The Supreme Court granted permission to proceed with various fundamental rights petitions that seek legal action against several individuals, including former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, and 36 others. The allegations pertain to financial irregularities and mismanagement of the economy. Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chandra Jayaratne, swimming champion Julian Bolling, Jehan Canagaretna, and Prof. Mahim Mendis filed these cases.
The respondents include the Cabinet of Ministers, the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, former Governors of the Central Bank, Professor W.D. Lakshman and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former Secretary to the Treasury S.R. Attygala, former Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundere, former Finance Minister Ali Sabry P.C., and present member of the Monetary Board S. S.W. Kumarasinghe. Other respondents include present and former members of the Monetary Board, such as Sanjeeva Jayawardena, P.C., and Dr. Ranee Jayamaha.
The Court directed the Auditor General to conduct an audit and submit a report by November 3. The audit will cover the decision made by the Monetary Board to set the value of the Sri Lankan rupee at Rs. 203 against the US dollar, the delay in seeking assistance from the IMF, and matters related to the settlement of the sovereign bond of US dollars 500 million on January 18, 2022, using foreign reserves. The Auditor General is also tasked with auditing the losses caused to the Central Bank by such payments.
Furthermore, the Court instructed Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank, to produce copies of all communications and recommendations given to the aforementioned individuals and entities by the Central Bank on or before November 30, 2022.
The Monetary Board is also directed to produce copies of all reports given to former Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, as per Sections 64 and 68 of the Monetary Law Act, by November 30, 2022. The matters are scheduled to be mentioned on January 9, 2023. The bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Vijith Malalgoda, and Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya