SJB plans major campaign over dismissal of cases by AG and CIABOC


Rahuman alleges manipulation at the highest levels

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) would respond to the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) request for information pertaining to the withdrawal indictments and/or court proceedings filed by the outfit or filed for/and on behalf of it since the last presidential election in Nov 2019, a senior official said.

In terms of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution enacted in Oct 2020, the appointments to the CIABOC are made by the President.

Secretary to the CIABOC Apsara Caldera said so when The Island asked her whether the commission would reveal information sought by the SJB in terms of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Commissioners would decide on the SJB’s request, Caldera said, adding that an application was received on Monday (8).

The CIABOC comprises retired Supreme Court justice Eva Wanasundera (Chairperson), retired Court of Appeal justice Deepali Wijesundera and one-time head of the State Intelligence Service (SIS) DIG Chandra Nimal Wakista.

Colombo District lawmaker Mujibur Rahuman who made the application on behalf of the SJB told The Island that according to the available information the CIABOC alone had

terminated about 45 cases on so called technical grounds. Addressing the media outside the CIABOC, Rahuman questioned the rationale in the CIABOC actions at a time the government was propagating ‘One Country, One Law’ concept. MP Rahuman was flanked by colleagues, J.C. Alawathuwala and Harshana Rajakaruna.

The SJB last week, also in terms of the RTI law sought similar information from the Attorney General. The SJB has submitted the following questions to the CIABOC:

1. How many indictments and/or court proceedings filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption or filed for/and on behalf of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption have been withdrawn after the 19th of November 2019?

2. What are the names of the accused parties in the indictments and/or court proceedings that have been withdrawn by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption or withdrawn for/and on behalf of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption after the 19th of November 2019?

3. What are the case numbers of the cases that have been withdrawn by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption or withdrawn for/and on behalf of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption after the 19th of November 2019?

4. On what dates have the indictments and/or court proceedings filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption or filed for/and on behalf of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption after the 19th of November 2019 been withdrawn?

Lawmaker Rahuman said that once they obtained required information from the AG and the CIABOC a detailed study would be done. “We intend to give widest possible coverage to the AG and the CIABOC actions. Altogether over 50 cases have been dismissed on technical grounds. Interestingly all of them happened to be either members of the incumbent administration or those close to the powers that be,” MP Rahuman said.

Responding to another query, MP Rahuman said that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) should state its stand on the dismissal of high profile cases on unexplained technical grounds. Political interference in the judiciary would erode public confidence in the system, the former UNP lawmaker said, underscoring the importance of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary working in unison to ensure public confidence in the legal system. MP Rahuman said that right thinking people couldn’t remain silent over the matter. The whole law enforcement process would be a joke if political parties were allowed to manipulate legal procedures at will, MP Rahuman said, the country never experienced a similar situation before. “We expect the BASL to reveal its stand on this matter,” the MP said.



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