The first Permanent High Court-at-Bar set up to hear high-profile financial frauds and corruption cases was yesterday declared open by Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale. Accordingly, the mandate paper pertaining to this High Court was handed over to the Registrar of the Special High Court by Minister Thalatha Athukorale to carry out court proceedings.
Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale told the media that the government was able to fulfill one of its responsibilities by establishing this Special High Court in order to expedite the high-profile financial frauds and corruption cases.
The Minister further said that she will not hesitate to take stern action against the wrongdoers in prisons, irrespective of protest campaigns against new reforms.The first case at the Permanent High Court-at-Bar will be heard on August 24.
This is against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath, former Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Managing Director Piyadasa Kudabalage, former Samurdhi Commissioner Neil Bandara Hapuwinna and Lasantha Bandara for transferring of Rs.500 million from Litro Gas to Canwill Holdings Pvt Limited.
The Chief Justice had appointed three High Court judges to hear the cases in the country’s first special High Court. The special Trial-at-Bar will comprise the three High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne.
The Cabinet had given its approval to establish three Anti-Corruption High courts. This is the first Special High Court that established within the Hulftsdorp Court complex to try high-profile cases. The Government presented the Bill on March 6 to set up a permanent High Court-at-Bar to expedite cases of large scale corruption and financial crimes. This special court will hear cases involving money laundering, bribery and large financial crimes, dishonest misappropriation of property, and criminal breach of trust by public servants daily.