Public Interest Rights Activist, Nagananda Kodituwakku demands the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to tender an unqualified apology to the Chief Justice for deceiving the Supreme Court by making a manifestly falsified submission to the Court that the CIABO has already commenced a credible investigation into the activist’s complaint made in August 2016 on MP permit abuse.When the matter was taken up for support on 15th June 2017, activist Kodituwakku asserted that the undertaking given to Court by the CIBOC was a diabolical lie uttered to deceive the Supreme Court and the people and he made a serious accusation against the CIABOC that it simply cannot carryout its functions as required by law in cases where the Executive President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the MPs are involved.
In the written notice served on CIABOC dated 21st June 2017, after the Supreme Court declined to issue notice the activists challenges that the undertaking given to Court was simply a ploy to suppress the day light robbery of public funds committed by the corrupt MPs and the Cabinet of Ministers who had sold their tax-free car permits.
In his submission made to the Court on 15th June 2017, he drew the attention of the Court to the letter he was served with by the former Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe wherein she informed him that ‘although the government had incurred a loss due to the abuse of MP tax-free car permits it had been incurred due to the implementation of the government policy and therefore the CIABOC would not inquire into the abuse of tax-free permits issued to MPs’. The Court also heard that the former Director General, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, deliberately declined to inquire in to activist’s complaint compelling him to charge her for ‘Corruption’ and when the government was determined remove her from the office for different reasons, the corruption charges leveled against her by the activist Nagananda was used to justify her removal from office of the Director General of CIABOC.
In the activist’s hard-hitting letter addressed to the Chairman of the CIABOC the activist asserts that the undertaking given to Court by the CIABOC that it has already commenced a credible investigation was manifestly false and that the former Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe had earlier at a press briefing had threatened and intimidated the activist with a criminal prosecution under Section 21 of the CIABOC Act for making a false allegation.
In the submission made to the Court the activist submitted to the Court that since the CIABOC fatally failed to act as required by law on activist’s complaint, private companies and individuals who are prohibited to enjoy this tax exemption had imported over 100 Land Cruiser Jeeps on these MP tax-free permits. The Supreme Court also heard with attention drawn to the relevant documentary evidence that the total failure of the CIABOC has opened the floodgates for corrupt MPs and Ministers to abuse the MP tax-free permits with no respect or regard to the Rule of Law. And even the Executive President M Sirisena, has taken the advantage and imported a Land Cruiser Jeep on 14th Oct 2016 claiming himself to be an MP for Polonnaruwa District and the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, (now a Kurunegala District MP) too has imported a similar vehicle on 19th Sep 2016 on a MP tax-free permit, defrauding the payment of fiscal levies of Rs 33,457,500.00 for each vehicle.
In this backdrop the activist Nagananda claims that this totally deplorable conduct on the part of the CIABOC has patently proved that although on paper it is an independent body created by law to combat bribery and Corruption, in practice it is completely an impotent statutory body that does not enjoy any independence at all, particularly when it comes to matters involving corrupt MPs, Ministers and the Executive President.
Setting out examples of the dismal failure of the CIABOC and reason for not to accept its undertaking to conduct a credible investigation, the activist submitted to the Court that when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was determined to remove the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, he used the CIABOC as a tool. On 26th of July 2013, the then Director General of CIABOC Luckshme Jayawickrama, brought three charges before the Chief Magistrate Court, Colombo (copies enclosed) against the Chief Justice on which the Chief Justice was unjustly impeached. Once the duty entrusted on the CIABOC was duly accomplished, the Attorney General later made an application to the Court on behalf of the CIABOC, seeking permission to withdraw all the charges. And the Court exonerated the Chief Justice from the unsubstantiated criminal charges leveled against her.
In the demand sent to the CIABOC the activist also claims that CIABOC was created by law for a purpose; that is to combat bribery and corruption against any person who violates the law, guaranteeing the Commissioners total independence to perform the public office for ‘public good’ with due respect and regard to the public trust doctrine without violating the integrity and the public confidence placed in it. However, the conduct of the extant Commissioners and the Director General of the CIABOC has proved, beyond any doubt, about their inability to deal with high profile major fraud inquiries. And that the CIABOC has fatally failed to realize the expectations of people and blatantly violated the people’s trust placed in the CIABOC.
The activist Nagananda Kodituwakku charged that the CIABOC had intentionally deceived the Supreme Court with manifestly falsified submission that it had already initiated a credible investigation into activist’s complaint and cautions the CIABOC that unless an unqualified apology is tendered to the Chief Justice for deceiving the Supreme Court, it will be charged for contempt, seeking for an order against all three Commissioners and the Director General for punishment in terms Article 105 (3) of the Constitution.
Lawyer Kodituwakku has also sent the copies of the letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Switzerland and the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, since they have already expressed their concerns about the state of administration of justice in Sri Lanka. The government has already conceded these serious charges and has co-sponsored a resolution passed against the government of Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council, which dictates that the people have no confidence in the Judiciary, which lack accountability.