- Allegations of bias and misconduct against Kurunegala Magistrate
By Shehan Chamika De Silva
The wife of Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen and the Young Journalists Association filed two separate complaints with the Judicial Services Commission alleging bias, and misconduct of Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam.
Earlier the Criminal Investigations Department(CID) in a B- report filed before the Kurunegala Magistrate Court stated that the Magistrate had ordered the expunging of statements made by the Director of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital A. M S Weerabandara.
The Young Journalists citing several issues with regard to the conducting of the inquiry including allegations of bias states that the Criminal Investigations Department in their report dated July 11 had informed the Magistrate that 9 out of the 10 complaints against Dr. Shafi were forged by the Kurunegala Police.
Dr. Weerabandara on June 27 informed court that the HSG test which was scheduled to be conducted on 147 females who complained of sub- fertility, would cause death, cancer or other complications on the women.
Following his submission the Magistrate suspended the test which was to be conducted. However, the CID had called for reports from nine Government and Private Hospitals on the veracity of the claim by Dr. Weerabandara. The hospitals include the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, the Ragama Teaching Hospital, the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, Asiri Central and Durdans Hospital among others. Among the 10,000 females who had undergone the HSG tests since 2014 there were only four reports of “breathing difficulties” and zero deaths the B- report states. It also states that the Director of the Kurunegala Hospital had misled Court, falsified complaints and had obstructed the officers of the Criminal Investigations Department who sought documentary evidence regarding the claims made by him in Court on June 27th.
The CID in its report dated July 11 stated that they had requested for a certified copy of the Proceedings which included the submissions made by Dr. Weerabandara against the conducting of the HSG test among others.
However, they had been informed by the Chief Registrar that the submissions made by Dr. Weerabandara were ordered to be expunged by the Magistrate.