Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Senadhipat­hi’s complaint to CoI challenged: CA to hear petitions from JVP leader, ex-CID chief

- By Ranjith Padmasiri

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.

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