Petition filed in CA challenging Cabraal’s CBSL appointment

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 02:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Petitioner seeks stay order on Cabraal’s appointment 
  • Cites CBSL forensic investigation findings 
  • Refers to hedging deal, Greek bond cases to challenge appointment 
  • Respondents include AG, IGP, Secretary to the President and Finance Minister  

Ajith Nivard Cabraal


Civil society activist and former Governor of the Southern and Central provinces Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon yesterday filed a petition in the Court of Appeal challenging the appointment of Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

The basis of the petition is the forensic investigation into CBSL bond transactions between 2009 and 2017, which includes the period Cabraal previously served as Governor. 

The petitioner states that the forensic investigation revealed that Cabraal, who is the third respondent and served as Governor of CBSL from 1 July 2006 to January 2015, was involved in several instances of conflict of interests involving his relatives during the period he held office.

The petitioner pleads that there is sufficient evidence in the forensic report to establish that Cabraal, during his tenure as Governor, violated policies and rules approved by the Monetary Board as well as the general law of the country.

The petitioner also refers to Cabraal’s role in the hedging deal, due to which the country had reportedly lost over $ 200 million and over which Cabraal had given a statement to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID).

The petitioner also states that investment in Greek bonds during his last tenure as Governor resulted in losses of around Rs. 10 billion, with a Parliamentary committee having looked into the issue as well.

The petitioner states that the re-appointment of Cabraal could cause grave and irreparable loss and damage to the country.

The petitioner has sought an interim order on Cabraal’s appointment before the final determination of the case.

The petitioner is also keeping a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus to compel the AG and the IGP to take legal action against the Governor considering evidence available within the Forensic Audit Report, as well as a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus to compel the AG to file a separate indictment against Cabraal under the same and/or adding further and additional charges levelled against him as mentioned in the petition.

The petitioner also seeks a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus to compel the IGP to arrest, detain and record a statement from Cabraal considering evidence available within the Forensic Audit Report, and a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Certiorari to quash the recommendations made by the Finance Minister to appoint the Cabraal as the new appointee to the CBSL.

In the event Cabraal is appointed as the Governor, a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Prohibition prevents him from acting in the post, in view of his actions and the fact that the latter could tamper and/or doctor and/or remove the evidence against the third respondent (Cabraal) if he is re-appointed as the head of that Government institute.

The respondents are the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police, Ajith Nivard Cabral, Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and CBSL Deputy Governor T.M.J.Y.P. Fernando.