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06.02.2006 General News

Deputy Minority Leader's writ dismissed


Accra, Feb. 6, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Monday dismissed a writ restraining the Speaker of Parliament from allowing further proceedings in Parliament on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill.

Mr Justice Baffoe Bonney, the presiding judge, described the application as mischievous and frivolous and declared, "if the application is granted it could only lead to a head-on collision between the Judiciary and the Legislature".

According to the Court, the Judiciary had no business to meddle in the day-to-day work in Parliament saying in most instances laws passed had seen amendments.

The Court said plaintiff in his application further failed to convince the Court on the irreparable damage the application would cause them.

The Court noted that the Plaintiff after filing the writ quickly brought and ex-parte application without serving the Defendants any notice.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, the Minority Leader in Parliament, last week filed a writ to restrain the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes from allowing further proceedings in Parliament on the Representation of the People Amendment Bill.

Joined in the suit was Mr Ayikoi Otoo the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The writ was seeking a declaration that upon the expiry of three months after the Bill was introduced in Parliament by the AG, a report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs could no longer be laid for any further discussion on it.

Mr Adjaho was further seeking a declaration of any proceeding in respect of the Bill conducted by the committee after the expiry of the three-month period provided in Article 106 (14) be declared null and void.

In the statement of claim, the Plaintiff explained that after the Bill had been read for the first time in Parliament, it was referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs under Article 103 of the 1992 Constitution.

It said the Bill had been the subject of deliberation at the Committee since June 14, 2003, for a period in excess of the three months.

It added that by virtue of Article 106 (14) of the Constitution "a bill introduced in Parliament by or on behalf of the President shall not be delayed for more than three months in any committee of Parliament." It stated that on January 18, 2006, more than seven months after the Bill had been referred to the Committee, its chairman laid the report before Parliament saying that action was a flagrant violation of Article 16 (14) of the Constitution.