Court takes up FR petition filed by TISL, 3 others demanding accountability for economic crisis

Date:

The fundamental rights (FR) petition filed in the Supreme Court by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and three other individuals against those responsible for the current economic crisis, which was initially set to be taken up for support for leave to proceed on 28 June, was taken up in court today (01).

Only three of the 13 respondents were represented in Court today, with the Attorney General having represented the first respondent, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while the eighth and ninth respondents, namely Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe and the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, were present in Court.

Counsel for the eighth and ninth respondents informed Court that a similar matter (SCFR 195/2022) had already been filed and was to be fixed for support before a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday (04).

Accordingly, the counsel requested that the court consider taking up both these matters together. The Court thereafter directed the matter to the Chief Justice to consider this request.

The Attorney-General (representing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa), Former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Former Secretary to the Treasury S.R. Attygala and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are amongst the 13 respondents named in the petition.

The Petitioners have sought interim relief restraining Mahinda Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse, Deshamanya Professor W.D. Lakshman and Ajith Nivard Cabral (Former Governors of the Central Bank) and S.R. Attygala (Former Secretary to the Treasury) from overseas travel without prior approval from the Supreme Court.

They also sought the appointment of a committee under the auspices of the Supreme Court to investigate the causes, steps taken by the respondents, and to compile a report on the financial irregularities and mismanagement of the economy, among other relief.

The petition was filed by TISL along with Chandra Jayaratne, Jehan CanagaRetna and Julian Bolling.

Chandaka Jayasundera PC appeared for the Petitioners along with S.A. Beling, Chinthaka Fernando, Sayuri Liyanasuriya and Manisha Dissanayake.

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