Govt will not intervene in the tussle between AG and Acting IGP- Bandula

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government will not intervene in the tussle between Attorney General Dappula de Livera and Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne over the arrest of High Court Judge Gehan Pilapitiya, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said Thursday.

The Miniter said that as the matters between IGP and AG are handled through the Judiciary, it would be the fair method to resolve the situation through the judiciary without any political intervention.

On Jan 23, the AG ordered Wickramaratne to arrest Pilapitiya over phone recordings that are alleged to be at the centre of allegations about a conspiracy between the Judge and Actor-Politician Ranjan Ramanayake over purported granting of bail to a suspect in a case before Pilapitiya when he was the Colombo Chief Magistrate.

On Tuesday in a letter addressed to the acting IGP Chandana Wickremeratne, AG Dappula de Livera instructed the Police to immediately “invoke the judicial process” and take action on this case “today” Feb 11.

However, the Police did not arrest Pilapitiya.

Pilapitiya is now the Judge of the Embilipitiya High Court but has been interdicted by the Judicial Services Commission due to the investigation.

Also, Yesterday the AG has asked the Acting IGP to provide him with copies of the recordings of 12 telephone conversations said to have taken place between Judge Pilapitiya and Ramanayake.

Previously, In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the President on Feb 8, IGP Wickremaratne has stated that he had referred these instructions from the AG to arrest Pilapitiya to an internal Police committee comprising three Senior Deputy Inspectors General and two other officers.

He had also assigned a senior officer to conduct an investigation into the leaked phone conversation.

Wickramaratne says the committee found that Pilapitiya had lodged complaints against Ramanayake in the 2015-2016 period for exerting pressure on him and also threatening him over the phone.

Investigations had been conducted at the time and Pilapitiya had continued to engage with Ramanayake as per instructions from the Police.

The IGP also concluded that it has not been verified whether the voices heard on the leaked tape are actually those of the actor and the judge. (Colombo February 13, 2020)