Nov 29, 2016

Budget cannot raise fines – Jayampathy Wickremaratne Featured

The fines imposed through a budget will become law only after they are introduced through an act of parliament, says president’s counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne.

The government MP is commenting on the imposition of a Rs. 25,000 fine on certain traffic law violations.

The budget can introduce new taxes, even backdated, but fines, a sort of punishment for an offence is different, according to him.

He points to fundamental rights clause 13-06 of the constitution which says a punishment to an offence should not exceed the punishment spelt out by the law at the time the offence was committed.

New act is needed

An increase in fines can come into effect only after the speaker certifies same, says Dr. Wickremaratne.

Therefore, a new act should be introduced to make the Rs. 25,000 fine part of the law, he stresses.

Private bus and several other associations are planning to stage a strike on December 01 against the increased fine.