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State opposes Chapter One Foundation petition to withdraw Bill 10

THE State has submitted that granting an order prayed for by Chapter One Foundation to withdraw Constitutional Amendment Bill No.10 of 2019 will not only amount to interfering with internal proceedings of Parliament but also set a precedent that would paralyse and undermine various internal proceedings of the National Assembly.

This is in a matter where Chapter One Foundation Limited has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking an order that Minister of Justice Given Lubinda withdraws Bill 10 from the National Assembly because the process of its enactment and proposals do not comply with national values, principles and provisions of the constitution.

In its answer to the petition by he NGO, the State argued that the Constitutional Court had no jurisdiction to hear the petition challenging constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 which was a proposed law.

Attorney General Likando Kalaluka said that Chapter One Foundation’s petition is essentially challenging the contents of the Bill which is proposed law and that the court can not be called upon to make pronouncements and declarations on the contents of the Bill which is proposed law.

Kalaluka suggested that Chapter One Foundation could only challenge the contents of the Bill when it is enacted into law as the court would then have power to review the said law.

He stated that the petitioner or any other person or entity cannot impeach a Bill which was by its nature in an inchoate State before its procession has been fulfilled.

Kalaluka submitted that the court could only review and impeach acts or decisions of Parliament after it has completed to exercise its jurisdiction in respect of its internal proceedings.

“The petitioner is not entitled to any of the reliefs sought, therefore the petition ought to be dismissed witch cost to the respondents,” said Kalaluka.

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