“It is widely reported that the Attorney General has ordered the discharge of the accused in a case where the accused were indicted in the High Court of Colombo for a serious offence of trafficking in drugs. So far no one has contradicted this news item. While people are in the dark as to what matters prompted the Attorney General to make this decision, it is important that the people be made aware of the reasons for a decision. As we expect transparency and accountability in all executive actions.” says the standing committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on Rule of Law.
Issuing a statement last night the Bar committee said; “Any authority vested with discretionary power has to use the depression for the purpose for which the power is vested in the authority. Such power is vested with the trust that the power will only be used for the purpose for which such power is vested and that it will not be used for any collateral purpose. We has in the past experience cases where serious charges against politicians are dropped by the Attorney General. By some strange co incidents they were persons who have crossed over their political allegiance towards the government party.
“It is of serious concern as AG’s department is now under the Ministry of Defense and not under the Ministry of Justice as it has been for over half a century.
“In the name of Rule of Law and Independence of Judiciary we call for the reason for the discharge of the accused. We presume that the Attorney General has indicted the accused after satisfying himself that there is a case to go before the High Court.
There is a growing perception among the people that the Law is applied selectively. Under these circumstances the failure in the past of the Attorney General to give reasons to the public would only further erode the confidence the smashes have on the Rule of Law and the Independence of Judiciary.”