MP Sunil Handunnetti’s complaint against Bribery Chief
1. I Sunil Handunnetti being a member of Parliament of No. 43/20, Nugagaha Place, Piliyandala Road, Maharagama, wish to make the following complaint to the Bribery or Corruption Commission against Dhammika Jagath de Silva Balapatabendi who is currently holding the post of Chairman, of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption, who was a member of the Bench of judges presided over by Sarath N. Silva in SC Sp. LA No. 84/2008. In this matter the appellant was M/S Vehicle Lanka Pvt. Ltd. This Company is manipulated and/or owned or managed by one Harsha Prabath de Silva. I am tendering a copy of the certified copy of the Journal entry of 2 June 2008. (D3)
2. On 02.06.2008, In case number SC (Spl) L.A. No. 84/2008 of M/S Vehicle Lanka Pvt, a positive order was made by the bench to register 145 vehicles with RMV (Registrar of Motor Vehicle) and report to court on the 3 of the same month. Mr. Balapatabendi was one of the Judges of this bench.
3. Despite the vehicle, bearing number KG 9321 (Chassis No. AT211-6018287), being registered in the name of Saman Punyasiri Fernando on the 20-01-2011 the Revenue Licence for the same vehicle was issued on the 10 June 2008, in favour of Sampath Mudiyanselage Sujeewa Navodya Weligalle of Ratnarama Road, Boralesgamuwa. This vehicle is one of the 145 vehicles registered as per the order of the Supreme Court dated 2 June 2008, in which Mr. Balapatabendi was a member of the bench making such order.
4. According to the extract of the Vehicle Registration obtained from the RMV on 27.06.2013 the Owner of the vehicle as at that date was Mr. Dhammika Jagath de Silva Balapatabendi of 173/14 C, Mihindu Mw, Dehiwala. In fact he has become the owner of the said vehicle No. KG 9321 Emperor on the 13-01-2013 as the same was transferred by Mr. Saman Punyasiri Fernando.
5. Whereas, when another extract of the Registration obtained from the RMV— D4, as at 18.09.2013 from the RMV, two additional names, Mr. Jahinge Senerath Jayasinghe and Mr. Sampath Mudiyansalage Sujeeva Navodaya Weligala respectively had been inserted (fraudelently back dated) as owners from 22.04.2013 and 06.06.2013. This is a falsified fraudulent registration committed by Balapatabendi as he was the Registered owner of the Emperor vehicle bearing registration No. KG 9321 at least up to 27 June 2013.
6. Even though Mr. Balapatabendi is the registered owner of the vehicle bearing Registration No. KG 9321 from 9-06-2008 to 09-06-2014 the Revenue Licence had been applied for and obtained in the name of one Mr. Sampath Mudiyanselage Sujeewa Navodya Welligalla. (Refer to Certificate issued by Divisional Secretariat of Dehiwala - D5). The Vehicle Registration Certificate and the copy of the previous Revenue Licence are mandatory requirements for obtaining a Revenue Licence. Hence it is obvious that a forged Vehicle Registration Certificate had been submitted by Mr Balapatabendi, or with his connivance and/or collusion, to obtain the Revenue Licence in another person’s name (Mr. Welligaila).
7. In the Petition filed by the Petitioner in CA Spl. LA No. 84/2008 In Para 27 of the petition (page 3 of D6) an assurance given by M/s Vehicle Lanka Pvt. Ltd. (Harsha Prabath Silva) which reads as follows; “The vehicle assembled by the Petitioner was traded under the name of Emperor and the names such as Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota are not used by the Petitioner”.
Notwithstanding this assertion, during the period of ownership Mr. Balapatabendi had used the said vehicle with the Toyota badges (Refer to photograph – D7) Mr. Balapatabendi was well aware of the fact that the vehicle that was used by him was an “Emperor” vehicle, given that he has registered the vehicle as “Emperor” under his own registration with the RMV, when in fact he was using the same vehicle in the name of a “Toyota Corolla”. Here again Mr. Balapatabendi had acted in a corrupt manner.
8. This vehicle had not been insured during the period of Mr. Balapatabendi’s ownership. Using a vehicle without valid insurance is an offence. The first time it was insured was on the 5 of June 2013. However, as per the RMV registration obtained on the 18-09-2013 confirms that even on June 27, 2013 Balapatabendi was the Registered owner of the vehicle, and was transferred finally to the same Weligalle on the 06-06-2013 by a fraudulent manipulation at the RMV, with the connivance of Balapatabendi. It is therefore alleged that it is Harsha Prabath who has obtained the services of Weligalle and Jayasinghe along with Saman Fernando to give a bribe of a Motor Vehicle to Mr. Balapatabendi.
9. As per the statement made by Harsha Prabath Silva to the Bribery Commission on the 3l December 2012 he has alleged that Ranjan Kanagasabai had asked for a bribe only on 26 December 2012, whereas a complaint to the Bribery Commission was made against Ranjan Kanagasabei only on the 31St December 2012. This fact is also confirmed by IP Abeysinghe of the Bribery Commission. However Mr. Harsha Prabath de Silva had been making frequent telephone calls to Mr. Balapatabendi prior to the Complaint made to the Bribery Commission which reinforces the fact that they were known to each other by virtue of the bribe, in terms of the “Emperor” car that was given to Mr. Balapatabendi and they were in communication with each other.
10. At the time relevant to the so called purchase of the vehicle bearing registration No. KG 9321, the Chairman of the Bribery Commission had several Bank accounts in which he had no money to the value of the said vehicle, to be able to purchase the said vehicle by making a valid payment. His account numbers of such Bank accounts are given here for easy reference. Commercial Bank Account No. 8580013156, Com. Bank Savings Account No. 8870008038, and Bank of Ceylon Account No. 28462746949.
Mr. Dhammika Jagath de Silva Balapatabendi, who is also the Chairman of the Bribery Commission, should be treated as an ordinary suspect in a normal case upon inquiry concerning the complaint. No confidence can be placed on the additional two commissioners too, since they continue to sit with the Chairman of the Commission on other matters and derive various facilities that are decided upon by the Chairman of the Commission. In this particular case so long as the suspect remains as the Chairman of the Bribery Commission and exert statutory authority on the officers of the Bribery or Corruption Commission I do not expect any Justice to be meted out to this allegation or any other allegation that is pending in the commission. This situation is also an insult to the entire commission and to the entire Country along with the Judiciary as this is the first time ever that there has ever been an allegation of proved corruption against a Judge of the Supreme Court in a country riddled with bribery and corruption. However in the name of justice and equity I am making this complaint to you to investigate this Complaint giving it the priority that it deserves as this complaint is made against the very person who is statutorily tasked with the duty of investigating Bribery or Corruption and initiate proceedings against him as required by Law.