 2(b) of Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

19. National Languages.

The National Languages of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala and Tamil.

20. Use of National Languages in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities.

A Member of Parliament or a member of a Provincial Council or a Local Authority shall be entitled to perform his duties and discharge his functions in Parliament or in such Provincial Council or Local Authority in either of the National Languages.

[Art 20 am by s 2 of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

21. Medium of instruction.

(1) A person shall be entitled to be educated through the medium of either of the National Languages:

Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to an institution of higher education where the medium of instruction is a language other than a National Language.

(2) Where one National Language is a medium of instruction for or in any course, department or faculty of any University directly or indirectly financed by the State, the other National Language shall also be made a medium of instruction for or in such course, department or faculty for students who prior to their admission to such University, were educated through the medium of such other National Language:

Provided that compliance with the preceding provisions of this paragraph shall not be obligatory if such other National Language is the medium of instruction for or in any like course, department or faculty either at any other campus or branch of such University or of any other like University.

(3) In this Article “University” includes any institution of higher education.

22. Language of administration.

(1) Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of administration throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be the language of administration and be used for the maintenance of public records and the transaction of all business by public institutions of all the provinces of Sri Lanka other than the Northern and Eastern provinces where Tamil shall be so used:

Provided that the President may, having regard to the proportion which the Sinhala or Tamil linguistic minority population in any unit comprising a division of an Assistant Government Agent, bears to the total of population of that area, direct that both Sinhala and Tamil or a language other than the language used as the language of administration in the province in which such area may be situated, be used as the language for administration for such area.

(2) In any area where Sinhala is used as the language of administration a person other than an official acting in his official capacity, shall be entitled—

(a)  to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his official capacity, in either Tamil or English;

(b)  if the law recognises his right to inspect or obtain copies of or extracts from any official register, record, publication or other document, to obtain a copy of or an extract from such register, record, publication or other document or a translation thereof, as the case may be, in either Tamil or English;

(c)  where a document is executed by any official for the purpose of being issued to him, to obtain such document or a translation thereof, in either Tamil or English.

(3) In any area where Tamil is used as the language of administration, a person other than an official acting in his official capacity, shall be entitled to exercise the rights and to obtain the services, referred to in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph (2) of this Article, in Sinhala or English.

(4) A Provincial Council or a Local Authority which conducts its business in Sinhala shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with any official in his official capacity in Sinhala and a Provincial Council or a Local Authority which conducts its business in Tamil shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his official capacity, in Tamil:

Provided, however, that a Provincial Council, Local Authority, Public Institution or any official receiving communications from or transacting business with any other Provincial Council, Local Authority, Public Institution or an official functioning in an area in which a different language is used as the language of administration shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business in English.

(5) A person shall be entitled to be examined through the medium of either Sinhala or Tamil or a language of his choice at any examination for the admission of persons to the Public Service, Judicial Service, Provincial Public Service, Local Government Service or any public institution, subject to the condition that he may be required to acquire a sufficient knowledge of Tamil or Sinhala, as the case may be, within a reasonable time after admission to such service or public institution where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of his duties:

Provided that a person may be required to have a sufficient knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil, as a condition for admission to any such service or public institution where no function of the office or employment for which he is recruited can be discharged otherwise than with a sufficient knowledge of such language.

(6) In this Article—

“Official” means the President, any Minister, Deputy Minister, Governor, Chief Minister or Minister of the Board of Ministers of a Province or any officer of a Public Institution, Local Authority or Provincial Council; and

“Public Institution” means a department or institution of the Government, a Public Corporation or statutory institution.

[Art 22 subs by s 3 of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

23. Language of legislation.

(1) All laws and subordinate legislation shall be enacted or made and published in Sinhala and Tamil, together with a translation thereof in English:

Provided that Parliament shall, at the stage of enactment of any law determine which text shall prevail in the event of any inconsistency between texts;

Provided further that in respect of all other written laws the text, in which such written laws were enacted or adopted or made, shall prevail in the event of any inconsistency between such texts.

(2) All Orders, Proclamations, Rules, By-laws, Regulations and Notifications made or issued under any written law other than by a Provincial Council or a Local Authority and the Gazette shall be published in Sinhala and Tamil together with a translation thereof in English.

(3) All Orders, Proclamations, Rules, By-laws, Regulations and Notifications made or issued under any written law by any Provincial Council or Local Authority and all documents including circulars and forms issued or used by such body or any public institution shall be published in the language used in the administration in the respective areas in which they function together with a translation thereof in English.

(4) All laws and subordinate legislation in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution, shall be published in the Gazette in the Sinhala and Tamil languages as expeditiously as possible.

[Art 23 subs by s 3 of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

24. Languages of the courts.

(1) Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of the courts throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be used as the language of the courts situated in all the areas of Sri Lanka except those in any area where Tamil is the language of administration. The record and proceedings shall be in the language of the court. In the event of an appeal from any court records shall also be prepared in the language of the court hearing the appeal, if the language of such court is other than the language used by the court from which the appeal is preferred:

Provided that the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice may, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers direct that the record of any court shall also be maintained and the proceedings conducted in a language other than the language of the court.

[Art 24(1) subs by s 4(1) of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(2) Any party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant may initiate proceedings and submit to court pleadings and other documents and participate in the proceedings in court, in either Sinhala or Tamil.

[Art 24(2) am by s 4(2) of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(3) Any Judge, juror, party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant, who is not conversant with the language used in a court, shall be entitled to interpretation and to translation into Sinhala or Tamil, provided by the State, to enable him to understand and participate in the proceedings before such court and shall also be entitled to obtain in such language, any such part of the record or a translation thereof, as the case may be, as he may be entitled to obtain according to law.

[Art 24(3) am by s 4(3) of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(4) The Minister in charge of the subject of Justice may, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers, issue directions permitting the use of English in or in relation to the records and proceedings in any court for all purposes or for such purposes as may be specified therein. Every Judge shall be bound to implement such directions.

[Art 24(4) am by s 4(4) of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(5) In this Article—

“court” means any court or tribunal created and established for the administration of justice including the adjudication and settlement of industrial and other disputes or any other tribunal or institution exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any tribunal or institution created and established for the conciliation and settlement of disputes;

“Judge” includes the President, Chairman, Presiding Officer and member of any court; and

“Record” includes pleadings, judgments, orders and other judicial and ministerial acts.

25. Provision for adequate facilities for use of languages provided for in this Chapter.

The State shall provide adequate facilities for the use of the languages provided for in this Chapter.

25A. Provision of any law inconsistent with this Chapter deemed to be repealed.

In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of any law and the provisions of this Chapter, the provisions of this Chapter shall prevail.

[Art 25A ins by s 5 of Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

CHAPTER V

CITIZENSHIP

26. Citizenship of Sri Lanka.

(1) There shall be one status of citizenship known as “the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka”.

(2) A citizen of Sri Lanka shall for all purposes be described only as a “citizen of Sri Lanka”, whether such person became entitled to citizenship by descent or by virtue of registration in accordance with the law relating to citizenship.

(3) No distinction shall be drawn between citizens of Sri Lanka for any purpose by reference to the mode of acquisition of such status, as to whether acquired by descent or by virtue of registration.

(4) No citizen of Sri Lanka shall be deprived of his status of a citizen of Sri Lanka, except under and by virtue of the provisions of sections 19, 20, 21 and 22 of the Citizenship Act:

Provided that the provisions of sections 23 and 24 of that Act shall also be applicable to a person who became entitled to the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka by virtue of registration under the provisions of sections 11, 12 or 13 of that Act.

(5) Every person who immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution was a citizen of Sri Lanka, whether by descent or by virtue of registration in accordance with any law relating to citizenship, shall be entitled to the status and to the rights of a citizen of Sri Lanka as provided in the preceding provisions of this Article.

(6) The provisions of all existing written laws relating to citizenship and all other existing written laws wherein reference is made to citizenship shall be read subject to the preceding provisions of this Article.

CHAPTER VI

DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

27. Directive Principles of State Policy.

(1) The Directive Principles of State policy herein contained shall guide Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers in the enactment of laws and the governance of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a just and free society.

(2) The State is pledged to establish in Sri Lanka a Democratic Socialist Society, the objectives of which include—

(a)  the full realisation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons;

(b)  the promotion of the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice (social, economic and political) shall guide all the institutions of the national life;

(c)  the realisation by all citizens of an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, the continuous improvement of living conditions and the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities;

(d)  the rapid development of the whole country by means of public and private economic activity and by laws prescribing such planning and controls as may be expedient for directing and co-ordinating such public and private economic activity towards social objectives and the public weal;

(e)  the equitable distribution among all citizens of the material resources of the community and the social product, so as best to subserve the common good;

(f)   the establishment of a just social order in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are not concentrated and centralised in the State, State agencies or in the hands of a privileged few, but are dispersed among and owned by all the people of Sri Lanka;

(g)  raising the moral and cultural standards of the people and ensuring the full development of human personality; and

(h)  the complete eradication of illiteracy and the assurance to all persons of the right to universal and equal access to education at all levels.

(3) The State shall safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

(4) The State shall strengthen and broaden the democratic structure of government and the democratic rights of the people by decentralising the administration and by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate at every level in national life and in government.

(5) The State shall strengthen national unity by promoting co-operation and mutual confidence among all sections of the people of Sri Lanka, including the racial, religious, linguistic and other groups and shall take effective steps in the fields of teaching, education and information in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudice.

(6) The State shall ensure equality of opportunity to citizens, so that no citizen shall suffer any disability on the ground of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation.

(7) The State shall eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity and the exploitation of man by man or by the State.

(8) The State shall ensure that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and the means of production to the common detriment.

(9) The State shall ensure social security and welfare.

(10) The State shall assist the development of the cultures and the languages of the people.

(11) The State shall create the necessary economic and social environment to enable people of all religious faiths to make a reality of their religious principles.

(12) The State shall recognise and protect the family as the basic unit of society.

(13) The State shall promote with special care the interests of children and youth, so as to ensure their full development, physical, mental, moral, religious and social and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination.

(14) The State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment for the benefit of the community.

(15) The State shall promote international peace, security and co-operation and the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order and shall endeavour to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in dealings among nations.

28. Fundamental duties.

The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations and accordingly it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka—

(a)  to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law;

(b)  to further the national interest and to foster national unity;

(c)  to work conscientiously in his chosen occupation;

(d)  to preserve and protect public property and to combat misuse and waste of public property;

(e)  to respect the rights and freedoms of others; and

(f)   to protect nature and conserve its riches.

29. Principles of State Policy and fundamental duties not justifiable.

The provisions of this Chapter do not confer or impose legal rights or obligations and are not enforceable in any court or tribunal. No question of inconsistency with such provisions shall be raised in any court or tribunal.

CHAPTER VII

THE EXECUTIVE

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

30. The President of the Republic.

(1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government and the
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

(2) The President of the Republic shall be elected by the people and shall hold office for a term of five years.

[Art 30 subs by s 3 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

31. The election and the term of office of the President.

(1) Any citizen who is qualified to be elected to the office of President may be nominated as a candidate for such office—

(a)  by a recognised political party; or

(b)  if he is or has been an elected member of the legislature, by any other political party or by an elector whose name has been entered in any register of electors.

(2) No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People.

[Art 31(2) ins by s 4(1) of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(3) The poll for the election of the President shall be taken not less than one month and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President in office.

(3A) —

(a)  —

(i)   Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provisions of this Chapter, the President may, at any time after the expiration of four years from the commencement of his first term of office, by Proclamation, declare his intention of appealing to the people for a mandate to hold office, by election, for a further term;

[Art 31(3A)(a)(i) am by s 2(2) of Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution; am by s 4(2)(a) of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(ii)  Upon the making of a Proclamation under
sub-paragraph (i) the Election Commission shall be required to take a poll for the election of the President;

(b)  If, at any time after the date of Proclamation referred to in paragraph (a) and before the close of the poll at the election held in pursuance of such Proclamation, the President in office dies, such Proclamation shall be deemed to have been revoked with effect from the date of such death and the election to be held in pursuance of such Proclamation shall be deemed to be cancelled. The vacancy in the office of President caused by such death shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Article 40.

(c) —

(i)   If, at any time, between the close of the poll at an election held under this paragraph and the declaration of the result of such election, a candidate at such election dies, the Election Commission shall proceed with the count and declare the result of such election, notwithstanding the death of such candidate.

(ii)  If the person entitled to be declared elected as President is dead at the time of the declaration of the result of such election, the Election Commission shall not declare the result of such election but shall take a fresh poll for the election of the President.

(iii) If by reason of the death referred to in sub-paragraph (i) there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the Prime Minister shall act in the office of President during the period between the occurrence of such vacancy and the assumption of office by the new President and shall appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the Speaker shall act in the office of President.

(d)  The person declared elected as President at an election held under this paragraph shall, if such person—

(i)   is the President in office, hold office for a term of five years commencing on such date in the year in which that election is held (being a date after such election) or in the succeeding year, as corresponds to the date on which his first term of office commenced, whichever date is earlier; or

(ii)  is not the President in office, hold office for a term of five years commencing on the date on which the result of such election is declared.

[Art 31(3A)(d) am by s 4(2)(b) of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(e)  A person succeeding to the office of President under the provisions of Article 40 shall not be entitled to exercise the right conferred on a President by sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph.

(f)   For the purposes of this paragraph, the first term or office of the first President referred to in Article 160 shall be deemed to have commenced on February 4, 1978.

[Art 31(3A) ins by s 2(1) of Third Amendment to the Constitution.]

(4) Where a poll for the election of a President is taken, the term of office of the person elected as President at such election shall commence on the expiration of the term of office of the President in office:

Provided that notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Article 40—

(a)  if any person declared elected as President at a poll for the election of a President dies at any time after his being declared elected as President and before the date on which his term of office would, but for his death, have commenced, the Election Commission shall take a fresh poll for the election of a President. If the date fixed for such fresh poll is a date later than such
first-mentioned date, the term of office of the person declared elected at such poll shall, notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, be deemed to have commenced on such first-mentioned date. For the purposes only of Article 38(1)(d), the date of commencement of the term of office of the new President shall be the date of his election;

(b)  where the President in office is not a candidate or is not re-elected, at a poll for the election of a President, his term of office shall be deemed to have expired on the date on which the result of such election is declared. The person elected as President at such election shall assume office forthwith, but not later than two weeks from such date:

Provided that the President in office, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Article 30, shall continue to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President until the assumption of office by the person declared elected as President. If the office of President becomes vacant, by reason of the person declared elected as President failing to assume office, the President in office shall continue to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President, until the Prime Minister or if the office of the Prime Minister be then vacant or if the Prime Minister be unable to act, the Speaker commences to act in the office of President in terms of Article 40;

(c)  if by reason of the death referred to in sub-paragraph (a) there is a vacancy in the office of President, the Prime Minister shall act in the office of President during the period between the occurrence of such vacancy and the assumption of office by the new President and shall appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act as Prime Minister:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the Speaker shall act in the office of the President.

[Art 31(4) subs by s 2(2) of Third Amendment to the Constitution.]

(5) The election of the President shall be conducted by the Election Commission who shall fix the date for the nomination of candidates for such election and the date on which the poll shall be taken.

(6) Parliament shall by law make provision for—

(a)  the nomination of candidates for the election of President;

(b)  the register of electors to be used at and the procedure for the election of the President;

(c)  the creation of offences relating to such election and the punishment therefor;

(d)  the grounds and manner of avoiding such election and of determining any disputed election; and

(e)  all other matters necessary or incidental thereto.

32. Assumption of office.

(1) The person elected or succeeding to the office of President shall assume office upon taking and subscribing the oath or making and subscribing the affirmation, set out in the Fourth Schedule, in Sri Lanka before the Chief Justice or any other Judge of the Supreme Court.

(2) Upon such assumption of office the President shall cease to hold any other office created or recognised by the Constitution and if he is a Member of Parliament, shall vacate his seat in Parliament. The President shall not hold any other office or place of profit whatsoever.

(3) The President shall, by virtue of his office attend Parliament once in every three months. In the discharge of this function the President shall be entitled to all the privileges, immunities and powers of a Member of Parliament, other than the entitlement to vote and shall not be liable for any breach of the privileges of Parliament or of its members.

[Art 32(3) subs by s 3(1) of Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(4) The President shall by virtue of his office, also have the right to address and send messages to Parliament.

[Art 32(4) ins by s 3(2) of Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

33. Duties, Powers and functions of the President.

(1) It shall be the duty of the President to—

(a)  ensure that the Constitution is respected and upheld;

(b)  promote national reconciliation and integration;

(c)  ensure and facilitate the proper functioning of the Constitutional Council and the institutions referred to in Chapter VIIA; and

(d)  on the advice of the Election Commission, ensure the creation of proper conditions for the conduct of free and fair elections and referenda.

(2) In addition to the powers, duties and functions expressly conferred or imposed on, or assigned to the President by the Constitution or other written law, the President shall have the power—

(a)  to make the Statement of Government Policy in Parliament at the commencement of each session of Parliament;

(b)  to preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament;

(c)  to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament;

(d)  to receive and recognize, and to appoint and accredit, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Plenipotentiaries and other diplomatic agents;

(e)  to appoint as President’s Counsel, attorneys-at-law who have reached eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude. Every President’s Counsel appointed under this paragraph shall be entitled to all such privileges as were hitherto enjoyed by Queen’s Counsel;

(f)   to keep the Public Seal of the Republic, and to make and execute under the Public Seal, the acts of appointment of the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court, the President of the Court of Appeal and other judges of the Court of Appeal, and such grants and dispositions of lands and other immovable property vested in the Republic as the President is by law required or empowered to do, and to use the Public Seal for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass that Seal;

(g)  to declare war and peace; and

(h)  to do all such acts and things, not inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law, as by international law, custom or usage the President is authorized or required to do.

[Art 33 subs by s 5 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

33A. President to be responsible to Parliament.

The President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions under the Constitution and any written law, including the law for the time being relating to public security.

[Art 33A ins by s 6 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

34. Grant of pardon.

(1) The President may in the case of any offender convicted of any offence in any court within the Republic of Sri Lanka—

(a)  grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions;

(b)  grant any respite, either indefinite or for such period as the President may think fit, of the execution of any sentence passed on such offender;

(c)  substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on such offender; or

(d)  remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the Republic on account of such offence:

Provided that where any offender shall have been condemned to suffer death by the sentence of any court, the President shall cause a report to be made to him by the Judge who tried the case and shall forward such report to the
Attorney-General with instructions that after the
Attorney-General has advised thereon, the report shall be sent together with the Attorney-General’s advice to the Minister in charge of the subject of Justice, who shall forward the report with his recommendation to the President.

(2) The President may in the case of any person who is or has become subject to any disqualification specified in paragraph (d), (e), (f), (g) or (h) of Article 89 or
sub-paragraph (g) of paragraph (1) of Article 91—

(a)  grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions; or

(b)  reduce the period of such disqualification.

(3) When any offence has been committed for which the offender may be tried within the Republic of Sri Lanka, the President may grant a pardon to any accomplice in such offence who shall give such information as shall lead to the conviction of the principal offender or of any one of such principal offenders, if more than one.

35. Immunity of President from suit.

(1) While any person holds office as President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, no civil or criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against the President in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President, either in his official or private capacity:

Provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be read and construed as restricting the right of any person to make an application under Article 126 against the Attorney-General, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President, in his official capacity:

Provided further that the Supreme Court shall have no jurisdiction to pronounce upon the exercise of the powers of the President under Article 33(2)(g).

(2) Where provision is made by law limiting the time within which proceedings of any description may be instituted against any person, a period of time during which such person holds the office of President of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not be taken into account in calculating any period of time prescribed by that law.

(3) The immunity conferred by the provisions of paragraph (1) shall not apply to proceedings in the Supreme Court under paragraph (2) of Article 129 and to proceedings under Article 130 (a) relating to the election of the President or the validity of a referendum.

[Art 35 subs by s 7 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

36. Salary and pension.

(1) Within one month of the commencement of the Constitution, Parliament shall by resolution determine the salary, allowances and pension entitlement of the holders of the office of President. Such pension shall be in addition to any other pension to which such person is entitled by virtue of any prior service.

(2) Upon the assumption of the office of President the holder of such office shall become entitled to the receipt of such salary and allowances and thereafter, of such pension as may be determined by Parliament. Any subsequent amendment, repeal or replacement of this Article and any subsequent law or any provision thereof inconsistent with this Article shall not have retrospective operation.

(3) The salary, allowances and pension of the President shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(4) Parliament may by resolution increase, but shall not reduce, the salary, allowances or pension entitlement of the holders of the office of President.

37. Exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of the President by the Prime Minister.

(1) If the President is of the opinion that by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause he will be unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office, he may appoint the Prime Minister to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period and may also appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister during such period:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the President may appoint the Speaker to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period.

(2) If the Chief Justice in consultation with the Speaker is of the opinion that the President is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office and is unable to make an appointment in terms of paragraph (1) of this Article, he shall communicate in writing his opinion to the Speaker and thereupon the Prime Minister shall exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period and shall appoint one of the Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister during such period, notwithstanding the absence of such appointment as is provided for in paragraph (1) of this Article:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the Speaker shall exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period.

(3) The provisions of the Constitution relating to the President (other than the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 32) shall apply, in so far as they can be applied, to the person so exercising, performing and discharging the powers, duties and functions of the office of President.

(4) In this Article and in Articles 38(1)(b) and 40(1), “the Speaker” includes, during any period when Parliament is dissolved, the person who held the office of Speaker immediately before the dissolution of Parliament.

38. Vacation of office by the President.

(1) The office of President shall become vacant—

(a)  upon his death;

(b)  if he resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker;

(c)  if he ceases to be a citizen of Sri Lanka:

(d)  if the person elected as President wilfully fails to assume office within two weeks from the date of commencement of his term of office;

[Art 38(1)(d) am by s 3 of Third Amendment to the Constitution.]

(e)  if he is removed from office as provided in the next succeeding paragraph; or

(f)   if the Supreme Court in the exercise of its powers under Article 130(a) determines that his election as President was void and does not determine that any other person was duly elected as President.

(2) —

(a)  Any Member of Parliament may, by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution alleging that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity or that the President has been guilty of—

(i)   intentional violation of the Constitution;

(ii)  treason;

(iii) bribery;

(iv) misconduct or corruption involving the abuse of the powers of his office; or

(v)  any offence under any law, involving moral turpitude and setting out full particulars of the allegation or allegations made and seeking an inquiry and report thereon by the
Supreme Court.

(b)  No notice of such resolution shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament unless it complies with the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) and—

(i)   such notice of resolution is signed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members of Parliament, or

(ii)  such notice of resolution is signed by not less than one-half of the whole number of Members of Parliament and the Speaker is satisfied that such allegation or allegations merit inquiry and report by the Supreme Court.

(c)  Where such resolution is passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present) voting in its favour, the allegation or allegations contained in such resolution shall be referred by the Speaker to the Supreme Court for inquiry and report.

(d)  The Supreme Court shall, after due inquiry at which the President shall have the right to appear and to be heard, in person or by an Attorney-at-Law, make a report of its determination to Parliament together with the reasons therefor.

(e)  Where the Supreme Court reports to Parliament that in its opinion the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity or that the President has been guilty of any of the other allegations contained in such resolution, as the case may be, Parliament may by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present) voting in its favour remove the President from office.

39. Determination by the Supreme Court that the President was not duly elected or the election of the President was void.

(1) Where the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 130 determines—

(a)  that the election of the President was void and does not determine that any other person was duly elected, then, a poll for the election of the President shall be taken not later than three months from the date of the determination; or

(b)  that any other person was duly elected as President, then; such other person shall assume the office of President within one month of the date of the determination.

For the purposes of Article 38(1)(d), the date of commencement of the term of office of the new President shall be the date of his election or the date of the determination, as the case may be.

(2) Upon the Supreme Court making any such determination as is referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article, the person who was exercising, performing and discharging the powers, duties and functions of the office of President shall forthwith cease to exercise, perform and discharge such powers, duties and functions. During the period intervening between the date of such determination and the assumption of office by the new President, the Prime Minister shall act in the office of President and shall appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of the Prime Minister:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the Speaker shall act in the office of the President.

(3) For the purposes of Article 30(2) and notwithstanding the provisions of Article 31(4), the term of office of the new President shall be deemed to have commenced on the date on which the term of office of the person whose election was determined to have been void or undue would, but for such determination, have commenced.

(4) The exercise, performance and discharge by any person of the powers, duties and functions of the office of President shall not be invalid by reason only of the fact that the Supreme Court subsequently determines that the election of such person as President was void or undue.

(5) The provisions of this Article shall apply notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Article 40.

40. Vacation of office by the President and election of succeeding President.

(1) —

(a)  If the office of President shall become vacant prior to the expiration of his term of office, Parliament shall elect as President one of its Members who is qualified to be elected to the office of President. Any person so succeeding to the office of President shall hold office only for the unexpired period of the term of office of the President vacating office.

(b)  Such election shall be held as soon as possible after and in no case later than one month from, the date of occurrence of the vacancy. Such election shall be by secret ballot and by an absolute majority of the votes casted in accordance with such procedure as Parliament may by law provide:

Provided that if such vacancy occurs after the dissolution of Parliament, the President shall be elected by the new Parliament within one month of its first meeting.

(c)  During the period between the occurrence of such vacancy and the assumption of office by the new President, the Prime Minister shall act in the office of President and shall appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the Speaker shall act in the office of President.

(2) The provisions of the Constitution relating to the President (other than the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 32) shall apply, in so far as they can be applied, to an acting President.

(3) Parliament shall by law provide for all matters relating to the procedure for the election of the President by Parliament and all other matters necessary or incidental thereto.

41. President’s staff.

(1) The President shall have the power to appoint such Secretaries and in consultation with the Cabinet of Ministers, such other officers and staff as are in his opinion necessary to assist him in the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of his office and to determine their terms and conditions of service.

(2) The salaries of such Secretaries, officers and staff shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

(3) Such Secretaries, officers and staff shall be deemed to be public officers except that the dismissal and disciplinary control of such Secretaries, officers and staff shall be vested in the President, who may delegate to any such Secretary his powers of dismissal and disciplinary control in respect of any such officers or staff.

(4) Every such Secretary, officer or member of the staff shall cease to hold office upon a new President assuming office.

(5) Where any such Secretary, officer or member of the staff so ceases to hold office, the Cabinet of Ministers may appoint such Secretary, officer or member of the staff to any post in the Public Service:

Provided that any such Secretary, officer or member of the staff who immediately prior to his appointment as Secretary, officer or member of the staff was in the Public or Local Government Service or in the service of a Public Corporation shall be entitled to revert to such service without loss of seniority upon a new President assuming office.

(6) The proviso to paragraph (5) of this Article shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to any person referred to in that proviso upon—

(a)  the President terminating the services of such person, otherwise than by dismissal on disciplinary grounds; or

(b)  the resignation of such person, unless disciplinary proceedings are pending or contemplated against such person on the date of his resignation.

(7) For the purposes of paragraphs (5) and (6) of this Article any person who has continuously held the office of Secretary to the President, Secretary to any Ministry or any office in the President’s staff or any one or more of such, offices shall be deemed to have continuously held the office which such person last held.

Chapter VIIA

The CONSTITUTIONAL Council

[Chap VIIA  subs by s 8 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

41A. Constitution of the Constitutional Council.

(1) There shall be a Constitutional Council (in this Chapter referred to as the “Council”) which shall consist of the following members—

(a)  the Prime Minister;

(b)  the Speaker;

(c)  the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament;

(d)  one Member of Parliament appointed by the President;

(e)  five persons appointed by the President, on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition of whom two persons shall be Members of Parliament; and

(f)   one Member of Parliament nominated by agreement of the majority of the Members of Parliament belonging to political parties or independent groups, other than the respective political parties or independent groups to which the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition belong, and appointed by the President.

(2) The Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Council.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Speaker to ensure that nominations for appointments under sub-paragraph (e) or sub-paragraph (f) of paragraph (1) are made, whenever an occasion for such nominations arises.

(4) In nominating the five persons referred to in sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph (1), the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall consult the leaders of political parties and independent groups represented in Parliament so as to ensure that the Constitutional Council reflects the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society, including professional and social diversity.

(5) The persons who are not Members of Parliament to be appointed under subparagraph (e) of paragraph (1) shall be persons of eminence and integrity who have distinguished themselves in public or professional life and who are not members of any political party whose nomination shall be approved by Parliament.

(6) The President shall, within fourteen days of the receipt of a written communication specifying the nominations made under subparagraphs (e) and (f) of paragraph (1), make the necessary appointments. In the event of the President failing to make the necessary appointments within such period of fourteen days, the persons nominated shall be deemed to have been appointed as members of the Council, with effect from the date of expiry of such period.

(7) —

(a)  On the dissolution of Parliament, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 64, the Speaker shall continue to hold office as a member of the Council, until a Member of Parliament is elected to be the Speaker under paragraph (1) of the aforesaid Article;

(b)  Notwithstanding the dissolution of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Members of Parliament who are members of the Constitutional Council, shall continue to hold office as Members of such Council, until such time after a General Election following such dissolution, a Member of Parliament is appointed as the Prime Minister or recognized as the Leader of the Opposition or such number of Members of Parliament are appointed as Members of the Constitutional Council under sub-paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of paragraph (1), as the case may be.

(8) Every member of the Council appointed under sub-paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of paragraph (1), shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment unless the member earlier resigns his office by writing addressed to the President, is removed from office by the President on both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition forming an opinion that such member is physically or mentally incapacitated and is unable to function further in office or is convicted by a court of law for any offence involving moral turpitude or if a resolution for the imposition of civic disability upon him has been passed in terms of Article 81 of the Constitution or is deemed to have vacated his office under paragraph (7) of Article 41E.

(9) In the event of there being a vacancy among the members appointed under subparagraphs (d), (e) or (f)) of paragraph (1), the President shall, within fourteen days of the occurrence of such vacancy and having regard to the provisions of the aforementioned subparagraphs, appoint another person to succeed such member. Any person so appointed, shall hold office during the unexpired part of the period of office of the member whom he succeeds.

(10) A member appointed under subparagraphs (d), (e) or (f) of paragraph (1), shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

(11) The appointments made by the President under sub-paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of paragraph (1), shall be communicated to the Speaker.

41B. Council to recommend appointments.

(1) No person shall be appointed by the President as the Chairman or a member of any of the Commissions specified in the Schedule to this Article, except on a recommendation of the Council.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall apply in respect of any person appointed to act as the Chairman or as a member of any such Commission.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Council to recommend to the President fit and proper persons for appointment as Chairmen or members of the Commissions specified in the Schedule to this Article, whenever the occasion for such appointments arises, and such recommendations shall endeavour to ensure that such recommendations reflect the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society, including gender. In the case of the Chairmen of such Commissions, the Council shall recommend three persons for appointment, and the President shall appoint one of the persons recommended as Chairman.

(4) The President shall appoint the Chairman and the members of the Commissions specified in the Schedule to this Article, within fourteen days of receiving the recommendations of the Council for such appointments. In the event of the President failing to make the necessary appointments within such period of fourteen days—

(a)  the persons recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as members of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed as the members of the Commissions;and

(b)  the person whose name appears first in the list of names recommended under paragraph (3), to be appointed as the Chairman of a Commission, shall be deemed to have been appointed the Chairman of the respective Commission,

with effect from the date of expiry of such period.

(5) No person appointed under paragraph (1) or a person appointed to act as the Chairman or a member of any such Commission, shall be removed except as provided for in the Constitution or in any written law, and where there is no such provision, such person shall be removed by the President only with the prior approval of the Council.

(6) All the Commissions referred to in the Schedule to this Article, other than the Election Commission, shall be responsible and answerable to Parliament.

SCHEDULE

(a)  The Election Commission.

(b)  The Public Service Commission.

(c)  The National Police Commission.

(d)  The Audit Service Commission.

(e)  The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.

(f)   The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

(g)  The Finance Commission.

(h)  The Delimitation Commission.

(i)   The National Procurement Commission.

41C. Council to approve appointments.

(1) No person shall be appointed by the President to any of the Offices specified in the Schedule to this Article, unless such appointment has been approved by the Council upon a recommendation made to the Council by the President.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall apply in respect of any person appointed to act for a period exceeding fourteen days, in any Office specified in the Schedule to this Article:

Provided that no person shall be appointed to act in any such office for successive periods not exceeding fourteen days, unless such acting appointment has been approved by the Council on a recommendation by the President.

(3) No person appointed to any Office specified in the Schedule to this Article or to act in any such Office, shall be removed from such Office except as provided for in the Constitution or in any law.

(4) In the discharge of its function relating to the appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court and the President and Judges of the Court of Appeal, the Council shall obtain the views of the Chief Justice.

SCHEDULE

PART I

(a)  The Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court.

(b)  The President and the Judges of the Court of Appeal.

(c)  The Members of the Judicial Service Commission, other than the Chairman.

PART II

(a)  The Attorney-General.

(b)  The Auditor-General.

(c)  The Inspector-General of Police.

(d)  The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman).

(e)  The Secretary-General of Parliament.

41D. Secretary-General and other officers of the Council.

(1) There shall be a Secretary-General to the Council who shall be appointed by the Council for a term of five years. Upon the expiration of his term of office, the Secretary-General shall be eligible for reappointment.

(2) The Council may appoint such officers as it considers necessary for the discharge of its functions, on such terms and conditions as shall be determined by the Council.

41E. Meetings of the Council.

(1) The Council shall meet at least twice every month, and as often as may be necessary to discharge the functions assigned to the Council by the provisions of this Chapter or by any law, and such meetings shall be summoned by the Secretary-General to the Council on the direction of the Chairman of the Council.

(2) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Council and in the absence of the Chairman, the Prime Minister, and in the absence of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition shall preside at the meetings of the Council.

(3) The quorum for any meeting of the Council shall be five members.

(4) The Council shall endeavour to make every recommendation, approval or decision it is required to make by unanimous decision and in the absence of an unanimous decision, no recommendation, approval or decision made by the Council shall be valid, unless supported by not less than five members of the Council present at such meeting.

(5) The Chairman or the other member presiding shall not have an original vote, but in the event of an equality of votes on any question for decision at any meeting of the Council, the Chairman or other member presiding at such meeting, shall have a casting vote.

(6) The procedure in regard to meetings of the Council and the transaction of business at such meetings shall be determined by the Council, including procedures to be followed in regard to the recommendation or approval of persons suitable for any appointment under Article 41B or Article 41C.

(7) Any member of the Council appointed under sub-paragraphs (d), (e), or (f) of paragraph (1) of Article 41A, who without obtaining prior leave of the Council absents himself from three consecutive meetings of the Council, shall be deemed to have vacated office with effect from the date of the third of such meetings.

(8) The Council shall have the power to act notwithstanding the fact that it has not been fully constituted or that there is a vacancy in its membership, and no act, proceeding or decision of the Council shall be or deemed to be invalid by reason only of the fact that the Council has not been fully constituted or that there has been a vacancy in its membership or that there has been any defect in the appointment of a member.

41F. Continuation in office of the members of the Council.

Notwithstanding the expiration of the term of office of the members of the Council or of the members of any Commission specified in the Schedule to Article 41B, the members of the Council or of such other Commission shall continue in office until the assumption of office by the new members of the Council or of such other Commission.

41G. Powers and duties of the Council.

(1) The Council shall, once in every three months, submit to the President a report of its activities during the preceding three months.

(2) The Council shall perform and discharge such other duties and functions as may be imposed or assigned to the Council by the Constitution, or by any other written law.

(3) The Council shall have the power to make rules relating to the performance and discharge of its duties and function. All such rules shall be published in the Gazette and be placed before Parliament within three months of such publication.

41H. Expenses to be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

The expenses incurred by the Council shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

41I. Finality of decisions of the Council.

Subject to the provisions of Article 126, no court shall have the power or jurisdiction to entertain, hear or decide or call in question, on any ground whatsoever, or in any manner whatsoever, any decision of the Council or any approval or recommendation made by the Council, which decision, approval or recommendation shall be final and conclusive for all purposes.

CHAPTER VIII

THE EXECUTIVE

THE CABINET OF MINISTERS

[Chap VIII  subs by s 9 of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

42. Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.

(1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers charged with the direction and control of the Government of the Republic.

(2) The Cabinet of Ministers shall be collectively responsible and answerable to Parliament.

(3) The President shall be a member of the Cabinet of Ministers and shall be the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(4) The President shall appoint as Prime Minister the Member of Parliament, who, in the President’s opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.

43. Ministers and their subjects and functions.

(1) The President shall, in consultation with the Prime Minister, where he considers such consultation to be necessary, determine the number of Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministries and the assignment of subjects and functions to such Ministers.

(2) The President shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint from among Members of Parliament, Ministers, to be in charge of the Ministries so determined.

(3) The President may at any time change the assignment of subjects and functions and the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers. Such changes shall not affect the continuity of the Cabinet of Ministers and the continuity of its responsibility to Parliament.

44. Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(1) The President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint from among Members of Parliament, Ministers who shall not be members of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(2) The President may, in consultation with the Prime Minister where he considers such consultation to be necessary, determine the assignment of subjects and functions to Ministers appointed under paragraph (1) of this Article and the Ministries, if any, which are to be in charge of, such Ministers.

(3) The President may at any time change any assignment made under paragraph (2).

(4) Every Minister appointed under paragraph (1) shall be responsible to the Cabinet of Ministers and to Parliament.

(5) Any Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers may, by Notification published in the Gazette, delegate to any Minister who is not a member of the Cabinet of Ministers, any power or duty pertaining to any subject or function assigned to such cabinet Minister, or any power or duty conferred or imposed on him by any written law, and it shall be lawful for such other Minister to exercise and perform any power or duty delegated notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the written law by which that power or duty is conferred or imposed on such Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers.

45. Deputy Ministers.

(1) The President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint from among Members of Parliament, Deputy Ministers to assist Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers in the performance of their duties.

(2) Any Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers may by Notification published in the Gazette, delegate to his Deputy Minister, any power or duty pertaining to any subject or function assigned to him or any power or duty conferred or imposed on him by any written law, and it shall be lawful for such Deputy Minister to exercise and perform any power or duty delegated notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the written law by which that power or duty is conferred or imposed on such Minister.

46. Tenure of office of the Prime Minister, and the limitation of numbers and tenure of office of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

(1) The total number of—

(a) Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers shall not exceed thirty; and

(b) Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall not, in the aggregate, exceed forty.

(2) The Prime Minister shall continue to hold office throughout the period during which the Cabinet of Ministers continues to function under the provisions of the Constitution unless he—

(a)  resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President; or

(b)  ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

(3) A Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, a Minister who is not a member of the Cabinet of Ministers and a Deputy Minister, shall continue to hold office throughout the period during which the Cabinet of Ministers continues to function under the provisions of the Constitution unless he—

(a)  is removed from office under the hand of the President on the advice of the Prime Minister;

(b)  resigns from office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President; or

(c)  ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph (1) of this Article, where the recognized political party or the independent group which obtains highest number of seats in Parliament forms a National Government, the number of Ministers in the Cabinet of Ministers, the number of Ministers who are not Cabinet of Ministers and the number of Deputy Ministers shall be determined by Parliament.

(5) For the purpose of paragraph (4), National Government means, a Government formed by the recognized political party or the independent group which obtains the highest number of seats in Parliament together with the other recognized political parties or the independent groups.

47. Cabinet of Ministers after dissolution of Parliament.

(1) The Cabinet of Ministers functioning immediately prior to the dissolution of Parliament shall, notwithstanding such dissolution, continue to function and shall cease to function upon the conclusion of the General Election and accordingly, the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, shall continue to function unless they cease to hold office as provided in sub paragraph (a) of paragraph (2) or sub paragraph (a) or (b) of paragraph (3) of Article 46 and shall comply with the criteria set out by the Commissioner of Elections and shall not cause any undue influence on the General Election.

(2) Notwithstanding the death, removal from office or resignation of the Prime Minister, during the period intervening between the dissolution of Parliament and the conclusion of the General Election, the Cabinet of Ministers shall continue to function with the other Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers as its members, until the conclusion of the General Election. The President may appoint one such Minister to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the Prime Minister.

(3) On the death, removal from office or resignation, during the period intervening between the dissolution of Parliament and the conclusion of the General Election, of a Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, the President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint any other Minister to be the Minister in charge of the Ministry of such Minister or to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of such Minister.

48. Dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(1) On the Prime Minister ceasing to hold office by death, resignation or otherwise, except during the period intervening between the dissolution of Parliament and the conclusion of the General Election, the Cabinet of Ministers shall, unless the President has in the exercise of his powers under Article 70, dissolved Parliament, stand dissolved and the President shall appoint a Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers in terms of Articles 42, 43, 44 and 45:

Provided that if after the Prime Minister so ceases to hold office, Parliament is dissolved, the Cabinet of Ministers shall continue to function with the other Ministers of the Cabinet as its members, until the conclusion of the General Election. The President may appoint one such Minister to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the Prime Minister, and the provisions of Article 47 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

(2) If Parliament rejects the Statement of Government Policy or the Appropriation Bill or passes a vote of no-confidence in the Government, the Cabinet of Ministers shall stand dissolved, and the President shall, unless he has in the exercise of his powers under Article 70, dissolved Parliament, appoint a Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers in terms of Articles 42, 43, 44 and 45.

49. Acting Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

Whenever a Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, a Minister who is not a members of the Cabinet of Ministers or a Deputy Minister is unable to discharge the functions of his office, the President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint any Member of Parliament to act in the place of such Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister who is not a member of the Cabinet of Ministers or a Deputy Minister.

50. Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers.

(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers who shall be appointed by the President.

(2) The Secretary shall, subject to the direction of the President, have charge of the office of the Cabinet of Ministers, and shall discharge and perform such other functions and duties as may be assigned to him by the President or the Cabinet of Ministers.

51. Secretary to the Prime Minister.

(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Prime Minister who shall be appointed by the President.

(2) The Secretary shall have charge of the office of the Prime Minister and shall perform and discharge the duties and functions of his office, subject to the directions of the Prime Minister.

52. Secretaries to Ministries.

(1) There shall be a Secretary for every Ministry of a Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, who shall be appointed by the President.

(2) The Secretary to a Ministry shall, subject to the direction and control of his Minister, exercise supervision over the departments of government and other institutions in charge of the Minister.

(3) The Secretary to a Ministry shall cease to hold office upon the dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers under the provisions of the Constitution or upon a determination by the President under Article 43 or 44 which results in the Ministry ceasing to exist.

(4) For the purposes of this Article, the office of the Secretary to the President, the office of the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers, the office of the Auditor-General, the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman), the office of the Secretary-General of Parliament, the Constitutional Council, and the Commissions referred to in the Schedule to Article 41B shall be deemed not to be departments of Government.

53. Official oath and affirmation.

Every person appointed to any office referred to in this Chapter shall not enter upon the duties of his office until he takes and subscribes the oath, or makes and subscribes the affirmation, set out in the Fourth Schedule and Seventh Schedule.

CHAPTER IX

THE EXECUTIVE

The Public Service

54. Public Service Commission.

(1) There shall be a Public Service Commission (in this Chapter referred to as the “Commission”) which shall consist of nine members appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, of whom not less than three members shall be persons who have had over fifteen years experience as a public officer. The President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council shall appoint one member as its Chairman.

[Art 54(1) subs by s 10(1) of Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(2) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Commission or continue to hold office as such member if he is or becomes a member of Parliament, a Provincial Council or a Local Authority.

[Art 54(2) subs by s 4 of Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(3) Every person who immediately before his appointment as a member of the Commission was a public officer in the service of the State or a judicial officer, shall, upon such appointment taking effect cease to hold such office and shall be ineligible for further appointment as a public officer or a judicial officer:

Provided that any such person shall, until he ceases to be a member of the Public Service Commission or while continuing to be a member, attains the age at which he would, if he were a public officer or a judicial officer, as the case may be, be required to retire, be deemed to be a public officer or a judicial officer and to hold a pensionable office in the service of the State, for the purpose of any provision relating to the grant of pensions, gratuities and other allowances in respect of such service.

[Art 54(3) subs by s 4 of Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution.]

(4) Every member of the Commission shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment, unless the member becomes subject to any disqualification under paragraph (2) or earlier resigns from his office by writing addressed to the President or is removed from office by the President with the approval of the Constitutional Council or is convicted by a court of law of any offence involving moral turpitude or if a resolution for the imposition of civic disability upon the member has been passed in terms of Article 81 or is deemed to have vacated his office under paragraph (6).

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IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015