Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) application challenging the legality of the establishment of a Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID).
Through this application, Rajapaksa has also sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to prevent his imminent arrest and the conclusion of the several purported investigations by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruptions and the Frauds and Corruption Investigations Division (FCID).
The respondents in the petition include the Cabinet of Ministers, Secretary to the President, Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspect General of Police (Frauds and Corruption Investigative Division), Director of the CID and the Attorney General.
The FR action came in the wake of Rajapaksa appearing at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption yesterday after he was summoned by the commission to provide a statement over various allegations levelled against him. Rajapaksa appeared at the Bribery Commission along with his lawyers after he was issued summons.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Lakshan Dias, speaking to Daily FT about the situation, said that he was happy that today even people like Gotabaya Rajapaksa could find shelter in the legal system.
“During the previous regime the legal system was not functioning properly. But unlike then, today even people like Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was the respondent of more than thousand court cases during the past 10 years, can seek shelter and protection under the legal system of the country as the legal system of the country has arrived at a better state today. And for a person like Gotabaya Rajapaksa to go to courts seeking justice is a positive sign for people who are fighting and representing fundamental rights in our country and it shows that the law is equal to all whether those people are in power or deprived of power,” Dias said.
Commenting further, he explained that any citizen had the right to seek shelter through the judicial system if that person felt as if the executive or the administrative system of the country was either wronging them or treating them unequally. He also stated that he was extremely happy that Rajapaksa had positive feelings towards fundamental rights.