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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Democracy Sri Lanka Style > Sri Lanka's Laws > Provincial Councils Act, No. 42 of 1987
SRI LANKA'S LAWS
Act, No. 42 of 1987
[see also 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution]
[also unamended Act in PDF]
1. Short title and date of operation.
|Short title and date of operation.||1. This Act may be cited as the "Provincial Councils Act, No. 42 of 1987" and shall come into operation in respect of all or any of its provisions, on such date or dates as the President may appoint, by Order published in the Gazette not being a date or dates prior to the coming into operation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.|
|Name and membership of Provincial Council||2. Where a Provincial Council is established for a Province by virtue of Article 154A of the Constitution, the President shall, by Order published in the Gazette, assign a name to such Council and specify the number of members such Provincial Council shall consist of In specifying such number, the President shall have regard to the area and population of the Province for which that Provincial Council is constituted.|
|Qualification for membership of Provincial Council.||
3. No person shall be qualified to be
elected as a member of a Provincial Council or to sit and
vote as a member of such Council (a) if such person is
subject to any of the disqualifications specified in
paragraphs (a), (c), (d) (e), (f) and (g) of Article 91
(1) of the Constitution;
(b) if such person is under any law, disqualified from voting at an election of members' to a local authority;
(c) if he is a Member of Parliament ';
(d) if he is a member of any other Provincial Council or stands nominated as a candidate for election for more than one Provincial Council ;
(e) if he stands nominated as a candidate for election to a Provincial Council, by more than one recognized political party or independent group
|Oath or affirmation by members.||4. No member of a Provincial Council shall sit or vote as such member until he has taken or subscribed the oath, or made or subscribed the affirmation, set out in the Fourth Schedule to the, Constitution.|
|Vacation of seats.||
[§ 2,27 of 1990] 5. (1) If a member,
of any Provincial Council-
(a) becomes subject to any disqualification mentioned in section 3 ; or
(b) resigns his seat by writing under
his hand addressed to the Chairman,his seat in the
Provincial Council shall thereupon become vacant.
|Chairman and Deputy Chairman||7. (1) Every
Provincial Council shall, as soon as may be choose two
members of the Council to be respectively Chairman and
Deputy Chairman thereof and, so often as the office, of
Chairman or Deputy Chairman becomes vacant, the Council
shall choose another member to be Chairman or Deputy
Chairman, as the case may be.
(2) A member holding office as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of a Provincial Council
(a) shall vacate his office if .he ceases to be a member of the Council;
(b) may at any time by writing under his hand addressed, if such member is the Chairman, to the Deputy Chairman member is the Deputy Chairman to the Chairman, resign his office;
(c) may be removed from his office by a resolution of the Council passed by a majority of the whole number of members of the Council (including those not present) :
(3) While the office of Chairman is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Chairman or, if the office of Deputy Chairman is also vacant, by such member of the Council as may be determined by the rules of procedure of the Council.
(4) During the absence of the Chairman from any sitting of the Council, the Deputy Chairman, or, if he is also absent, such person as may be determined by the rules of procedure of the Council, or, if no such person is present, such other person as may be determined by the Council shall act as Chairman.
(5) There shall be paid to the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Provincial Council such salaries and allowances as may be fixed by the Provincial Council, by statue and, until provision in that behalf is so made, such salaries and allowances as the Governor may, with the approval of the President, by order, determine.
|Chairman or Deputy Chairman not to preside while resolution for his removal under discussion||8. (1) At any
sitting of the Provincial Council, while any resolution for
the removal of the Chairman from his office is under
consideration, the Chairman, or while any resolution for
the removal of the Deputy Chairman from his office is under
consideration, the Deputy Chairman, shall not, though he is
present, preside, arid the provisions of subsection (4) of
section 7 shall apply in relation to every such sitting as
they apply in relation to a sitting from which the Chairman
or, as the case may be, the. Deputy Chairman is absent.
(2) The Chairman shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, the Provincial Council while any resolution for his removal from office is under consideration in the Council and shall, notwithstanding anything in section 10, be entitled to vote only in the first instance on such resolution or on any other matter during such proceedings but not in the case of an equality of votes.
|Powers and privileges of Members of Provincial Councils||9. (1) Subject
to the provisions of this Act and to the rules and standing
orders regulating the procedure of a Provincial Council,
there shall be freedom of speech in every Provincial
(2) No member of the Provincial Council shall be liable to any proceedings in Court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the Councilor any Committee thereof, and no person shall be liable in respect of the publication by, or under, the authority of such Council, of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.
(3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) shall apply in relation to persons who by virtue of any written law have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in, the proceedings of, a Provincial Council or any committee thereof as they apply in relation to members of that Council.
|Voting in Council.|| 10. (1) Save
as otherwise provided in this Act, all questions at any
sitting of the Provincial Council shall be determined by a
majority of votes of the members present and voting other
than the Chairman or person acting as such.
(2) The Chairman or person acting as such shall not vote in, the first instance but shall have and exercise a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes.
(3) A Provincial Council shall have the power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership thereof, and any proceedings in any such Council shall be valid, notwithstanding that it is discovered subsequently that some person who was not entitled to do so, sat or voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings.
(4) The quorum to constitute a meeting of a Provincial Council shall be one-third of the total number of members of the Council. Where one-third of the number of members is an integer and fraction, the integer immediately higher to that integer and fraction shall be deemed to be the one third of the number of members for the purpose of this section.
(5) If at any time during a meeting of a Provincial Council there is no quorum, it shall be the duty of the Chairman, or person acting as such, either to adjourn the Council or to suspend the meeting until there is a quorum.
|Rules of procedure.||11. A
Provincial Council may make ru1 for regulating, subject to
the provisions of this Act, its procedure and the conduct
of its business : Provided that the Provincial Council
shall after consultation with the Chairman of such Council
and with the approval of the President make rules- (a) for
securing the timely completion of financial business.
(b) for regulating the procedure of, and the conduct of business in, the Provincial Council in relation to any financial matter or to any statute for the appropriation of moneys out of the Provincial Fund of the Province;
(c) for prohibiting the discussion. of, or the asking of questions on, any matter which affects the discharge of functions of the Governor in so far as he is required by the Constitution or this Act, to act in his discretion.
|Court not to inquire into proceedings of Provincial Council.||
12. (1) The validity of any proceedings
within a Provincial Council shall not be called in
question on the ground of alleged irregularity of
(2) No officer or member of a Provincial Council in whom powers are vested, by or under this Act, for regulating the procedure, or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in such Council shall be subject' to the jurisdiction of any Court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers.
|Exemption of State property from taxation.||13. The property of the State shall, save in so far as Parliament may by law otherwise provide, be exempt from all taxes imposed by or under any statute made by a Provincial Council.|
|Lapsing of statutes.||14. (1) A
statute pending in a Provincial Council shall not lapse by
,reason of the prorogation ,of such Council.
(2) A statute pending in a Provincial Council shall lapse on a dissolution of the Council.
|Conduct of business.||
15. (1) The Governor shall make rules for
the allocation of business among the Ministers m so far
as it is not business with respect to which the Governor
is by, or under, the, Constitution required to act in his
(2) Save as otherwise provided in this
Act, all executive action of the Governor, whether taken
on the advice of his Ministers or otherwise, shall be
expressed to be taken in the name of the President. "
|Contracts and suits.||16. (1) All
contracts entered into in the exercise of the executive
power of the Governor of the Province, shall be entered
into, and performed, in the name of the Provincial Council
constituted for that Province, as if such Provincial
Council were a body corporate.
(2) All actions in relation to the exercise of such executive power shall be brought by, or against such Provincial Council, as if such Provincial Council were a body corporate.
|Secretariat.||17. (1) A
Provincial Council shall have its own secretarial
(2) A Provincial Council may, by statute, regulate the recruitment, and conditions of service, of persons appointed to its secretarial staff.
|Restriction on discussion in Provincial Council.||18. Subject to paragraph (4) of Article 154B of the Constitution, no discussion shall take place in a Provincial Council with respect to the conduct of the President or the Governor or a Judicial Officer or a Member of Parliament.|
|Provincial Fund of Province.||19. (1) There
shall be a Provincial Fund for each Province into which
shall be paid
(a) the proceeds of all taxes imposed by the Provincial Council of that Province;
(b) the proceeds of all grants made to such Provincial Council in respect of the Provincial by the Government of Sri Lanka;
(c) the proceeds of all loans advanced to the Provincial Council from the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka; and
(d) an other receipts of the Provincial Council.
(2) No moneys out of the Provincial Fund of a Province shall be appropriated except in accordance with, and for the purposes, and in the manner, provided in this Act.
(3) No sum shall be withdrawn from the Provincial Fund of a Province except under a warrant under the hand of the Chief Minister of the Province.
(4) No such warrant shall be issued unless the sum, has be statute of the Provincial Council, been granted for services for the financial year during which the withdrawal is to take place or is otherwise lawfully charged on the Provincial Fund of the Province.
(5) The custody of the Provincial Fund of a Province, the payment of 'moneys into such Fund, and all other, matters connected with. or ancillary to, those matters shall be regulated by rules made by the Governor.
|Emergency Fund of the Province.||20. (1) There
shall be established a Emergency Fund in the nature of an
impress to be entitled "Emergency Fund of the Province"
into which shall be paid from and out of the Provincial'
Fund of the Province such sums as may, from time to time,
be determined by statute made by the Provincial' Council,
and such fund shall be held by the Governor to enable
advances to be made by him' out of such Fund.
(2) No advances shall be made out of the Emergency Fund of the Province except for the purposes of meeting unforeseen expenditure pending authorization of such expenditure by the Provincial Council under appropriations. made by statute under sections 26 and 27.
(3) The Governor may make rules regulating all matters connected with, or ancillary to, the custody of the payment of moneys into, and the withdrawal of moneys from, the Emergency Fund of the Province.
|Government guarantee for loans.||21. (1) The
Minister in charge of the subject of Finance may give
guarantees in respect of loans raised by a Provincial
(2) Immediately after a guarantee is given under sub section (1), the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance shall, lay a. statement of such guarantee before Parliament.
(3) Any sum required for the fulfilment of ,a guarantee given under subsection (1) shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka.
(4) Any sum paid out of the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka in fulfilment of a guarantee given under subsection (I) , shall be repaid, together with interest thereon, at such rate as may be determined by the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, by the Provincial Council, in such manner and over such period, as the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance may determine.
(5) A Provincial Council may not, without the consent of the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, raise any loan if there is still outstanding any part of a loan which has been made in respect of a Provincial Council out of the Consolidated Fund of Sri ka or in respect of which a guarantee has been given under subsection (1).
|Foreign aid for provincial projects.||22. Foreign aid negotiated by the Government for a project or scheme in a Province, shall be allocated by the Government to such project or scheme.|
Article 154 of the Constitution shall apply to the , audit
and accounts of the Provincial Fund of a Province.
(2) A copy of the Auditor-General's port, relating to the accounts of the Provincial Fund of a Province shall be submitted to the Governor who shall cause it to be laid fore the Provincial Council.
|Special procedure as to statutes relating to financial matters.||24. (1) A
statute, in relation to any subject with respect to which
the Provincial Council has power to make statutes, shall
not be introduced into, or moved in, a Provincial Council
except on the recommendation of the Governor if such
statute makes provision for any of the following matters,
(a) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax;
(b) the amendment of the law with respect to any, financial obligations undertaken, or to be undertaken, in respect of the administration of the Province;
(c) the appropriation of moneys out of the Provincial Fund of the Province;
(d) the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure, charged on the Provincial Fund of the Province or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure ;
(e) the receipt of money on account of the Provincial Fund of the Province or the custody or issue of such money.
(2) A statute shall not be deemed to make provision for .my of the matters aforesaid by reason only that it provides for the imposition or fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment of fees for licences or fees for services rendered, or by reason that it provides for the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body, to local purposes.
(3) A statute which, if enacted and brought into operation would involve expenditure from the Provincial Fund of a Province shall not be passed by the Provincial Council of the Province, unless the Governor has' recommended to that Council the consideration of the statute.
|Annual financial statement.[§ 2,28 of 1990]||25. (1) The
Governor of a Province shall in respect of every financial
year, at least three months before the expiration of such
financial year, cause to be laid before the Provincial
Council of that Province, a statement of the estimated
receipts and expenditure of the Province for that year, in
this Part referred to as, the "annual financial statement
(2) The estimates of expenditure embodied in the annual financial statement shall show separately
(a) the sums required to meet t expenditure described by this Act as expenditure charged upon the Provincial Fund of the Province; and
(b) the sums required to meet other expenditure pro posed to be made from the Provincial Fund of the Province, and shall distinguish expenditure on revenue account from other expenditure.
(3) The following expenditure shall be expenditure charged on the Provincial Fund of the Province
(a) the emoluments and allowances of the Governor;
(b) the charges payable in respect of loans advanced in respect of the Province from the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka including interest, amortization payments, and other expenditure connected therewith;
(c) the salaries and allowances of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Provincial Council ;
(d) any sums required to satisfy any judgment, decree or award of any court or arbitral tribunal, entered against the provincial Council ;
(e) any other expenditure declared by the Constitution or by law made by Parliament, or by statute made by the Provincial Council, to be so charged.
|Procedure in Provincial Council with respect to estimates.||26. (1) So
much of the estimates as relates to expenditure charged
upon the Provincial Fund of the Province shall not be
submitted to the vote of the Provincial Council, but
nothing in this subsection shall be construed as preventing
the discussion in the Provincial Council of any of these
(2) So much of the said estimates as relates to other expenditure shall be submitted in the form of demands for grants to the Provincial Council, and the Provincial Council shall have power to assent, or to refuse to assent, to any demand, or to assent to any demand, subject to a reduction of the amount specified therein.
(3) No demand for a grant shall be made except on the recommendation of the Governor.
|Appropriation statute.||27. (1) As
soon as may be after the grants under section 26 have been
assented to by the Provincial Council there shall be
introduced a statute to provide for the appropriation out
of the Provincial Fund of the Province, of all moneys
required. to meet-
(a) the grants so made by the Provincial Council; and
(b) the expenditure' charged on the Provincial Fund of the Province but not exceeding in any case the amount Shown in the Statement previously laid before the Council.
(2) No amendment shall be proposed to any such statute in the Provincial Council which will have' the effect of varying the amount or altering the destination of any grant so made or of varying the amount of any expenditure charged on the Provincial ,Fund of the Province and the decision of the person presiding as to. whether an amendment is inadmissible under this subsection, shall be final.
(3) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, no money shall be withdrawn from the Provincial Fund of the Province except under appropriation made in accordance with the provisions of this section.
28. (1) The Governor shall-
(a) if the amount authorized by any statute made in accordance with the provisions of section 27 to be expended for a particular service for the current financial year is found to be insufficient for the purposes of that year or when a need has arisen during the current financial year or supplementary or additional expenditure upon some new service not contemplated in the annual financial statement for that year; or
(b) if any money has been spent on any
service during a financial year in excess of the amount
granted for that service and for that year, cause to be
laid before the Provincial Council, another statement
showing the estimated amount of that expenditure or cause
to be presented to the Provincial Council with such
previous approval, a demand for such excess, as the Case
|Votes on account.||29. (1)
Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of
this Part, the Provincial Council shall have power to make
any grant in advance in respect of the estimated
expenditure for a part of any financial year pending the
completion within a period of four months of the making of
the grant of the procedure prescribed in section 26. for
the voting of such grant and the passing of the statute in
accordance with the provisions of section 27 in relation to
that expenditure and the Provincial Council shall have
power to authorize by statute, the withdrawal of money from
the Provincial Fund of the Province for the purposes for
which the said grant is made.
(2) The provisions of sections 26 and 27 shall have in relation to the making of .any grant under subsection (1) or to any statute to be made under that subsection as they have effect in relation to the making of a grant with regard to any expenditure mentioned in the. annual financial statement and the statute to be made for the authorization of appropriation of moneys out of the Provincial Fund of the Province to meet such expenditure.
|Authorization of expenditure bending sanction by the Provincial council.||30. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Part, the Governor may authorize such expenditure from the Provincial Fund of the Province as he deems necessary for a period of not more than six months beginning with the date of the constitution of the Provincial Fund of the Province, pending the sanction of such expenditure by the Provincial Council|
|Chief Secretary.||31. The
President shall appoint the chief Secretary of each
Province, with the concurrence of the Chief Minister of
Provincial public service.[§ 4,28 of 1990] 32. (1) Subject to the provisions of any other law the appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of officers of the provincial public service of such Province is hereby vested in the Governor of that Province.
(2) The Governor of a Province may, from time to time, delegate his powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of officers of the provincial public service to the Provincial Public Service Commission of that Province.
(2A) The Provincial Public Service Commission of a province may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the Government of that Province, delegate to the Chief Secretary or any officer of the provincial public service of that Province, its powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal, and disciplinary control of officers of the provincial public service.
(2B) Any officer of the provincial public service of a Province aggrieved by any order made by the Chief secretary or any officer of the provincial public service of that Province, to whom the Provincial Public Service Commission of that Province has delegated its powers under the preceding subsection, shall have a right of appeal to such Provincial Public Service Commission.
(3) The Governor shall provide for and determine all matters relating to officers of the provincial public service, including the formulation of schemes of recruitment and codes of conduct for such officers, the principle to be followed in, making promotions and transfers, and the procedure for the exercise and the delegation of the powers of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of such officers. In formulating such schemes of recruitment and codes of conduct the Governor ,shall, as far as practicable, follow the schemes of recruitment prescribed for corresponding offices in the public service arid the codes of conduct prescribed for officers holding corresponding offices in the public service.
|Public Provincial Public Service Commission.[§ 5,28 of 1990]||33. (1) There
shall be a Provincial Public Service Commission for each
Province which shall consist of not less than three persons
appointed by the Governor of that , Province. The Governor
shall nominate one of the members 'of the Commission to be
(2) No person shall be appointed or continue as a member of a Provincial Public service Commission if he is a Member of Parliament, a member of a Provincial Council, a public officer, a judicial officer or officer of a provincial public service.
(3) Every member of a Provincial Public Service Commission shall. hold office for a period of five years from the date of his appointment, unless he earlier resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the Governor of the Province or is removed from office by such Governor for cause assigned, but shall be eligible for re-appointment.
(4) The Governor may grant leave from his duties to any member of a Provincial Public Service Commission and may appoint a person qualified to be a member of such Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave.
(5) A member of a Provincial Public Service Commission may be paid such salary as may be determined by the Provincial Council for that Province. The salary payable to any such, member shall be charged on the Provincial Fund of the Province and shall not be diminished during his term of office.
(6) A Provincial Public Service Commission shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy 'in its membership and no act or proceeding of such Commission shall be, or deemed to be, invalid by reason only of any such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.
(7) For the purposes of Chapter IX of the Penal Code, a member of a Provincial Public Service Commission shall be deemed to be-a public servant.
(8) The Governor of a Province shall have the power to alter, vary or rescind any appointment, order of 'transfer, or dismissal or any other order relating to a disciplinary matter made by the Provincial Public Service Commission of that Province, on appeal or otherwise, 'or by the Chief Secretary or, any officer of the provincial public service of that Province, to whom such Provincial Public Service Commission has delegated its powers under section32.
|Interference with Provincial Public Service Commission . [§ 6,28 of 1990]||34. Every person who, otherwise than in the course of duty, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever, influences or) attempts to influence, any decision of a Provincial Public Service Commission or any member thereof, or of any Chief Secretary or any officer of a provincial service exercising any powers delegated by any such Commission shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction by the High Court after trial without a jury be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment: Provided that nothing in this section shall prohibition person from giving a testimonial or certificate to any applicant or candidate for any office in the Provincial Public Service.|
|Oath or affirmation.||35. A person appointed to any office in the Provincial Public Service 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 to the Constitution.|
|Power or President to remove difficulties.||36. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, and, in particular, in relation to the constitution of a Provincial Council for a Province, the President may, by Order, take such action, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as appears to him to be necessary, or expedient for the purpose of removing such difficulty.|
(a) The President may by Proclamation
declare that the provisions of this subsection shall
apply to any two or three adjoining Provinces specified
in such Proclamation (hereinafter referred to as "the
specified Provinces"), and thereupon such Provinces shall
form one administrative unit, having one elected
Provincial Council, one Governor, one Chief Minister and
one Board of Ministers, for the period commencing from
the date of the first election to such Provincial Council
and ending on the date of the poll referred to in
subsection (2)" of this section, or if there is more than
one date fixed for such poll, the last of such dates.
(a) Where two or more Provinces are
specified such Proclamation, and the decision of the
electors of one such Province is that such Province
should constitute a separate administrative unit, having
its own distinct Provincial Council, with a separate
Governor, Chief Minister and Board of Ministers, the
Provinces specified in the Proclamation shall forthwith
cease to form one administrative. unit and separate
Provincial Councils, with a separate Governor, Chief
Minister and Board of Ministers shall be deemed to have
been established and constituted for each such Province
with effect from the date on which the result of such
poll is declared; and the President shall thereupon by'
Order published in the Gazette cancel the poll in the
other specified Province or Provinces, if such poll has
not already been held.