Financial Times

PBJ case to be mentioned


The case of the missing documents dominated the proceedings in the Supreme Court this week on the petition filed by former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera last month. The high profile former public official who was barred by the Supreme Court following the Lanka Marine Services (LMS) judgment from holding any public office is seeking again to take up the position of Treasury Secretary. In the Supreme Court on Monday before Chief Justice Asoka De Silva and Justices Shiranee Thilakawardena and K. Sripavan, counsel for Dr. Jayasundera, Faiz Mustapha had no explanation as to why three documents tendered to the Court and left with the registry to be sent to the petitioner, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and respondents in the LMS case were not received.

In addition, Mr. Mustapha said an amended petition tendered to the registry on 29 June 2009 went missing and he submitted a fresh set of the identical documents on 31 July 2009. So far, even the Justices have not seen a copy of the amended petition.

M.A. Sumanthiran who appeared for Mr. Nanayakkara said his client has yet to be served with any documents or notices. Mr. Mustapha said he also wants to file an affidavit with fresh details on the case which will be submitted to the Court within 10 days (from last Monday). The case will be mentioned on 24 August 2009.

The Supreme Court found Dr. Jayasundera to have acted above his authority, violated provisions of the Constitution and was disqualified from holding public office. The amended petition filed by Dr. Jayasundera states that he is not guilty of any misconduct and had noted in a letter to the President dated 25 July 2008 that he had ‘maintained the highest level of integrity and…discharged…duties with utmost commitment in good faith and in the best interests of the country and never compromised under any circumstances the public interest…’

The petition states that Dr. Jayasundera received a letter dated 25 May 2009 from the Secretary to the President directing him to resume duties as Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Treasury Secretary. The petition further states that the letter from the Secretary to the President is asking Dr. Jayasundera to assist in the massive development programme following the liberation of the North and East and to restore socio-economic progress.

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