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Bribery Enforcer Accused

By Nirmala Kannangara-Sunday, January 05, 2014

While the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption looks to enforce the law against corrupt officials, the Chairman of the Commission has been accuse of misusing his position for personal gain! "he accusations stem from claims ma e in #arliament by $N# #arliamentarian %u&eewa %enasinghe followe by a complaint lo ge with the Bribery Commission by '(# #arliamentarian %unil )an unnetti! %enasinghe claime that while the Chairman of the Commission, 'ustice 'agath Balapataben i, ha misuse his position, the Commission, as a whole, was inefficient! *"he bribery commission is very efficient to take +uick action against ,sprats- but very lethargic an inefficient to start investigations against political bigwigs an their stooges,. %enasinghe sai ! )an unnetti eman e that 'ustice Balapataben i shoul step own from his post, pen ing conclusion of investigations into the complaint the /# has lo ge against the Bribery Chairman! %enasinghe allege that the Chairman of (ehicles 0anka 1#vt2 0t )arsha #rabath 3e %ilva has given a motor car, assemble by him as a gift, for 'ustice Balapataben i in return for getting a court ver ict in his favour! Accor ing to %enasinghe, 3e %ilva file a Writ of /an amus in the Court of Appeal 1CA WA 45678 799:2 against the /inister of "ransport, Commissioner of /otor "raffic an %ecretary to the "ransport /inistry in 799: to get a court or er to irect the Commissioner of /otor "raffic to accept an entertain the applications to register the

vehicles assemble by him! %enasinghe allege , *'ustice Balapataben i was a member of the panel of &u ges on eight sittings in the cases on )arsha 3e %ilva! )e was one of the 'u ges present, together with Chief 'ustice % N %ilva an 'ustice %omawansa, on 'une 7, 799; when the or er was given to the Commissioner of /otor "raffic to consi er the registration of 45< locally assemble vehicles! =or giving a &u gment in favour of )arsha e %ilva which he was eagerly awaiting, Balapataben i receive one of the sai 45< vehicles as a token of appreciation!. Accor ing to the sai 'u gment, these locally assemble vehicles cannot be registere un er a bran e name but un er the ,>mperorbran ! Although the vehicle in +uestion was registere un er the ,>mperor- bran name, "he %un ay 0ea er is in possession of a photograph which in icates bran name of the vehicle was altere to ,"oyota-! *Being a former %upreme Court 'u ge who was on the bench when the /otor "raffic 3epartment was given the option to consi er the registration, an that the vehicles have to be tra e un er the name >mperor, it is +uestionable as to why 'ustice Balapataben i change the car ba ge to "oyota! "his is a clear case of violation of the con itions impose by Balapataben i, himself, to release these vehicles,. a top Bribery Commission official sai on con ition of anonymity! Accor ing to the or er given, chassis number A"744-:94;7;? was one of the 45< vehicles that were or ere to be registere with the /otor "raffic 3epartment which was later owne by 'ustice Balapataben i! "he %un ay 0ea er is in possession of two ocuments issue by the /otor "raffic 3epartment on 'une 7?, 794@ an %eptember 4;, 794@, respectively, which clearly show as to how the changes have been ma e! When the first ocument, ate 'une 7?, 794@, gives the name of the current owner as 3hammika 'agath 3e %ilva Balapataben i, the secon ocument, issue on %eptember 4;, 794@, shows that, by 'une 7?, 794@, the sai motor vehicle has been sol twice! *Isn-t this a manipulationA In one instance the /otor "raffic 3epartment ocument, ate 'une 7:, 794@, states that the current owner is 'agath Balapataben i an , then, the same epartment, in another ocument, ate %eptember 4;, states that the current owner, as at 'une 7:, is %ampath /u iyanselage %u&eeva Navo ya Weligalle! Accor ing to the secon ocument, 'agath Balapataben i has transferre the car to 'ahinge %enarath 'ayasinghe on April 77, 794@, an 'ayasinghe has transferre the vehicle to Weligalle on 'une :, 794@! *Although the vehicle was registere un er the name of

Balapataben i at one time, the revenue license ha been obtaine since 'une 49, 799; un er the name of the present owner Weligalle! Accor ing to the secon ocument issue by the /otor "raffic 3epartment, Weligalle has obtaine the car on 'une :, 794@, but the Certificate of Insurance issue by $nion Assurance #0C shows that Weligalle has got the vehicle insure on 'une <, 794@ B one ay prior to when he actually owne the vehicle accor ing to C/( etails! )ow can Weligalle get insurance to a vehicle he oes not ownA "his shows that Balapataben i has manipulate the whole process,. the source a e ! %ources from %ri 0anka Customs, too, confirme to "he %un ay 0ea er that they are in possession of ocuments to prove that owner of the KD-6@74 ,>mperor- motor car was owne by 'agath Balapataben i as of 'une 7<, 794@! *)ow can the /otor "raffic 3epartment now say that Balapataben i has sol the car in April an was re-sol in 'une :A If these registrations are one manually we can assume that it will take few weeks, or months, for the owners name to appear in their system! At a time when every process is computeriEe , it won-t take a few minutes to fin out who the vehicle owner is in the system! "his is yet another ,computer &ilmart- by the /otor "raffic 3epartment on the re+uest of 'ustice Balapataben i,. customs sources sai ! Although 'ustice Balapataben i has repeate ly state that he ha never seen or known )arsha 3e %ilva, "he %un ay 0ea er is in possession of ocumentary proof to prove how Balapataben i was personally in touch with )arsha e %ilva! "elephone etails of )arsha e %ilva have clearly shown as to how fre+uent 'ustice Balapataben i an 3e %ilva talk to each other over the phone! Accor ing to the ocuments, )arsha e %ilva has not only contacte 'ustice Balapataben i over his mobile phone but also on his resi ential lan line! "he %un ay 0ea er is in possession of a copy of the sai letter an , accor ing to it, by violating the provisions relating to secrecy which he is boun to comply, 'ustice Balapataben i has acte contrary to the provisions of the Bribery Commission %ources claime that, accor ing to %ection 4? of the Bribery Act, every member of the Commission, the 3irector Deneral an every officer or servant appointe to assist the commission, shall, before entering upon the uties of his office, sign a eclaration that he will not isclose any information receive by him, or coming to his knowle ge, in the eFercise an the ischarge of his powers an functions un er this Act, eFcept for the purposes of giving effect to the provisions of this Act! *'ustice Balapataben i is the Chairman of the Commission! Although he is boun to protect the confi entiality of the commission work he went on, going to the press releasing statements of what their plans were against the former Chief 'ustice! "here is no wrong in the investigations carrie out by the Bribery Commission against the former Chief 'ustice %hirani Ban aranayake, but the +uestion is how the Bribery Chief violate the rules an regulations of the Bribery Act,. the sources sai ! "he sources further state that, accor ing to %ection 77 of the Bribery Act, any person who breaches the secrecy provisions in %ection 4? of the Act is liable to imprisonment! Accor ing to sources, every person who acts in contravention of the uty impose on him by %ection 4?, to maintain secrecy, shall be guilty of an offence an shall, on conviction after summary trial before a magistrate, be liable to imprisonment for a term, not eFcee ing five years, or to a fine, not eFcee ing Cs 499, 999, or both such fine an imprisonment!

"here is no manipulation on our part B Commissioner Deneral of /otor "raffic When aske as to how two names were entere to the register of motor vehicles between 'une 7: an %eptember 4;, 794@, the Commissioner Deneral /otor "raffic % ) )arischan ra sai that it was ue to a elay in the computeriEing process! *Although the first ocument shows that the owner of the KD-6@74 is 'agath Balapataben i as of 'une 7: an the secon ocument, ate %eptember 4;, shows that there are two more names inserte before 'une 7:, it is not a frau ! *It takes time for the computeriEation process! Gur etails show that Balapataben i has sol the vehicle to 'ayasinghe on April 77, 794@ an 'ayasinghe has sol to Weligalle on 'une :, 794@! We register more than @9, 999 vehicles per month an another @9,999 transfers! We are human beings an that is why it is getting elaye to appear the etails in the system,. sai )arischan ra! )owever, )arischan ra sai that using ,"oyota- ba ge for the ,>mperor- bran is against %ection 4@ of the /otor "raffic Act! *If there is a ruling that this particular vehicle cannot use any bran e names but only ,>mperor-, it is illegal to isplay the ,"oyota- ba ge on the vehicle! "oyota 0anka Company can take action against using their bran name for an assemble vehicle,. sai )arischan ra! HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHI have clarifie my stance B Bribery Commission Chairman When contacte for a comment over the allegations levelle against him, Bribery Commission Chairman 'ustice 'agath Balapataben i sai that, since he ha sent a clarification to this paper last week for the article that was publishe a fortnight ago, he oes not want to comment further on the sub&ect! *I have ma e a correction an sent the clarification to your previous article an that is all that I have to say! "hank you,. sai 'ustice Balapataben i! When he was tol that there are further allegations levelle against him, an that we woul like to get his si e of the story, the Bribery Commission Chairman neither wante to know what the allegations were nor wante to make further comments an sai that the clarification he has sent last week was more than enough! *What I ha to say was given in the clarification! "here is nothing else for me to say,. he sai ! Accuse