Court calls for report on ‘invalid’ police promotions

By Telles Anandappa

The Supreme Court has called for a report on allegations of arbitrary police promotions cited in a petition filed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and two retired SSPs.

In their petition, SSP R. A. P de C. Ranaweera and retired SSPs B. P. B Ariyapala and L. A. S. Lekamge claim that an interview board had promoted police officers to the rank of Deputy Inspectors General of Police, whereas such promotions could be done only with the approval of the Police Commission.
The bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka de Silva and Justices Gamini Amaratunge and Ms. C. Ekanayake.

According to the petitioners, both the interview process and the interview board should have been approved by the Police Commission. To the best of the petitioners’ knowledge, the Police Commission alone had the authority to make such promotions and the entire interview process was therefore invalid.

The three petitioners claimed they had the required qualifications to be appointed DIGs, but were not given the opportunity at their interviews to talk about either their qualifications or their seniority. They said they were not seeking to discredit those officers who had been promoted, but were only stressing their own eligibility for promotion.

Attorney J. C. Weliamuna told court that the first petitioner, R. A. P de C. Ranaweera was a senior SSP who had served as Contingent Commander of the United Nations Mission in East Timor. Court ordered the State Counsel to look into the matter and submit a report on October 7, when court would give a date to file objections. The petitioners cited IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne; Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa; Defence Ministry Secretary K. C. Logeswaran, and Defence Ministry Additional Secretary Hasitha Kumari Balasooriya, as respondents.

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