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Handunetti cannot depose before Presidential Commission – Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT- A Chairman of a Committee or an official of Parliament cannot be summoned before Presidential Commission of Inquiry to record statements about matters pertaining to work done in Parliament, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene has ruled.

The Speaker made the ruling in response to the summoning of the former COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti to the Presidential Commission inquiring into the Easter Attacks.

The issue was raised in Parliament today by the by Leader of National People’s Power Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

Abeywardene said that there is no possibility for the Presidential Commission to summon members or officers of parliament to record statements about matters done in parliament or parliamentary committees without his approval.

Former MP Handunnetti has been summoned by the Presidential Commission to record statements regarding the findings of the COPE about Batticaloa Campus Private Limited.

The Speaker said that he will look into the matter to find out whether there had been a violation of privileges of the parliament members.

According to section 17 of Parliament Powers and Privileges Act, no member or officer of parliament can be summoned to give evidence elsewhere regarding proceedings or examinations held had at the parliament or parliamentary committee without the proper approval from parliament. (Colombo/Aug27/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe