Speaker Reveals Maximum Penalty for Breach of Parliament Privilege
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena disclosed in Parliament the maximum penalty applicable for a breach of privilege by Members of the Sri Lankan Parliament. Addressing the assembly on Tuesday, he outlined the stipulations for imposing penalties in cases where a Member of Parliament faces multiple charges from the Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
The Speaker clarified that if a charge-sheet contains multiple charges for separate offenses against a Member of Parliament and the said member is found guilty of more than one charge, the maximum penalty comes into effect.
In seeking guidance on the permissible punishment under Section 28 of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act No. 21 of 1953, the Speaker consulted the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s assessment, considering various constitutional provisions and legislative acts, concluded that the suspension of a Member of Parliament’s service for over a month, up to a maximum of three months, is feasible for convictions involving two or more separate offenses within a single incident.