The Supreme Court today dismissed with costs a fundamental rights petition that challenged the integrity and honesty of the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris and the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera.
The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices P.A. Ratnayake, Sathya Hettige and S.E. Wanasundera refused leave to proceed with the fundamental rights application filed by a Customs officer who claimed that former Attorney General AG (present Chief Justice) Mohan Peiris had prevented the Customs from obtaining Rs.619 million from a company.
The petitioner Customs Deputy Superintendent T.R. Rathnasiri cited Mohan Peiris in his personal capacity, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, Customs Director General Sanath Jayatilake, Customs Director Tilak Perera, the Board of Investments (BOI) and Colombo Dockyard Company Ltd as respondents.
The petitioner in his applications said on October 7, 2000 he discovered a massive revenue fraud running into more than half a billion rupees.
Mr. Rathnasiri claimed that both Mr. Peiris and Mr. Jayasundara were directly responsible in denying the government the receipt of public funds to the tune of more than Rs.619 million allegedly defrauded by the respondent Colombo Dockyard Company Ltd.
The petitioner alleged that the Colombo Dockyard Company Ltd., which is a Board of Investment approved company, had sold 21 marine craft without the prior BOI approval or after the payment of the fiscal levies to Customs.
He alleged that the Colombo Dockyard Company Ltd. had collected the entire fiscal duty component of Rs.619 million from the buyers (Sri Lanka Navy and the Ports Authority) and then had misappropriated the total sum so collected without paying a single cent to the Customs.
The petitioner Customs officer complained that there was a violation of Customs laws by the conduct of respondents Mohan Peiris, P.B. Jayasundara, Customs Director General and the Attorney General and as such he was denied his fundamental rights.
Counsel Nagananda Kodituwakku appeared for the petitioner. K. Kanag Iswaran PC appeared for the Colombo Dockyard Company Ltd and Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando appeared for the Attorney General and the Customs. (SSS)