Central Bank officer files FR petition against AG Department officers: SC fixes for support on 21 No

Saturday, 11 November 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Supreme Court yesterday (10) fixed for support on 21 November the Fundamental Rights petition filed by a Central Bank officer seeking the Court to prevent him from being questioned by the Attorney General’s Department officers assisting the Bond Commission until the final determination of his petition.

The Bench comprised Justices Sisira J. De Abrew and Vijith K. Malalgoda.

The Petitioner S. Pathumanathan in his petition cited Senior Additional Solicitors Dappula de Livera and Yasantha Kodagoda, Senior Deputy Solicitors General Milinda Gunetilleke and Dilan Ratnayake, Senior State Counsels Shaheeda Barrie, Dr. Avanti Perera and Nayomi Wickremasekera and State Counsel Danushan Kaneshayogan, all of whom are assisting the Bond Commission in the investigation, as well as Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Members of the Monetary Board Dr. R.H. Samaratunge, M. Ramanathan, C.D.K. Pereira and Nihal Fonseka, Central Bank Legal and Compliance Department Director  P.V.L. Nandasiri, Presidential Commission Chairman Justice K.T. Chitrasiri, members Justice Prasanna Sujeewa Jayawardena and Kandasamy Velupillai along with Murtaza Jafferjee, IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and the Attorney General as Respondents.

The Petitioner complains against some officials of the Attorney General’s Department, stating that they had humiliated him in a degrading manner in the course of the Presidential Commission Inquiry into the Treasury bond matter.

Petitioner S. Pathumanapan, who was a senior Manager of Public Debt Department of the Central Bank and an Assistant Superintendent, EPF, bid on behalf of EPF at the bond auction in 2015.

M.A. Sumanthiran PC with Niran Anketell, Junita Arulanantham and Jerusha Crossette Thambiah appeared for the Petitioner. Senior Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel with Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Respondents.

Petitioner complains of the alleged treatment he suffered at the hands of the Senior Additional Solicitors General and Deputy Solicitor General acting with other respondents the threats, intimidations, duress, harassment, humiliating treatment and unlawful invasion of privacy amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment/punishment.

He alleges that by failing to permit him to testify before the Bond Commission and seeking to intimidate, threaten, harass and otherwise penalise him for taking a position inconsistent with that they have suggested to him, the Respondents from the Attorney General Department have subverted the purpose of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry Act, prevented the truth from emerging, and sought to deprive the Commissioners, the President and the country as a whole of access to his facts and evidence.

By seeking to punish and victimise him including by attempting to cause disciplinary proceedings to be instituted against him despite the singular lack of any evidence against him led at the Commission, the Respondents assisting the investigation have abused their power and authority for collateral purposes, he alleges.

The 18th Respondent Murtaza Jafferjee – a private citizen with no power or authority to conduct investigations   for and/or on behalf of the Commission or the State for the purpose of intimidating him and secure evidence required for their purpose, the 1st Respondent Senior Additional Solicitor General and 1st to 8th Respondents who are assisting the interrogation have acted in violation of the law, he alleges.

He is seeking an Interim Order from the Court to prevent the officers assisting Bond Commission (Attorney General’s Department) from taking any steps to require, summon, and compel his presence at any interrogation, consultation or other such meeting until the final determination of his petition.

He alleges the actions of the Respondents amount to an infringement and imminent infringement of his fundamental right to the freedom from torture, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of lawful occupation and profession as well as consultative jurisdiction under article 129(1) which reads: If at any time, it appears to the President of the Republic that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise which is of such nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer that question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thins fit, within the period specified in such reference or within such time as may be extended by the President, report to the President it opinion thereon.