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JVP revisits Bribery Commission

By Gagani Weerakoo-February 6, 2014

t is no! a mont" sin#e t"e Janat"a Vimukt"i Peramuna $JVP% &i'e( a #om)'aint !it" t"e Commission to nvestigate *''egations o& Bribery or Corru)tion $C *B+C%, against its C"airman, Jagat" Ba'a)ataben(i, but t"e #ommission "as &ai'e( to #on(u#t a semb'an#e o& a )robe into t"e matter, -"is #om)e''e( t"e JVP to meet t"e .e#retary to t"e Commission, t"is time against its 'uke!arm attitu(e to!ar(s t"e &irst )etition, a##using t"e Bribery Commission o& attem)ting to s!ee) t"e #om)'aint against its C"airman un(er t"e #ar)et by nee('ess'y (e'aying t"e investigation,

/We ma(e t"e #om)'aint on 1 January but "ave not been in&orme( yet !"et"er an investigation !as being #arrie( out or not, Peo)'e "ave a rig"t to #om)'ain against t"e Commissioner be#ause "e is a))ointe( by t"e Presi(ent,

0n(er t"e Car)et

-"e Bribery Commission is trying to s!ee) t"is un(er t"e #ar)et by !asting time,, -"is !i'' on'y resu't in t"e )eo)'e 'osing &ait" in t"e #ommission, /sai( 1an(unnetti, !"o "an(e( over t"e )etition,

1e sai( t"e government s"ou'( make a statement on t"e status o& t"e investigation,

be#ause t"e Commission2s C"airman is a )ub'i# servant,

W"i'e 3uestioning t"e (ea&ening si'en#e o& t"e Presi(ent an( "is Cabinet on t"e matter, "e on#e again urge( t"e Commissioner to resign &rom t"e )ost at 'east tem)orari'y, so t"at an im)artia' investigation #an be #arrie( out,

1an(ing over a 'etter to t"e Commission2s .e#retary, 1an(unnetti s re3ueste( t"at t"e )ro#ess to investigate "is #om)'aint be a##e'erate(, 1e )ointe( out t"at remaining si'ent, !"en t"e C"airman o& t"e Commission, !"o "a( been a))ointe( by t"e Presi(ent o& t"e #ountry, stan(s a##use(, is a serious matter, 1e a'so sai( t"e (e'ay in investigating t"e #om)'aint !ou'( #on&irm t"at t"e Commission &o''o!s a )o'i#y o& su))orting &rau(sters,

n "is 'etter, 1an(unnetti "as e4)resse( "is #on#ern over an attem)t to ignore "is #om)'aint !it"out in3uiring into it an( )ointe( out t"at .ri 5anka signe( t"e 0nite( 6ations Convention against Corru)tion an( is boun( to a#t a##or(ing'y,

1e "as a'so )ointe( out t"at #'ause 17 $1% o& t"e Commission to nvestigate *''egations o& Bribery or Corru)tion *#t states, /-"e members o& t"e Commission, t"e 8ire#tor-Genera' an( o&&i#ers an( servants, a))ointe( to assist t"e Commission, s"a'' be (eeme( to be )ub'i# servants !it"in t"e meaning o& t"e Pena' Co(e an( every investigation #on(u#te( un(er t"is *#t s"a'' be (eeme( to be a 9u(i#ia' )ro#ee(ing !it"in t"e meaning o& t"at Co(e,/

+n 1 January t"e JVP "an(e( over t"e un)re#e(ente( )etition to t"e Commission

seeking an investigation into a''egations o& #orru)tion against Ba'a)ataben(i, in t"e )ast si4 years, &rom t"e time "e !as a Ju(ge o& t"e .u)reme Court, unti' t"e )resent time, in "is #a)a#ity as t"e C"airman o& C *B+C,

/ t is t"e Presi(ent !"o a))oints t"e C"airman o& t"e Commission an( "e s"ou'( take ne#essary ste)s to ensure t"at t"e #re(ibi'ity o& t"e institution is not at stake, +n t"e ot"er "an(, Ba'a)ataben(i a'so s"ou'( ensure t"at t"e Commission "as t"e &ree(om to #arry out &ree an( &air investigations, -"e Commission !i'' (e#i(e !"et"er "e is gui'ty or #'ear "im o& t"e #"arges, n or(er to (o t"is, "e "as to eit"er ste) (o!n unti' su#" time or t"e Presi(ent s"ou'( ask "im to ste) (o!n,/ 1an(unnetti sai( &o''o!ing t"e submission o& t"e )etition,

-"e )etition "an(e( over to t"e Commission a''ege( Justi#e Ba'a)ataben(i tam)ere( !it" (o#uments, re#eive( ki#kba#ks &rom t"e a''ege( ve"i#'e (ea'er an( i''ega''y use( t"e ve"i#'e in 3uestion bearing number :G- ;<21,

-en(ering a #o)y o& t"e #erti&ie( #o)y o& t"e Journa' entry o& 2 June 2007, a'ong !it" t"e )etition, 1an(unnetti state( t"at on 2 June2007, in #ase number .C $.)'% 5,*, 6o, 74=2007 o& >=. Ve"i#'e 5anka Pvt, a )ositive or(er !as ma(e by t"e Ben#" to register 14? ve"i#'es !it" @>V $@egistrar o& >otor Ve"i#'e% an( re)ort to #ourt on t"e <r( o& t"e same mont",

8es)ite t"e ve"i#'e bearing number :G ;<21 $C"assis 6o, *-211-601727A%, being registere( in t"e name o& .aman Punyasiri Fernan(o on t"e 20-01-2011 t"e @evenue 5i#en#e &or t"e same ve"i#'e !as issue( on t"e 10 June 2007, in &avour o& .am)at"

>u(iyanse'age .u9ee!a 6avo(ya We'iga''e o& @atnarama @oa(, Bora'esgamu!a, -"is ve"i#'e !ais one o& t"e 14? ve"i#'es registere( as )er t"e or(er o& t"e .u)reme Court (ate( 2 June 2007, in !"i#" Ba'a)ataben(i !as a member o& t"e ben#" making su#" or(er,

*##or(ing to t"e e4tra#t o& t"e Ve"i#'e @egistration, obtaine( &rom t"e @>V on 2A June 201<, t"e o!ner o& t"e ve"i#'e, as at t"at (ate, !as 8"ammika Jagat" (e .i'va Ba'a)ataben(i o& 1A<=14 C, >i"in(u >!, 8e"i!a'a, n &a#t, "e "a( be#ome t"e o!ner o& t"e sai( ve"i#'e 6o, :G ;<21, Bm)eror on t"e 1< January 201< as t"e same !as trans&erre( by .aman Punyasiri Fernan(o,

-"e )etition state( t"at "o!ever, anot"er e4tra#t o& t"e @egistration obtaine( &rom t"e @>V as at 17 .e)tember 201<, t!o a((itiona' names, Ja"inge .enerat" Jayasing"e an( .am)at" >u(iyansa'age .u9eeva 6avo(aya We'iga''e res)e#tive'y "a( been inserte( $&rau(e'ent'y ba#k (ate(% as o!ners &rom 22 *)ri' 201< an( 6 June 201<,

/-"is is a &a'si&ie( an( &rau(u'ent registration #ommitte( by Ba'a)ataben(i as "e !as t"e registere( o!ner o& t"e Bm)eror ve"i#'e bearing registration number :G ;<21 at 'east u) to 2A June 201<, Bven t"oug" &ormer Justi#e Ba'a)ataben(i is t"e registere( o!ner o& t"e ve"i#'e bearing @egistration number :G ;<21 &rom ; June2007 to ; June 2014 t"e @evenue 5i#en#e "a( been a))'ie( &or an( obtaine( in t"e name o& one .am)at" >u(iyanse'age .u9ee!a 6avo(ya We'iga''e, -"e Ve"i#'e @egistration Certi&i#ate an( t"e #o)y o& t"e )revious @evenue 5i#en#e are man(atory re3uirements &or obtaining a @evenue 5i#en#e, 1en#e it is obvious t"at a &orge( Ve"i#'e @egistration Certi&i#ate "a( been submitte( by Ba'a)ataben(i, or !it" "is #onnivan#e an(=or

#o''usion, to obtain t"e @evenue 5i#en#e in anot"er )erson2s name $We'iga''e%,/ 1an(unnetti state( in t"e )etition,

-"e )etition &urt"er statesC

/ n t"e Petition &i'e( by t"e Petitioner in C* .)', 5* 6o, 74=2007 n Para 2A $)age < o& 86%, an assuran#e given by >=s Ve"i#'e 5anka Pvt, 5t(, $1ars"a Prabat" .i'va% !"i#" rea(s as &o''o!sD 2-"e ve"i#'e assemb'e( by t"e )etitioner !as tra(e( un(er t"e name o& 2Bm)eror2 an( t"e names su#" as >itsubis"i, 6issan an( -oyota are not use( by t"e Petitioner,2

/6ot!it"stan(ing t"is assertion, (uring t"e )erio( o& o!ners"i) Ba'a)ataben(i "a( use( t"e sai( ve"i#'e !it" t"e -oyota ba(ges, Ba'a)ataben(i !as !e'' a!are o& t"e &a#t t"at t"e ve"i#'e t"at !as use( by "im !as an 2Bm)eror2 ve"i#'e, given t"at "e "as registere( t"e ve"i#'e as 2Bm)eror2 un(er "is o!n registration !it" t"e @>V, !"en in &a#t "e !as using t"e same ve"i#'e in t"e name o& a 2-oyota Coro''a2, 1ere again Ba'a)ataben(i "a( a#te( in a #orru)t manner,

/-"is ve"i#'e "a( not been insure( (uring t"e )erio( o& Ba'a)ataben(i2s o!ners"i), 0sing a ve"i#'e !it"out va'i( insuran#e is an o&&en#e, -"e &irst time it !as insure( !as on ? June 201<, 1o!ever, as t"e @>V registration obtaine( on 17-0;-201< #on&irms t"at even on 2A June 201< Ba'a)ataben(i !as t"e registere( o!ner o& t"e ve"i#'e, an( it !as trans&erre( &ina''y to t"e same We'iga''e on t"e 06-06-201< by a &rau(u'ent mani)u'ation at t"e @>V, !it" t"e #onnivan#e o& Ba'a)ataben(i, t is t"ere&ore a''ege( t"at it is 1ars"a Prabat" !"o "as obtaine( t"e servi#es o& We'iga''e an( Jayasing"e

a'ong !it" .aman Fernan(o to give a bribe o& a >otor Ve"i#'e to Ba'a)ataben(i,

/ *s )er t"e statement ma(e by 1ars"a Prabat" .i'va to t"e Bribery Commission on t"e <' 8e#ember 2012, "e "as a''ege( t"at @an9an :anagasabai "a( aske( &or a bribe on'y on 26 8e#ember 2012, !"ereas a #om)'aint to t"e Bribery Commission !as ma(e against @an9an :anagasabai on'y on <1 8e#ember 2012, -"is &a#t is a'so #on&irme( by P *beysing"e o& t"e Bribery Commission, 1o!ever 1ars"a Prabat" (e .i'va "a( been making &re3uent te'e)"one #a''s to Ba'a)ataben(i )rior to t"e #om)'aint ma(e to t"e Bribery Commission !"i#" rein&or#es t"e &a#t t"at t"ey !ere kno!n to ea#" ot"er by virtue o& t"e bribe, in terms o& t"e 2Bm)eror2 #ar t"at !as given to Ba'a)ataben(i an( t"ey !ere in #ommuni#ation !it" ea#" ot"er,

/*t t"e time re'evant to t"e so #a''e( )ur#"ase o& t"e ve"i#'e bearing registration 6o, :G ;<21, t"e C"airman o& t"e Bribery Commission "a( severa' Bank a##ounts in !"i#" "e "a( no money to t"e va'ue o& t"e sai( ve"i#'e, to be ab'e to )ur#"ase t"e sai( ve"i#'e by making a va'i( )ayment, 1is a##ount numbers o& su#" Bank a##ounts are given "ere &or easy re&eren#e, Commer#ia' Bank *##ount 6o, 7?7001<1?6, Com, Bank .avings *##ount 6o, 77A00070<7, an( Bank o& Cey'on *##ount 6o, 27462A46;4;,2 /8"ammika Jagat" (e .i'va Ba'a)ataben(i, !"o is a'so t"e C"airman o& t"e Bribery Commission, s"ou'( be treate( as an or(inary sus)e#t in a norma' #ase u)on in3uiry #on#erning t"e #om)'aint,/ 1an(unnetti state( in t"e )etition,

6o #on&i(en#e

1e &urt"er sai(D /6o #on&i(en#e #an be )'a#e( on t"e a((itiona' t!o #ommissioners too, sin#e t"ey #ontinue to sit !it" t"e C"airman o& t"e Commission on ot"er matters an( (erive various &a#i'ities t"at are (e#i(e( u)on by t"e C"airman o& t"e Commission,

n t"is )arti#u'ar #ase so 'ong as t"e sus)e#t remains as t"e C"airman o& t"e Bribery Commission an( e4erts statutory aut"ority on t"e o&&i#ers o& t"e Bribery or Corru)tion Commission (o not e4)e#t any Justi#e to be mete( out to t"is a''egation or any ot"er a''egation t"at is )en(ing in t"e #ommission, -"is situation is a'so an insu't to t"e entire #ommission an( to t"e entire #ountry a'ong !it" t"e 9u(i#iary, as t"is is t"e &irst time ever t"at t"ere "as ever been an a''egation o& )rove( #orru)tion against a Ju(ge o& t"e .u)reme Court in a #ountry ri(('e( !it" bribery an( #orru)tion, 1o!ever in t"e name o& 9usti#e an( e3uity am making t"is #om)'aint to you to investigate t"is #om)'aint, giving it t"e )riority t"at it (eserves as t"is #om)'aint is ma(e against t"e very )erson !"o is statutori'y taske( !it" t"e (uty o& investigating Bribery or Corru)tion an( initiate )ro#ee(ings against "im as re3uire( by 5a!,/

- .5 !rites to Presi(ent

n t"e !ake o& t"e )etition an( JVP2s (eman( to sus)en( Ba'a)ataben(i &rom "is )ost as C *B+C C"airman, an in(e)en(ent #orru)tion !at#"(og, -rans)aren#y nternationa' .ri 5anka $- .5%, in a 'etter to Presi(ent >a"in(a @a9a)aksa (eman(e( t"e same,

n t"e 'etter, - .5 B4e#utive 8ire#tor, ., @anugge sai( in or(er to ensure trans)arent

investigation into t"e a''egations 'eve''e( against Ba'a)ataba(ige, "e s"ou'( be remove( &rom t"e )ost o& #"airman $not &rom t"e #ommission%,

/-"e a''egations are in(ee( o& serious nature an( any "in(ran#e to investigations !i'' 9eo)ar(iEe t"e #re(ibi'ity o& t"e institution as !e'' as its o&&i#ia's, We be'ieve t"at you an( t"e government !i'' #onsi(er t"is matter !it" utmost im)ortan#e an( take a'' measures to e4)e(ite investigations, Continuing to kee) a )erson !"ose integrity "as been #"a''enge(, as t"e #"airman o& t"e #ommission t"at investigates a''egations o& bribery or #orru)tion is a t"reat to goo( governan#e,/ @anugge state(, 1o!ever, t"e C"airman an( t"e Commission are tig"t 'i))e( on t"e matter, Posted by Thavam