Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Sampath B Abayakoon, J. while deciding on an appeal against conviction and sentence of the appellant, dismissed the appeal as it lacked merit.
The appellant was sentenced to 8 years of rigorous imprisonment with fine along with paying Rs.9000/- against Section 26 of the Bribery Act. The Appellant, who was the land officer allegedly took bribe in order to arrange the permit for a land. The Appellant alleged that this incident was a political conspiracy at the instigation of a government minister of the area as his wife’s family members were strong supporters of an opposition political party. Most of the factual events that took place were admitted by the appellant except for the solicitation and the acceptance of the money. It was contended further that the High Court judge failed to consider the defence fairly, in the equal footing and as a whole, hence, the rejection of the defence was a misdirection.
The Court observed that the victimization because of affiliation to opposition party had happened 5 years ago and there is nothing to say that he himself was a subject of such victimization as claimed & thus, the claim has no basis. The Court also rejected the claim that money was forcibly planted to frame the appellant.
Therefore, the Court found no merit in the present case and it was subsequently dismissed.[Girigoris Jansage Lesli Senadeera v. Director-General, 2022 SCC OnLine SL CA 1, decided on 21-02-2022]
Anil Silva, PC for the Accused-Appellant
Subashini Siriwardena, Addl. Director General of the Bribery Commission for the Respondent