Move to clear heavy backlog:
New Commission to clear 3,000 bribery cases
The newly appointed members of the Commission to Investigate
Allegations of Bribery and Corruption are in the process of clearing a
staggering 3,000 bribery cases which had piled up during the 13 months
of its inaction, Chairman Justice D. J. de S. Balapatabendi told the
He said the Commission received 112 new cases, during the past two
weeks after assuming duties.
“We discuss 50 - 75 cases during working hours and take home around
25 - 30 files daily. This is a lot of work”.
He said their intention is to clear the heavy backlog of bribery and
corruption cases that had accumulated during the one year when it was
President Mahinda Rajapaksa revived the Commission by appointing
Chairman Balapatabendi, a retired Supreme Court judge and Commissioner
Justice L. K. Wimalachandra and Jayantha Wickramaratne two weeks ago.
“When we took over the office there were over 1,600 files of new
cases on the table in addition to over 1,700 pending cases where
preliminary investigations had been completed.”
He said the Commission is also in the process of bringing in
amendments to the Bribery Act following consultations with the
Presidential Secretariat to introduce tougher laws to penalise the
offenders as they feel the existing laws are highly outdated. “We need
to amend the Sections that spell out penalties. The existing penalties
are not at all sufficient to fight the menace of bribery and corruption
in the public sector.
The Legal Draftsman will be notified through the Presidential
Secretariat shortly to introduce changes”, the chairman said.
He said the Commission will not hesitate to take action regarding any
person irrespective of his or her stature. However, he cited the need
for additional staff including legal officers to perform more
effectively to stamp out bribery and corruption from the society.