FR petition challenges risky investment of employees’ moniesView(s):
SC directs members be informed of strategy and policy of EPF
The Supreme Court directed the Deputy Solicitor General to inform the relevant authorities to intimate to Employment Provident Fund members whenever there are revisions periodically, when the fundamental rights petition filed by 12 trade unions representing EPF members, challenging the arbitrary investment of their funds by the Monetary Board and the Central Bank, was taken up on February 15.
The petitioners cited the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka (MBSL), Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Chairman of the Monetary Board, P.B. Jayasundera, Nimal Welgama, M Ramanathan Neil Ajantha Umagiliya, Pearl Weerasinghe, Commissioner General of Labour, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the Attorney General as respondents.
The petitioners state that in 2002 there was a policy decision on investment in securities adopted by the MBSL and this was disclosed to the public on the official website. They claimed that the investment should only be made to increase the return on the fund and not to take control over a company. The petitioner stated that there were investments made outside ‘blue chip’ companies which were outside the stipulated policy and carried a high risk.
The petitioners alleged that the policy which was disclosed in the website was deleted and as at now no information of the revisions, if any, are made known to the EPF members, violating their right to be informed about the investments of the members’ funds which are public money.
The Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice Mohan Pieris Justices K Sri Pavan and P.A. Ratnayake having heard counsel for both sides was of the view that the members of the EPF have a right to know the investment strategy and policy of the EPF in terms of Article 10 and 14(1) a and directed Deputy Solicitor General S. Rajaratnam to inform the relevant authorities J.C. Weliamuna with Mevan Bandara appeared for the 12 trade unions.
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