The Bribery Commission is due to expire tomorrow but the cases which have been given directions will continue without any hindrance, said the Chairman of the Bribery Commission, Justice Ameer Ismail yesterday.
He said that if the appointment of the new commission is not made immediately then the investigations and complaints will come to a halt.
“This is because the constitutional committee is presently inactive so therefore the appointment of new members to the Bribery commission has now become a problem and we are not eligible to be reappointed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police Neville Guruge, the former director of the Bribery Commission-investigation department said “investigation is the most important division in the bribery commission but no director has been appointed since I left on 20th January 2009 and still the vacancy has not been filled. The vacancy should be filled by a senior police officer (S.S.P)”
“Presently the assistant of the investigations department Sarath Somaweera Lokuge- Superintendent of Police is acting as the director of the investigation department,” said S.S.P Guruge.
S.S.P Neville Guruge as a director for three and a half years had helped in awareness programmes about bribery and corruption throughout the island.
According to him the public had knowledge only about bribery and were not educated enough on corruption. According to him out of the 100 people in his department only 80% were utilized for investigation purposes and the rest were in the administration section.
He said that if the reappointment of the commission is not done immediately, it will affect the complaints and investigations. “Thus a new commission and a director for the investigation has to be appointed immediately,” the S.S.P. said
The law says that the three member committee must include two members retired from the Supreme Court or Court of appeal judges and one has to be a retired Inspector General of Police, who is experienced in investigation and maintaining law and order.
The Selection is done by the Constitution Council but the appointment is given by the president.
The present members of the Bribery commission are Justice Ameer Ismail (chairman), P. Edirasuriya and Indra de Silva. Based on the recommendations by the constitution committee appointed under the 17th amendment of the constitution, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga had appointed the three members of the Bribery Commission in March 2005 to be valid for five years. During this year alone, 331 complaints have been received so far.