OFFICIAL LANGUAGES COMMISSION ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES COMMIsSION

2. Establishment of the Official Languages Commission.

3. Commission to be a body corporate.

4. Seal of the Commission.

5. Members of the Commission.

6. Objects of the Commission.

7. Powers of the Commission.

8. Appointment of Committees.

9. Term of office of the members of the Commission.

10. Resignation and temporary absence from Sri Lanka.

11. Remuneration.

12. Meetings.

PART II

STAFF OF THE COMMISSION

13. Chief Executive Officer.

14. Appointment of the staff of the Commission.

15. Appointment of public officers to the staff of the Commission.

16. Government to provide adequate funds.

17. Financial year and the audit of accounts.

PART III

INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS BY THE COMMISSION

18. Investigation of complaints.

19. Commission may refuse or cease to investigate.

20. Procedure to be followed in carrying out investigation.

21. Powers of the Commission in relation to the conduct of investigations.

22. No right heard a matter.

23. Commission to make a report of its investigation.

24. Petition to be made to the Supreme Court in certain circumstances.

25. Application to be made to the High Court of the Province in certain circumstances.

26. Supreme Court to direct High Court of a Province to transfer any application to it.

27. Court to grant relief as it considers just and equitable.

28. Public officers required to perform official duties in any relevant language to be guilty of an offence in certain circumstances.

PART IV

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

29. Provisions of this Act not to prejudice a right of action in any court or forum.

30. Commission to have power to undertake investigation on its own initiative.

31. Commission to issue policy papers on any matters relating to use of either official Languages.

32. Commission to submit an annual report.

33. Members, officers and servants of the Commission deemed to be public servants.

34. Commission deemed to be a Scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act.

35. Protection of members and officers of the Commission for action taken under this Act on the direction of the Commission.

36. No writ to issue person or property of a member.

37. Offences.

38. Offences by bodies of persons.

39. Interpretations.

40. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

18 of 1991.

AN ACT to establish the Official Languages Commission of the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka; and to make provision for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 26th March, 1991]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Official Languages Commission Act.

PART I

Establishment of the Official Languages Commission

2. Establishment of the Official Languages Commission.

There shall be established an Official Languages Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) which shall consist of the persons who are for the time being members of the Commission under subsection (1) of section 5.

3. Commission to be a body corporate.

The Commission shall by the name assigned to it by section 2, be a body corporate and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in such name.

4. Seal of the Commission.

The seal of the Commission may be determined and devised by the Commission, and may be altered in such manner as may be determined by the Commission.

5. Members of the Commission.

(1) The Commission shall consist of six members to be appointed by the President, one of whom shall be nominated by the President to be the Chairman of the Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Chairman”).

(2) The Commissioner of the Official Language Department shall be the Secretary to the Commission.

6. Objects of the Commission.

The general objects of the Commission shall be—

(a) to recommend principles of policy, relating to the use of the Official Languages, and to monitor and supervise compliance with the provisions contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution;

(b) to take all such actions and measures as are necessary to ensure the use of the languages referred to in Article 18 of the Constitution (hereinafter referred to as "the relevant languages”) in accordance with the spirit and intent of Chapter IV of the Constitution;

(c) to promote the appreciation of the Official Languages and the acceptance, maintenance, and continuance of their status, equality and right of use;

(d) to conduct investigations, both on its own initiative, and in response to any complaints received, and to take remedial action as provided for, by the provisions of this Act.

7. Powers of the Commission.

The Commission shall have the power to—

(a) initiate reviews of any regulations, directives, or administrative practices, which affect, or may affect the status or use of any of the relevant languages;

(b) issue or commission such studies or policy papers on the status or use of the relevant languages as it may deem necessary or desirable;

(c) undertake such public educational activities, including, sponsoring or initiating publications or other media presentations, on the status or use of the relevant languages as it may consider desirable;

(d) acquire, by way of purchase or otherwise, and to hold, take or give on lease or hire, mortgage, pledge, sell or otherwise dispose of, any movable or immovable property; and

(e) do all such other things as are necessary for, or incidental to, the attainment of the objects of the Commission or necessary for or incidental to, the exercise of any powers of the Commission.

8. Appointment of Committees.

(1) The Commission may, from time to time, appoint such Committees as may be necessary to assist the Commission in the performance of its duties consisting of such number of members as may be determined by the Commission, provided that the Chairman of any such Committee shall be a member of the Commission.

(2) The Commission may delegate to a Committee appointed under subsection (1) such of its powers (other than the power conferred on it by this subsection) as it may deem fit, but may notwithstanding such delegation, exercise any such power.

9. Term of office of the members of the Commission.

(1) Every member of the Commission including the Chairman shall unless he vacates office earlier, by death or resignation hold office for a term of three years from the date of his appointment, and shall be eligible for reappointment:

Provided, that a member appointed in place of a member who had vacated office by death or resignation, shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the member whom he succeeds.

10. Resignation and temporary absence from Sri Lanka.

(1) A member of the Commission may at any time resign from his office by letter under his hand to that effect addressed to the President, and such resignation shall take effect upon it being accepted by the President in writing.

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