Bribery com. near death

Complaints of bribery or corruption cannot be investigated after March 29, Sri Lanka’s top-most anti corruption official declared yesterday. Amir Ismail, Chairman of the Permanent Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption, said the term of the Commission would end on that day.

The former Supreme Court judge said that under the Act, the Commission needs to give directives to proceed with new investigations or conduct raids. The other members of the Commission are former Supreme Court judge P. Edussuriya and former Police Chief Indra de Silva.

The Bribery Commission is appointed by the Constitutional Council. But as the CC has not been re-constituted the commission cannot be appointed.

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Act passed in 1994 specifies the manner in which the members should be appointed. “The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council,” according to the act.

The Act specifies that the Commission shall consist of three members, two of whom shall be retired judges of the Supreme Court or of the Court of Appeal and one of whom shall be a person with wide experience relating to the investigation of crime and law enforcement.

Constitutional Affairs Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara responding to the situation said the president might wait till the General Elections were over to take a decision.

The Constitutional Council, the supreme body for making appointments to high posts, has not been functional due to differences of opinion over the nomination of members to the Council.

As a result the Public Service Commission and the Police Commission have not functioned for the past year since their terms lapsed.

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