ECONOMYNEXT – The Former Secretary to the Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake has filed a Fundamental Rights Petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay order against the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on alleged political victimisation which has recommended legal action against him.
Ekanayake’s lawyers said the PCoI recommended action against the former Secretary for his role in setting up the Anti-Corruption unit in the Temple Trees office complex.
Ekanayake seeks to obtain a stay order on the report by the PCoI, its recommendations, the cabinet decisions are taken to implement the recommendations and the Special PCoI appointed as one recommendation of the report.
The PCoI recommended that all the cases filed against members of the administration prior to 2015 for various acts of corruption be dropped by the courts.
Interestingly the PCoI also recommended that a case of fraud against Minister Udaya Gammanpila which has been filed against him by an Australian investor also be dropped.
In his filing, Ekanayake says he was unaware of the allegations made against him and the decisions and recommendations as represented in the papers implicating him as he was never summoned or given an opportunity to explain his version before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Political Victimization by the members of the Commission.
However despite making several attempts to obtain the said report he has not been able to obtain an official copy of the report with the recommendations.
Ekananayake in his petition argues that he was merely carrying out his duties as the secretary to the Prime Minister as required, noting that “there is no procedure established to ascertain the legality of a decision by the Cabinet of Ministers by a Secretary or a Secretary to a Ministry who is directed upon the decisions.”
The Petitioner further states that the legality of a particular Cabinet decision can only be challenged at a judicial forum. The Petitioner verily believes to the best of his knowledge that no one has successfully challenged the legality of the aforesaid Cabinet Decisions.
The petitioner has named The PCoI Chairman, Upali Abeyrathne, members Daya Chandrasiri Jayathilaka, Chandra Fernando and the Secretary of the PCoI Pearl Weerasinghe, respectively as first to 4th Respondents of his petition.
He has also named all members of the cabinet of Ministers and the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers as respondents, while also naming the Chairperson, the Members and the Director-General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption hereinafter referred to as CIABOC as respondents as well.
However the application notes that “no allegations nor seeks any relief against” the chairperson and the members of the CISBOC, “they are named as Respondents to this application since certain interim reliefs sought herein may affect the functions of the said Respondents.” The petition also names the Inspector General of Police noting that “whilst the Petitioner makes no allegations nor seeks any relief against the 36th Respondent, he is named as a Respondent to this Application since certain interim reliefs sought herein may affect the functions of the said Respondent.” (Colombo, March 12, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana