Mar 12, Colombo: Former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi has filed a Fundamental Rights petition at the Supreme Court claiming that the state has incurred a Rs.15.9 billion loss due to the reduction of taxes on imported sugar.
The petition alleges that the fundamental rights of the people of the country have been violated due to the non-receipt of the relief to the people by failing to prevent the corrupt activity.
The petitioner seeks the apex court to issue an order to the Attorney General to institute legal action against those responsible for causing the losses to the state.
Further, the petitioner requests the Supreme Court to order Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the respondents to take necessary measures to recover the losses and to recover Rs. 500 million as compensation.
Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Sunil Handunnetti and Member of the Central Committee Sunil Watagala filed the complaint.
the Attorney General on behalf of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundara, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance. SR Attygalle, former CWE chairman Nushad Perera, the importer Pyramid Wilma, its chairman Sajath Mausoon, Consumer Affairs Authority Chairman Shantha Dissanayake and the Attorney General have been named as respondents in the petition.
The petitioner states that the government has incurred a loss of Rs. 15.9 billion by reducing the tax levied on sugar imports to 25 cents from Rs. 50.00 per kilogram.
Mr. Sunil Handunnetti points out that the Ministry of Finance has also reported the matter to Parliament and states that the tax rate has been reduced in order to provide relief to a group of pro-government businessmen.
The Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance Anura Priyadarshana Yapa in January said that although the tax on the price of imported sugar was revised to 25 cents from Rs. 50.00 per kilogram through the Gazette Notification No. 2197/12 issued by the Ministry of Finance on 13th October 2020, it did not benefit the consumers at all.
The petitioner requested the Supreme Court to rule that the respondents were responsible for this act and that they had violated the fundamental human rights of the people of the country.
Mr. Handunnetti also requested the Supreme Court to issue orders to the respondents to repay the amount of Rs. 15.9 billion lost to the government due to the reduction of sugar import duty and order the Attorney General to file cases against the respondents under criminal law.
In addition, the petitioner further requests the Supreme Court to issue an order to the respondents to pay Rs. 500 million as compensation to the petitioner for the violation of basic human rights.
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