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Mahinda, Gotabhaya, Basil, Nivard, PBJ, et al responsible for country’s economic crisis – Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court decided yesterday (14) that, Former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera and others are responsible for the economic crisis in the country.

It was also decided that they have violated the fundamental human rights of the people of this country.

A five-member Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya decided this by a majority, subsequent to hearing two fundamental rights petitions that had been filed regarding the bankruptcy of the people of Sri Lanka and the public by making careless decisions without any foresight and acting without proper management.

Accordingly, for the violation of those fundamental rights, former Central Bank Governors Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Professor W.D. Laxman, former Secretary of the Ministry of Finance S.R. Attygalle, former President’s Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, and the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, including the above persons, have been charged. The respondents have been ordered to pay the petitioners to Court fees of Rs.150,000/- each.

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya announced the majority decision of the bench with the concurrence of judges Murdu Fernando, Vijith Malalgoda, and Buwaneka Aluvihare.

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, who announced the decision of the majority of judges, stated that it was revealed during the petition hearing that the respondents held responsible positions during the period from November 2019 to August 2022.

It is clear that the respondents were aware of the possibility of an economic collapse and depression in the country during this period, but they did not take proper measures to prevent the crisis.

Despite the fact that economic experts including the International Monetary Fund have published that an economic crisis may arise in the country, it does not appear that the respondents had taken care of it.

As a result, the public as well as the country fell into a deep abyss and a situation arose where it was impossible to provide essential services such as electricity, gas, medicine and other essential services, the decision stated. The Bench decided that the statements made by the Respondents that they had taken all measures to curb the current economic crisis, cannot be accepted.

It is stated that through this, the Respondents have acted in breach of public trust and through that they have violated the basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

However, it is stated that the Court is not issuing orders to pay compensation in this regard, but orders that the Respondents should pay Court fees of Rs. 150,000 each to the Petitioners.

Judge Priyantha Jayawardena, a member of the 5-Judge Bench, who announced his minority judgment, ordered the dismissal of these petitions.

He had given the reasons for his decision that the petition will be dismissed based on several reasons including the fact that the petitions had not been filed within the proper legal period.

These petitions were filed against 39 people including former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Dr. P.B. Jayasundara.

These petitions were filed by Chandra Jayaratne, a former President of the Chamber of Commerce, Julian Bolling a swimming champion, Jehan Kanagaratne, Transparency International Sri Lanka Institute, Professor Mahim Mendis and a group of others.

39 people have been named, including the President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris, Current Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Finance Minister and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governors Ajith Nivard Cabral, Dr. W.D. Laxman, former Finance Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Ali Sabri, former Secretary of the Ministry of Finance S.R. Attygalle as Respondents in the petitions.

President’s Counsels Upul Jayasuriya and Chandaka Jayasundara, appeared for the Petitioners.

A group of lawyers including President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana, Shavindra Fernando, Manohara de Silva appeared for the Respondents.

The post Mahinda, Gotabhaya, Basil, Nivard, PBJ, et al responsible for country’s economic crisis – Supreme Court appeared first on DailyNews.

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