13 December, 2017

Blog

Judicial Corruption: Criminal Law Sets Into Motion

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

The Judicial Corruption complaint made to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) on 15th February 2016 by way of an affidavit together with credible evidence, against four former Chief Justices (Parinda Rajasinghe, Sarath N Silva, Shirani Bandaranayake, Mohan Pieris) and the incumbent Chief Justice K Sripavan for abuse of office to confer benefits or favours for themselves or others has finally seen the light of the day with a lapse of period of 10 months. This could possibly be considered as a victory for the people in a country where the so-called intelligentsia maintaining a deafening silence whilst people at large become victims of vicious system in operation.

The CIABOC, now under the new Director General, Sarath Jayamanne, who seems to be demonstrating his worth by deeds on 01st December 2016 informed me that the Commission has initiated an investigation (BC/C/1057/2016/B132) into the complaint referred to above.

People losing trust in the Judiciary due to Judicial Corruption

Judicial corruption in this country has already put the Government in a very embarrassing situation before the international community, particularly before the United Nations Human Rights Council, compelling the Government of Sri Lanka to concede that people of Sri Lanka have no trust and confidence in the justice system and therefore to cosponsor a resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) on 01st Oct 2015, to set up a judicial mechanism with international dimension to try serious crimes committed against humanity.

Legislature and Executive shall be held accountable for the failure of the Judiciary

Lord Dennings once remonstrated that ‘… judges cannot afford to be timorous souls. They cannot remain impotent, incapable and sterile in the face of injustice…’. Yet, the Judges holding public office in the Judiciary are not men with divine powers but ordinary human beings and unless they are permitted to exercise the people’s judicial power freely without being subjected to intimidation and interference by the other two arms of the government (Legislature and the Executive), they naturally are not in a position to discharge their constitutional duties.

Recently Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremaeinghe, referring to a judgment popularly known as the Singarasa case, [(Singarasa vs. Attorney General (2006) pronounced by the Supreme Court (SC/SPL/LA/182/99) decided on December 15, 2006], launched a stringent attack on the independence of the Judiciary in the Parliament, hiding himself under the cover of Parliamentary (Powers and Privileges) Act, which is an ordinary peace of legislation.

He then, in one of the most brazen acts by a prime minister in this country, made a request to the Speaker to overrule the Singarasa judgment and some of the extracts (folio 189 -194 of the) taken from the Hansard dated 07th July 2016 are given below.

‘… The judicial power of the people is not exercised by the Supreme Court, but by Parliament through the Courts and directly by Parliament…’
‘…The powers of Parliament cannot be taken away by the Supreme Court as and when they like it…’
‘…It is a judicial coup against Parliament and the sovereignty of the people…’
‘…In my view, it is nothing but an attempt by the judiciary to usurp the powers of both Legislature and the Executive…’
‘…The Court does not even have to exercise the judicial power of the people. The Parliament has it and the Court does it on its behalf…’
‘…the Supreme Court does not have the power to violate the basic tenets of the Constitution; which the Supreme Court has been unfortunately doing in the last decade. …’
‘…I would ask the Hon. Speaker, after necessary consultation, to give his Ruling on this matter raised by the Hon. Member and the Statement made by me…’

I draw the attention of the readers to an extract taken from the complaint made to the CIABOC and invite them to study it in full to understand the scale of the Judicial Corruption, which continue to damage people’s trust and confidence in the Judiciary. This is in spite of the fact that the judiciary is required by law to perform its public duty, in protecting, vindicating and enforcing the people’s sovereign rights enshrined in the Constitution [Article 105 of the Constitution) which has been denied to the people due to the direct interference with the affairs of the judiciary by the corrupt elements holding public office in the Legislature and the Executive.

“… However, in Sri Lanka, I state that over a period of time there exists corruption in an unimaginable scale in the judiciary, intentionally ignoring and violating the Constitutional obligations and the Commonwealth Latimer House principles to favour the Executive and also to favour or to the advantage of the judges themselves at the expense of people’s sovereign rights. I state that these actions have effectively destroyed the very foundation of the representative democracy and good governance in the Republic of Sri Lanka, which is tantamount to an offence of ‘corruption’ as defined in the Section 70 of the Bribery Act…”

Supreme Court decides to hear the case filed on Judicial Corruption

When the CIABOC failed to conduct a credible and independent investigation into the complaint referred to above, it was charged along with the Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe in the Supreme Court (SC/Writ/03/2016) on 28th March 2016, requesting for a Writ of Mandamus, compelling the CIABOC to direct the Director General to initiate an inquiry into the said complaint as expeditiously as possible. And on 24th Nov 2016, a Bench presided over by Justice Priyasath Dep fixed this matter for support on 02nd March 2017.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    The 6.2 million voted on 8th January 2015 with high hopes of a CHANGE in the whole system of Governance and that is what was called then “YAHAPALANAYA” or GOOD GOVERNANCE. Where are we NOW? The CHANGE that we are seeing today is a “Different Game” played JOINTLY by those deposed and the present lot brought into do that desired “Good Governance”. When the Legislators started playing the “Hide and Seek” game, no wonder the Executive too play the same game for varying reasons, including survival. We have seen the way the Judges are deciding on cases and how the highest in Law Enforcement behave in public. A case in point at Judicial level is the Interpol Arrest Warrant issued on a social media at the request of a “Lawyer” even without examining the credibility or the relevancy of that representation. Even recently a “JUDGE” took the upper hand to visited some prisoners and that also during off hours. Yesterday, we saw one Legislator tabling reports on how prison “Doctors” are issuing medical reports to send high profile prisoners to medical wards. Even a “Drug Dealer” is recommended medical ward facilities, because his “weight” is not in keeping with “height”. Just see what is happening to the “Mega Bond Scam” of this Government. That COPE report was presented to the Speaker and what has he done about it? Has he tabled in the Legislature for a debate and decision by the Peoples Representatives? Instead the Prime Minister says, it was sent to the Attorney General. What is he trying to say and do? Till then, he still keeps the very man responsible for the scam “protected” within his own Ministry. In the meantime the culprits who collected the “Loot” are spending the money collected from the people and going about normal business as if they have done nothing wrong. Who knows even the LOOT has been already “EXPORTED”. Do you think the Leaders, the people trusted and entrusted to clean the mess are not AWARE. Not only they are aware, they are giving all the help and cover to protect the LOOTERS. So it is of no use for you and other Professionals and Intellectuals go about complaining to these Institutions with expectations of correcting the course. It is time for genuine Professionals and Intellectuals to carve out a different STRATEGY and plan to have a COMPLETE CHANGE of this CORRUPT SYSTEM along with the CORRUPTED LEGISLATORS.

    • 2
      0

      Just voting and waiting for things to happen – is a joke.

      If you live or lived in srilanka you must have been aware of the ground reality of the society. If one would compare a cross section of the society with that of developed nation – almost every thing is wrong there down.
      Media to highly abusive politicians should be made accoutable for all the mess created and being created.

      Can you imagine, convicted high criminals being treated as special guests within lanken prison system – while we talk about serving thejustice. Where on the earth- the prisoners were priviledged if the systems are to be called as correct.

      All is wrong in that country, not just Good governance.
      Talk to your circles – and compare what they just add as their thoughts. Be them school teachers, engineers or threewheel drivers.. all have somethign in common – that is they themselves are no clean.
      As one another guy added to this or other thread,
      like a full blood transfusion will allow highly down -blood cancer patient would recover it – we need to change entire systems in the country.
      Sorry, PLEASE DONT ONLY BLAME TO CURRENT LEADRES.

      THEY ARE TOO FROM SRILANKA – So they cant be like foreigners -move things in that polluted, highly contaminated world. Basta

  • 2
    1

    Nagananda,

    Thank you for all your work.

    “This could possibly be considered as a victory for the people in a country where the so-called intelligentsia maintaining a deafening silence whilst people at large become victims of vicious system in operation.”

    There are some noisy members of the intelligentsia but their attempts are usually met with deafening silence. The masses are ignorant.

  • 4
    1

    You are my hero sir! Keep up the great work :)

  • 5
    2

    Wijedasa Jarapassa, Minister of Judicial Corruption and Injustice and Sagala Minister of Corruption and Lawlessness, and the IGP should resign immediately.

    So too, Ranil Wickramasinghe for the Bond Scam.

    • 3
      0

      No, RW must not resign. Bond Scam related issues were known even before this govt. None of them resigned. Besides, RW did not mediate in that directly in making decisions. However, it is worth waiting to see the results of juridciary.

      • 0
        0

        SAMA:

        No, RW must not resign. Bond Scam related issues were known even before this govt. None of them resigned

        So, Ranil wickramsinghe became just another member of the team of thieves and continued the theft from a system made defective on purpose.

        So, he should stay because, anyway, all are thieves

        Nice justification.

    • 3
      0

      if you say so, almost everyone should resign and we need to ask British colonial masters to return and introduce a good culutre which is corruption and abuses free. Okay ?
      Like a blood cancer patient can only be healed through a full blood transfuion.

      • 0
        1

        Not a bad idea! The problem is, even whinging poms are corrupted now!

      • 0
        0

        All these politicians who have destroyed the social fabric by unload fun acts such as importing fertiliser that is causing Kidney disease etc must be brought to book and charged for criminality. The Politicians are a curse on this country

        • 1
          0

          Vas, those men call them as sinhala buddhists today – could do lot more while being in power to those Rajarata renal sick patients. Their cry was not even taken serious in the high days of ballige puthas, but today they go abroad for treatments.

          I believe we have lost the faith kept on lanken JUDICIARY. This is why I think international mediation in lanken justice related cases are imperative.
          Not once several dozens of times lanken Judiciary proved, even high profile convicted murder men are not taken serious enough.
          Alone the facts revealed about prisoners these days, are beyond all ethics and morals.
          If you are with politicians, you have all rights to defend while the poor of poor is being thrown even deeper by every means.
          They enjoy on the cost of the poor. Former president and his family should long have been in jails if Srilanken Judiciary is unbiased.

          Why not an investigation is yet done in terms of Duminda Silva related unethical law violent issues – even after the convicted murder man is in Jail.
          Is that because thuggery is above everything in this country ?

    • 1
      1

      There is no need for these people to resign. The voters will send them soon.

      • 0
        0

        dont think voters are so stupid as you are.

        People are silent but 2-legged animals under JO are sabotaging almost everything … all because of their fears. Those who are fed with mustard, are well aware of the consequences.

  • 1
    0

    Nagananda Kodituwakku

    What we need is a drastic change with how we elect the executives. They have destroyed the country.

    You need to understand, why they appointed Rauf Hakeem as the justice minister for the previous govt and Wijedasa Rajapakse as the justice minister for this govt.

    Is their politicin in the govt who is honest and accountaable ?

    So asking fairbess from the justice system is just a joke. It is only application of bandage to eternal wound.

  • 2
    1

    Thank you for letting the public know about the progress made on the judicial Corruption complaint lodged on 15Feb. 2016 with the CIABOC and the action taken by it’ s new Director General.
    You have the full support of all right thinking in the country in your bold venture to fight against judicial corruption.

  • 0
    0

    Nagananda
    You are a disgrace. Your articles are full of misleading statements. Parinda Ranasinghe CJ and Sripavan CJ are honorable judges…
    Similarly you have selectively quoted the PMs speech on Singarasa to paint a different picture. All of us know that the Singarasa judgment of Silva CJ was a perversion. Not only PM, civil society has been saying the same thing all these years!

  • 2
    0

    One of the main reason for Judicial corruption is that Legislators are given a hand in appointment of Judges. This should be totally withdrawn and JSC should be given that responsibility and made a stronger analytic body answerable only to a statutory body where political interference cannot be exerted.

    What is funny is once elected as a President, PM or Minister, they become preachers as if general public dont know anything what they know. It is real comedy to see them advising the public.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.