Judicial Service Commission Gathering Information Regarding Complaints Against Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewavasam Prior to Commencing Inquiry Into His Alleged Professional Misconduct in the Case Against Dr. Mohammed Shafi

By Aanya Wipulasena

The Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has been instructed to gather all information with regard to the complaints received on the Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam in order to begin deliberations on the issue, Sunday Observer reliably learns.

The JSC, which is headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya is likely to meet to deliberate on the issue early next week, Sunday Observer learns.

According to highly placed sources the JSC will consider the complaints lodged against the magistrate and the collected evidence independently and decide on whether an inquiry is to be initiated against the Magistrate whose actions in the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court have been called into question by several parties and observers to the case.

Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen a senior House Officer of the Kurunegala teaching hospital was arrested after the Easter Sunday Attacks for alleged connections to terrorist organisations, amassing wealth and for sterilizing females without their consent.

The complaints against the Magistrate were largely based on alleged conflicts of interest and his conduct in handling the case.

Concerns were raised when the magistrate allowed the Director of the hospital dentist Dr Weera Bandara on June 27 to make extensive submissions in open court when he was not a party to the matter.

Speaking at the Parliamentary select Committee appointed to inquire into the Easter Sunday attacks Director of the CID SSP Shani Abeysekara said that Dr Weera Bandara who was not a plaintiff, defendant or even the aggrieved party in the matter was allowed to make submissions.

However, when later the CID had taken steps to obtain the proceedings of the case on the date the submissions of the director was missing.

According to SSP Abeysekara when the CID queried the missing statement in the official record of court proceedings, the registrar had summoned the stenographer who had conveyed that the Magistrate had advised that this statement was to be excluded from the record. The Magistrate has denied the claim that he expunged Dr Weerabandara’s statement and berated the CID for spreading misinformation.

The Complaints to the JSC were filed by the wife of Dr Shafi, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) through the IGP and the Young Journalists Association.

Courtesy:Sunday Observer