The Supreme Court today granted leave to proceed with fundamental rights petitions filed seeking an order to take legal action against those responsible for financial irregularities and mismanagement of the economy.
Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Cabinet of Ministers who were functioning in the Cabinet when the alleged impugned decisions were taken were named as respondents in petitions.
The Supreme Court had earlier decided to name former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a respondent in the petitions since presidential immunity does not applicable to him following his resignation from the post of President.
The Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buveneka Aluvihare, Justice Vijith Malalgoda, Justice Murdu Fernando and Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya granted leave to proceed for violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 12(1) and Article 14 of the constitution. Three university academics, Sri Lankan swimmer and coach Julian Bolling, former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chandra Jayaratne, Transparency International and Jehan Canaga Retna filed these petitions urging authorities to take legal action against the main culprits responsible for the current economic crisis.
The petitioners had named 39 individuals including former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundara, former Governors of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and W.D. Lakshman, former Ministry of Finance Secretary S.R. Atygalle and Cabinet of Ministers as respondents. Upul Jayasuriya PC, Chandaka Jayasundere PC and Vishwaka Peries appeared for the petitioners Romesh Silva PC appeared for the Monetary Board. Gamini Marapona PC with Navin MaraponPC appeared for Basil Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksha. Shavindra Fernando PC, Anura Meddegoda PC, Nihal Jayawardena PC appeared for other respondents. Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)