FR against AG and Bond Commission fixed for support

A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by a senior manager of the Central Bank’s Public Debt Department who challenged the activities of several members of the Attorney General’s Department during interrogations pertaining to the Presidential Commission Inquiry into Treasury Bond issuance was yesterday fixed for support on November 21 by Supreme Court.

On October 27, two Supreme Court Judges among a three-judge-Bench declined to sit on the Bench regarding this fundamental rights petition, citing personal reasons.

When the matter came up before Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice Vijith Malalgoda, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran appearing on behalf of the petitioner informed that Court that he had filed a motion requesting Chief Justice to appoint a three-judge-Bench to hear this petition.

Petitioner S. Pathumanapan, a senior manager of Public Debt Department has cited eight officers of the Attorney General’s Department, Central Bank Governor, CB Monetary Board members, the Chairman and the members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquiry into the issuance of Treasury Bonds and several others, as respondents.

The petitioner stated that the treatment he suffered at the Attorney General’s Department during interrogations at the hands of Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, ASG Yasantha Kodagoda and DSG Milinda Gunatilleke more specifically the threats, intimidation, duress, harassment, humiliating treatment and unlawful invasion of privacy to which the petitioner was subject amounted to cruel inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.

The petitioner said that by failing to permit the petitioner to testify before the Commission and seeking to intimidate, threaten, harass and otherwise penalise the petitioner for taking a position inconsistent with that which they have suggested to him, members of the Attorney General’s Department have subverted the purposes of the COI Act, deliberately prevented the truth from emerging and sought to deprive commissioners and the country as a whole of access to the facts and evidence of the petitioner.

The petitioner stated that he has not been given the opportunity to testify before the Commission by the officers assisting the commission precisely because they are aware that he will be able to convince the Commissioners of his bona fides and because his testimony would be unfavourable to them.

The petitioner further stated that he is being punished and victimised for refusing to provide favourable testimony to the officers assisting the Commission.

He said he reached the Attorney General’s Department at 3.00 pm on July 29, 2017 and he was taken to the chambers of Dappula de Livera.

The petitioner sought an Interim Order officers assisting Bond Commission (Attorney General Department) from taking any steps to require summon, compel the presence of the petitioner at any interrogation, consultation or other such meeting until the final determination of the petition.

The petitioner stated that the actions of the respondents amount to an infringement and imminent infringement of the rights of the petitioner recognised under and in terms of Article 11, 129(1), 13(1) and 14(1)(g) of the Constitution.

President’s Counsel M.A.Sumanthiran under the instruction of Attorney-at-law Dinesh Vidanapathirana appeared for respondent.

Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel appeared for the Attorney General. 

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