Bribery proceedings against General Manager of Railways to be terminated

Friday, 4 March 2011 04:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 By S.S.Selvanayagam

The proceedings against the Railway General Manager P.P.Wijesekera for the impugned allegation of corruption before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court will be terminated, pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court.

The General Manager Wijesekera was interdicted on the alleged corruption charges against him.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justices N.G.Amaratunga and K.Sripavan has also held the petitioner Wijesekera is entitled to seek re-instatement from the appropriate authorities.

The Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that he did not file objection and had advised the withdrawal of the charge sheet in the Magistrate’s Court against him.

In the circumstances, the Court was of the view that there was no purpose in proceeding with his Writ application and terminated the proceedings in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on 23 November last year had issued an interim order staying any further proceedings in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court against the petitioner Wijesekera (55) until further notice.

Petitioner P.P.Wijesekara in his Writ application cited the Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Luckshmi Jayawickrama, its Secretary J.A.S.Ravindra, the Attorney General, its former Chairman Rtd Justice A.Ismail, its former member Rtd Justice P.Edussuriya and another former member Silva as respondents. The Court also issued notices on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents. Sanjeeva Jayawardena with Rajeev Amarasuriya instructed by Amarasuriya Associates appeared for the petitioner.

The petitioner had filed his writ application seeking judicial review of the purported decision / directive of the Bribery Commission (now defunct) and the consequential purported sanction based decision of the Director General of Bribery Commission to institute proceedings against the petitioner in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court for the alleged corruption upon the purported directive said to have been issued by the former Bribery Commission, at a time when the said Commission had most significantly ceased to exist and was defunct.

The petitioner stated the transaction alleged, in respect of which the purported allegation of corruption which are contrived to have been made against him, pertain to the procurement of journal boxes for trailer coaches, procured by the department.

The journal boxes are relatively small parts which support the axles of the carriages and engines and are units.

The petitioner claimed that there has been no wrongdoing on his part and he had no intention whatsoever to cause wrongful or unlawful loss to the government and that the decisions made to procure the said journal boxes in question, and the approvals prior to and thereafter were collective decisions of senior officers of the department and not an individual decision.

The petitioner stated that omnibus on rails which is commonly known as Rail Bus was his brainchild and that he was instrumental in converting 22 omnibuses into Rail Buses which are presently in operation in the area around Chilaw, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Maho, Kurunegala, Medawachchiya, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Gal Oya and Batticaloa.

He also claimed that with his appointment to the post of General Manager, he took immediate steps to resume the container transportation system of the Railway Department after a lapse of more than 20 years.

He claimed that in his capacity as the General Manager, he positively facilitated the entering into of agreements with several Indian and Chinese companies for the restoration of the rail track from Omanthai to Palai, Madhu Road to Talaimannar, in order to ensure that the people of the North and East will be provided with better and most cost effective transport facilities.