21 September, 2018

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Abuse Of ‘Tax Fraud Permits’ By MPs & Ministers: Supreme Court Allows Bringing New Evidence

A Writ Case filed before the Supreme Court against the Corruption Commission by the Public Interest Litigator and the lawyer Nagananda Kodituwakku, was taken up before a Bench presided over by Justice Priyasad Dep and comprising of Justices Sisira de Abrew and Anil Goonarathe on Friday. When this Writ Application was filed before the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice had been informed that the Petitioner-Counsel had no trust and confidence in some Judges therefore not to appoint them to hear this case.

Ministers vehicle on wrong side of road opposite British high CommissionLawyer Kodituwakku submitted to the Court that the case is all about the total breach of trust and confidence placed in the MPs and the Ministers by the people, which also includes unlawful disposal of tax-free car permits for unjust enrichment. The Counsel further informed that being the guardian of the Rule of Law, the Court is under duty to uphold the Rule of law when it is abused even by the Executive or the Legislature.

The Court was further informed that the Petitioner-Counsel had discovered very important material that clearly demonstrate the gross abuse of the tax free permit scheme introduced in the public interest. This includes improper treasury directives removing the restrictions imposed on the tax-free permits and some important paperwork, such as power of attorneys and sales agreements entered into with the buyers of such permits. Therefore, permission of the court was sought to file the said fresh evidence and to support the case before the same Bench with the Petition amended accordingly.

Considering the submissions, the Court allowed the application made to amend the Petition and the matter was fixed for support on 06th August 2015, with notice served on the Corruption Commission, which had refused to carry out an investigation into the complaint made by the lawyer Kodituwakku, against the abuse of the tax free car permits by the Cabinet of Ministers and the MPs.

Motor vehical duty free

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  • 10
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    RE: Abuse Of ‘Tax Fraud Permits’ By MPs & Ministers: Supreme Court Allows Bringing New Evidence

    Excellent!

    “A Writ Case filed before the Supreme Court against the Corruption Commission by the Public Interest Litigator and the lawyer Nagananda Kodituwakku, was taken up before a Bench presided over by Justice Priyasad Dep and comprising of Justices Sisira de Abrew and Anil Goonarathe on Friday. When this Writ Application was filed before the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice had been informed that the Petitioner-Counsel had no trust and confidence in some Judges therefore not to appoint them to hear this case.”

    So, the Mahinda Rajapaksa cronies are Judges as well

    [Edited out]

  • 10
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    Well done Nagi, I am sure you will succeed. Take care. Have been earning much needed forex for 35 years, but cannot obtain a tax free permit. What has this Samantha Kumara bloke of Dehiwala had done to earn this privilege. Call me if you need assistance in this regard.

  • 12
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    Duty free permits are given to Chief Priests, government servants and every Tom, Dick and Harry.

    MARA govt and the then Treasusry officials abused the system.

    Good luck to you Naga.

  • 12
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    Thank you sir, you have come forward on our behalf, we elect ministers to hear our voice, but, its the other way about – they play us out, we have to pleed and beg at their feet to direct out cares before the parliment…

  • 10
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    Thank you CT for publicising this white collar thievery of public funds.

    The documents presented leaves no room for doubt and is clear proof of thievery. The Councillor in question did not need this vehicle to perform the duties of public office. He took the permit with the sole purpose of defrauding the Public.

    The Director General of the Ministry of Finance and Planning who issued the illegal retroactive withdrawal of the restrictive clause should be investigated and punished severely.

    His directive to the DG Customs mentions a 3 year restriction but the restrictive clause in the duty free import permit mentions a 5 year restriction. Hence there would have been a two year reduction of the 5 year restriction that would have taken place in between. Hence the officer responsible for it should also be taken to task.

    More importantly the Ministers involved in issuing illegal directives to public officers should be prosecuted and in addition to Financial and Jail terms that may be imposed their civic rights should be taken away for life as such crooks should not hold public office anytime in the future.

    There would be at least a 1000 such vehicles imported duty free used by 2nd parties other than the legal importer. The govt should collect the FULL duty and a 100% duty penalty from the person to whom the Duty Free permit was issued and make an example of the Thieves of Public Funds.

    The above brings to light the need to either abolish this duty free concession to politicians or applying strict guidelines in issuing them which should include the prohibition to resell for 10 years which is less than half the life expectancy of such a vehicle.

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

  • 9
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    All the Kudu dealers, Thieves, killers, rapists, thugs and other scoundrels who goes behind political leaders to become MPs and ministers, then get all the privileges from poor peoples tax money to their luxury lifestyles.

    but the people and women working in Arabs countries and other places, who toil for the running of the economy of the country get nothing.

    those who abuse the system of governance should be brought to books and severely punished.

  • 5
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    First it was the Parliamentarians who had the privilege. Then the Doctors were allowed to join the band wagon. Now practically every officer in the Govt. service is entitled to a duty concessionary car permit every few years. As a result, ‘car permits’ are freely available & even openly advertised. Today, all car imports, even by franchised dealers, are on these permits & its perfectly legal. Recently, at a friend’s car sale, I was looking for a used car to buy & while I was there, 2 Govt. official walked in (obviously with prior appointments)& handed over the relevant documents with a signed blank sheet of paper in exchange for a think envelope containing cash which I believe was over a million rupees. I understand Ministerial permits which allow Land Cruisers & such like to be imported are worth 10 times more. Isn’t this same as a license to print money for a privileged few?

    I have been domiciled in the UK for a considerable time & was thinking of spending my retirement in SL. I would like to bring with me my 4 year old, low mileage car which I had owned from new but despite no Forex was involved in the purchase, I have to pay the full import duty if I do so. Accordingly, I will have to pay as import duty more than its worth as a used car in the UK, even after depreciating the relevant years for the customs valuation, therefore, a brand new car of the same model imported on a permit costs much less than a used car.

    Its time Yahapalanaya advocates abolish this permit privilege & introduced a fairer system. The ‘car permit’ is a principal attraction for the undesirables to enter in to politics & restricting these privileges would allow sincere & honest people to come forward.

    • 3
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      ‘The ‘car permit’ is a principal attraction for the undesirables to enter in to politics & restricting these privileges would allow sincere & honest people to come forward’

      Once you have settled in this ‘Land Like No Other’ you will find that sincere and honest people are extremely thin on the ground. Think very carefully before burning your bridges and returning to ‘paradise’. Spend some time here first, struggling with red tape, finding it impossible to have a phone connected without bribing someone, seeing half a dozen people before you can open a bank account, experiencing the frustration of daily life, being infuriated at the shear inefficiency and corruptness of it all. Enjoy it all before making any irrevocable decisions. Good Luck!

      • 0
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        Thank you for the advise. I have been coming to SL on a regular basis, and as much as I would like to spend my retirement in SL in the company of my friends & family, I had my doubts just as you have stated. In fact, I don’t think I will be able to afford the high cost of housing in Colombo with my retirement fund, so maybe I will take your advise & stay in good old blighty (with NHS to fall back if I am sick.)

  • 4
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    This transaction dates back to 2006. If I remember correct, there was a subsequent decision by the Cabinet giving waiver to that restrictive clause of transferring the vehicle before the period of five years. However that decision(if made) may or may not have been to give effect with a retrospective clause. Anyway this is subject to correction.

    In any case this “Tax Free Vehicle Permit System” remains a much abused and a “corrupted” tool in the hands of the Politicians that no right thinking person could approve. When you see the “Type” of people who are driving these vehicles on the roads and the way they drive; it beats me to understand how and who have given these permits. We all know, during the last regime of Mr. MR how these permits were freely doled out to the Buddhist temples and what those recipients did with those “bribes”. Some temples got more than one and those were sold in the open market without any hindrance. I am glad that at least there is one person going to courts challenging this whole corrupted system. Let us wait and see what the “Independent Judiciary” is going to do in this case.

    • 1
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      Mahinda’s govt Played Tricks on this issue. Instead of salary increases, they offered “vehicle Permits” to THOSE WHO DESERVED/or cronies of the former regime. That way the govt palmed off the burden of higher salaries to the IMPORTER, who had to fork out a cool million or more to those ” ENTITLED AND PRIVILEGED” few at the expense of the country…which lost millions of $$$$…to this scam…

      Isn’t it ironic that those who thrive in sending foreign exchange by working overseas and remmitting the MUCH NEEDED foreign exchange do NOT get a permit….but any Tom Dick and Harry who can kiss ass of the govt Ministers/MP can easily obtain a PERMIT…

  • 9
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    over a period of 2 years i remitted from overseas over Rs 50 million of my hard earned money as the government website claimed that if you have remitted Rs5 million a year you were entitled to a tax free permit. Not only did I remit the money but collected all the exhaustive long list of documents required by the authorities and went to the department to be told that the issue of permits had been suspended. I made a big fuss saying that if the website says so then they have to ensure that I get the permit. The lady in charge tells me that although the website says so there is a directive not to issue permits.

    Not only do honest tax paying citizens like us get mislead by the then government, we literally got tricked into remitting our money. A peon in the ministry who felt sorry for me said that Wimal Weerwansa had falsely issued 150 permits to his people in this category without any of the recipients being ever working abroad and as such it was terminated by MR. As much as dislike Wimal who I think is a 3rd rated, racist politician and a crook I must say I am not sure of the authenticity of this story. But I certainly was a victim of the previous governments crooked dealings

  • 2
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    Corruption in this country is Institunalised.Attempting to clean up is an uphill task.Anyway,a start has been made by Lawyer Nagananda,who is a pioneer in Public Interest litigation.Which other country [Buddhist] in the world are monks given Duty concessions to import cars?

  • 3
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    I agree with Gune, I went trough similar experience with MR corrupt team, I have remitted more than 60 million rupees to sri lanka for investments , but corrupt MR team refused my request for a duty free vehicle permit, I was going to bring the vehicle I bought overseas (brand new) ,
    so that how they treated the people who bring money back to sri lanka,
    MR had the biggest crooks our country ever had in history, lucky we got them out of our system , hopefully we can clean those corrupt individuals after the new elections,

    • 1
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      Remain vigilant. MR and the clan are desperately attempting a comeback.

      We must all prevail on Mi3 to refuse nominations to them.

      It can very well be Maithri will succumb to a Rs 10,000 million bribe from the billions spirited away – not beyond the realm of possibility.

      Again, we must all remain vigilant. We must be at the ready to demonstrate en masse if this happens, and bring the country to a standstill.

  • 1
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    Judges Sisira Abrew and Sarath Abrew : are they two different people?

    Yesterday Sarath Abrew, Judge SC, attacked his maid Nilusha Damayanthi 37 yrs and she is warded at Kalubowila hospital. Today LankaEnews.

  • 0
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    Sisira de Arbrew is a well-respected Judge in the Supreme Court.

    I don’t want to comment about the other. You can learn about him from surfing the web.

  • 0
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    “There would be at least a 1000 such vehicles imported duty free used by 2nd parties other than the legal importer. The govt should collect the FULL duty and a 100% duty penalty from the person to whom the Duty Free permit was issued and make an example of the Thieves of Public Funds.” -Off the Cuff.

    AS LONG AS THE REGISTRATION REMAINS IN THE NAME OF THE DUTY FREE PERMIT HOLDER, NO ACTION COULD BE TAKEN.

    Whether UNP/SLFP or any other party, every politician is culpable from time in memoriam.
    NAGANANDA KODITUWAKKU NEED TO TELL US HIS LIFE AND TIMES AS A CUSTOMS OFFICER AND THAT OF THE WHOLE LOT DURING HIS TENURE.
    Was Kodituwakku an Amarapala progidy or Tharaka’s batchmate?

  • 0
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    This is a well known scam by politicians. The surprise is no one went to courts till now. I know a Member of Parliament who got a duty free car worth Rs.4 lakhs when he was elected to parliament. 3 years later he sold the car for 65 lakhs and made a clean profit of 61 lakhs. With this windfall he bought a flat in Dehiwela Mt.Lavania. This happened about 7 years ago. The problem is every politician is corrupt. Remember Mahinda Rajapaksa boasting that he knows the art of enticing any opposition member to cross over to the government anytime any day! It might be recalled that at the 2010 parliamentary election the UPFA secured only 144 seats. Within months 15 UNP members crossed the floor giving Rajapaksa a two third majority in the parliament. At the end of 2014 the number of opposition members got reduced to 63 from 81 and proportionately the government benches increased from 144 to 162!President Rajapaksa carried out a cabinet re-shuffle on 28 January 2013, appointing some new ministers and deputy ministers. 96 UPFA MPs were either Ministers or Deputy Ministers. Nine new deputy ministers were appointed on 10 October 2013 and the number increased to 105 UPFA MPs were now part of the government (Prime Minister + 10 Senior Ministers + 54 Ministers + 2 Project Ministers + 38 Deputy Ministers (excludes Sarath Amunugama who is also a Senior Minister)

    Is there any wonder that a majority of UPFA members are striving hard to bring back Mahinda Rajapaksa doled out ministerial portfolios at the drop of a hat and gave government a free run to loot the Treasury.

    Deputy Economic Development Minister S. M. Chandrasena was appointed as Cabinet Minister for Special Projects on 23 November 2013.[29][30] Palani Digambaran and Praba Ganesan were appointed deputy ministers on 21 August 2014.[31][32] V. Radhakrishnan was appointed deputy minister on 9 October 2014.[33]

  • 0
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    one of my friend has bought a car permit from very respectable MP and we cat open the LC because he has got loans from the bank and unpaid he is in the CIP therefore cant open the LC, BUT GOVERNMENT HAS STOPED THE PUBLIC SERVICEPERMITS ACTUALLY THEY DONT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PURCHASE A VEHICLE EITHER THEY SELL IT TO THE CAR SALE THEY PURCHSE WITH THAT MONEY AGOOD VEHICEONLY THEY WANT SPEN IT FOR ANUY OTHER PURPOSE THIS GOVERNMENT NEVER WANT TO KEEP THE DOCTORS IN OUR COUNTRY BECAUSE THEY WANT TO IMPORT INDIAN DOCTORS , UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WE S FATHERS NEVER PRODUCE OUR OWN BRAINY PEOPE TOTHIS COUNTRY VERY SAD SITUATION CREATING THE PRIMINISTER BUT WE WERE SUPPORTED FOR YAHAPALANA NOW IT IS BECOMING A DREAM.

    THANKS ,
    PERMIT BUYER

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