The Supreme Court yesterday called for the Auditor General’s report pertaining to distribution of “Sil Redi” (fabrics used by devotees to observe sill) during the 2015 Presidential election campaign and directed the Attorney General to submit the concerned report in Court on or before March 31.
The Supreme Court two-Judge-Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Sisira de Abrew made this direction in connection with a fundamental rights petition filed challenging the distribution of “Sil Redi” during the Presidential election campaign in support of one particular candidate.
The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) and its Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi had filed this petition before the Supreme Court seeking an order directing anyone or more of the respondents to take legal action (disciplinary, criminal or any other) against those who had
violated the law with regard to public property and caused losses to the state during the period pertaining to the Presidential election 2015 campaign.
In this petition, the Elections Commissioner, Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon, Director General of the Road Development Authority, Director General of Central Cultural Fund, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General, former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and the Attorney General were named as the respondents.
The petitioners stated that the PAFFREL had participated in monitoring all elections since 1987 and thereafter the commissioner of Election has regularly invited the first petitioner to be an election monitor.
The petitioners stated that under Article 28(d) of the Constitution, it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka to preserve and protect public property and to combat misuse and waste of public property. The petitioners further stated that “Sil Redi” were distributed all over the island during the election campaign in supportive of one particular candidate.
The petitioners further sated that in the”Sil Redi” pack there was a leaflet promoting a particular presidential candidate and they were distributed for over 800,000 persons all over the island.
The petitioners moved to declare that one or more of the respondents have violated the fundamental rights of petitioners guaranteed under Article 12(1) of the Constitution.
Lakmal Sooriyagoda /DN