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Only Ministry Secretaries can order disciplinary inquiries : PCoI

11 September 2019 - 75   - 0

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) today (Sept 11) said that ministerial-level disciplinary inquiries can be carried out only on the orders of ministry secretaries and not ministers.

Investigators had made this statement when Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had appeared before the PCoI probing state sector corruption over a complaint filed against him.

I.M.K.B. Illangasinghe, a Director at the Education Ministry complained that Mr. Kariyawasam had ordered a disciplinary inquiry after he had given evidence against the minister before the PCoI.

It had been revealed that a disciplinary inquiry had taken place previously against Mr. Illangasinghe during his tenure as the Commissioner General of the Education Publications Department.

However, the inquiry had ended during the term of former Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Hettiarachchi.

During today’s commission sitting, Mr. Kariyawasam claimed that the officer who had carried out the inquiry had told him that the investigations against Mr. Illangasinghe had not been conducted properly.

The Education Minister said that he had then issued an order to recommence the investigations. However, the Commission had pointed out that he did not possess the legal authority to do so.

Mr. Illangasinghe had previously told the Commission that Minister Kariyawasam had ordered his colour photographs to be published in textbooks, thereby resulting in an excessive cost to the government.

(Pic by Indika Handuwala)

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