Oct 12, Colombo: The Court of Appeals today announced that the decision on whether to proceed with the writ petition against the appointment of former State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will be made on November 03.
This was decided when the petition was taken up before a bench of Justices Sobitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola.
The lawyers of both parties informed the court that the written submissions regarding the petition have been handed over to the court at the time of the initial objections against the petition as per the previous order.
Accordingly, the decision on whether the petition be dismissed accepting the preliminary objections or notice be issued to the respondents for further hearing of the petition will be announced on November 03.
The petition was filed by Rajitha Keerthi Tennakoon, a former Governor of the Southern Province.
The respondents were the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police, former State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Secretary to the President, Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka TMJYP Fernando.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who was the Governor of the Central Bank from July 2006 to January 2015, represented the ruling party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and served as the State Minister of Finance until September 13, 2021.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka on the recommendations of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Central Bank Bond Fraud conducted a forensic audit and according to the report of the audit, the government has incurred a loss of between Rs. 10.4 billion and Rs. 10.6 billion between 2005 and 2015 when Ajith Nivard Cabraal was the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the petition states.
The petitioner has also pointed out that the Government of Sri Lanka has incurred a loss of US $ 200 million through the hedging agreement headed by Cabraal.
The petition also states that his re-appointment as the Governor of the Central Bank will provide an opportunity to destroy, alter and influence witnesses in the Central Bank in connection with a criminal offense.
The petitioner alleges that although the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had submitted the report of the forensic audit on the losses incurred during the tenure of Ajith Nivard Cabraal as Governor to the Attorney General, no action has been taken against him so far.
Therefore, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, who has been accused by the recommendations of the Forensic Audit Report conducted on the recommendation of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry should be arrested and his statements should be recorded, the petitioner states.
The petition further seeks legal action against Ajith Nivard Cabraal and the issuance of Mandamus Writ orders directing the IGP and the Attorney General to take steps to file a case against him.
The petitioner also seeks the issuance of a writ order nullifying the recommendation of the Minister of Finance to appoint Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The petitioner further requests that an interim order be issued preventing him from acting as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka until a final decision is pronounced after hearing the petition.