Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
Senadhipathi’s complaint to CoI challenged: CA to hear petitions from JVP leader, ex-CID chief
The Court of Appeal will take up for hearing two writ petitions filed by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna ( JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and former Criminal Investigation Department ( CID) Director Shani Abeysekera seeking an order preventing the Commission of Inquiry ( CoI) appointed to look into political victimisation from summoning them.
The JVP leader’s petition will be taken up tomorrow while the former CID director's petition will be taken up on July 27.
The petitions were filed this week after Mr Dissanayake and Mr Abeysekera were summoned before the commission in connection with an inquiry into a complaint lodged by Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd) chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi.
The petitioners state that even though summons and notice refer to a "complaint of political victimisation" made by the Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd. chairman, neither the purported complaint nor the purported allegation against the petitioners has been disclosed to them.
The petitioners maintain that the mandate of the Presidential Commission is to inquire into allegations of political victimisation of “public officers, employees of public corporations, and members of the armed forces and police service who held such office prior to the Presidential Elections and/ or General elections held respectively in January and August 2015, being persons who had either resigned from or otherwise ceased to hold public office with the change of Government or continued to hold such office after such change, during the period commencing 08th January 2015 and ending 16th November 2016”.
They say the commission's scope of inquiry is limited and has to be within the confines of such mandate and, therefore, a complaint from Mr. Senadhipathi, who does not fall within any of the said categories of persons alluded to in the mandate, and who is a private individual and/or a private company, cannot be entertained and/or be inquired into by the respondents.
The petitioners say there is an ongoing trial against Mr. Senadhipathi in the High Court on arms trafficking charges and that, by allowing the CoI to hold a parallel inquiry, the judiciary is being undermined. Interim orders are sought suspending the ongoing inquiry into the complaint by Mr. Senadhipathi before the CoI.
The CoI was appointed by the President on January 9 to inquire into and obtain information in relation to alleged political victimisation of public officers, employees of state corporations, members of the armed forces, and the police service who held posts during the period commencing January 8, 2015 and ending November 16, 2019.
The Commission’s three members -- Retired Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyrathne, Retired Court of Appeal Judge Daya Chandrasiri Jayathilaka and Retired Inspector-General of Police Chandra Fernando -- have been named as respondents in the petition.
Shani files FR case, seeking reinstatement
The Criminal Investigation Department's former director, Shani Abeysekera, who is under suspension from service, on Wednesday filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an order reinstating him to his previous position.
He has cited the Defence Secretary, the Acting Inspector General of Police, the chairman, and members of the National Police Commission ( NPC), the chairman and members of the National Election Commission (NEC) and the Attorney General as respondents.
The petitioner alleges that following the presidential election in November last year, he was removed from the post of CID Director without a valid reason and transferred on November 21 to serve as the Personal Assistant to the DIG of the Southern Province.
Mr. Abeysekera says that after phone recordings between him and former parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake came to light, he was suspended from his duties on January 7 this year and claimed that the NPC’s decision to suspend and transfer him is entirely unlawful. He has said that seven months after he was suspended from service, there had been no formal disciplinary inquiry.
He says that, in the circumstances, his transfer from the position of director of the CID and his interdiction constitute administrative and/or executive action within the meaning of the Constitution, which is without any justifiable reason, arbitrary, unreasonable, unfair, unjust, capricious and irrational; based on irrelevant considerations and has been carried out for collateral purposes, motivated by extraneous considerations.
He says the transfer and the interdiction were without any legal basis and against his legitimate expectations. He claims the NPC's decision was tainted with mala fides; ultra vires; illegal and contrary to law; carried out contrary to the principles of natural justice and discriminatory of him.
He seeks a ruling from the court revoking the NPC decision, by which he claims his fundamental rights have been violated. He also seeks an order directing the NPC to reinstate him to his post as Director of the CID.