When the MP tax-free car permit abuse case taken up for support yesterday the Senior Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayarathne, informed the bench comprising of the judges Sisira de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena and presided over by the Chief Justice Priyasath Dep that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has already decided to inquire into complaint made by the activist Nagananda Kodituwakku. He said that therefore the Petitioner should withdraw the case, as the purpose of initiating the case (for a court order compelling the Corruption Commission to inquire into the MP Car permit abuse) has already been served by the Commission.
In reply the activist informed the Court that the people of Sri Lanka have no trust and confidence in the CIABOC as its conduct has proved that the members of the commission have simply performed the office to serve those holding office in the Executive. Citing Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake’s case the activist informed the Court that the CIABOC has lost its credibility as it had simply performed the office to please the Executive. The Court was informed that the CJ Bandaranayake was charged on 3 counts by the CIABOC before the Chief Magistrate Court Colombo. And after the CJ was removed from the office the very same CIABOC withdrew all falsified charges made against her. Therefore, the Activist informed the Court that he has no confidence at all in the Corruption Commission and requested the permission of the Court to proceed with the matter ensuring justice for the people.
The activist further informed the Court that all tax-free car permits issued to MPs and Cabinet Ministers are invalid, as they have been issued in January to March 2016 with no legal sanction whatsoever, whereas the permission to issue tax exemption was granted under the law only in the month of May 2016. Therefore, the activist informed the Court that the tax component evaded on 111 vehicles already imported on such permits shall be recovered and that 45 MPs who have sold their permits on which private individuals have registered vehicles imported on those permits evading the payment tax running into over 33.5 million shall be dealt with for corruption.
The activist further informed the Court that he had made inquiries from the Customs and the Commissioner General of Department of Motor Traffic and found that the Corruption Commission has not even stepped into those offices and no investigation has been commenced on the matter and that the submissions made before the Court on its behalf by the Senior Deputy Solicitor General are clearly unfounded and amount to misleading the Court and the people on whose behalf the said action has been initiated.
The Senior Deputy Solicitor General, Viraj Dayarathne then informed the Court that some time back the Court had dismissed a similar writ application filed by the activist and in reply the activist Nagananda Kodituwakku informed the Court, citing a decided case law that in the Republic of Sri Lanka, the Sovereignty is in the people and the Attorney General is under duty to represent and act for the people and not to defend the corrupt people holding public office in the Executive and the Legislature. And the activist strongly defended the importance of conducting an independent and credible inquiry into the revenue fraud involving MP tax-free car permits running into over 7 billion rupees.
Having heard the submission the Court finally fixed the matter for a hearing on 09th of May 2017.