SC fixes CB officer’s petition against AG Dept. for 16 Jan.

Friday, 15 December 2017 03:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S. Selvanayagam    

The Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for support on 16 January 2018 the granting of leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by a Central Bank officer seeking 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 Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justices Sisira J.De Abrew and Nalin Perera.

The petitioner S. Pathumanapan 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 the Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Members of the Monetary Board, Central Bank Legal and Compliance Department Director  P.V.L. Nandasiri, Presidential Commission Chairman Justice K.T. Chitrasiri, Justice Prasanna Sujeewa Jayawardena and Kandasamy Velupillai along with Murtaza Jafferjee, IGP Pujitha Jayasundara and the Attorney General as respondents.

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

The petitioner has complained that some officials of the Attorney General’s Department have humiliated him in the course of the Presidential Commission Inquiry into the Treasury Bond matter.

The 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 amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

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 had suggested to him, the respondents from the Attorney General’s 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 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 first to eighth 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 the Bond Commission (Attorney General’s Department) from taking any steps to require, summon or 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 from 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 deems fit, within the period specified in such reference or within such time as may be extended by the President, report to the President its opinion thereon.”