Rishad Bathiudeen files petition to prevent arrest | Daily News

Rishad Bathiudeen files petition to prevent arrest

Parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen has filed a Writ petition at the Court of Appeal preventing him from arresting. The writ petition had been filed through his lawyer.

Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen through his lawyer has filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal seeking an Interim Order restraining the CID from arresting him.

He was charged for criminal misappropriation of public funds, violation of election laws with regard to the transportation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in SLTB buses to vote at the 2019 Presidential Election.

This petition filed through counsel Gowry Shangary Thavarasa named the CIDs Commercial Crimes Investigation Unit OIC, CID Deputy Director, acting IGP and the Attorney General as respondents in the petition.

The petitioner said there are more than 12,000 IDPs living in Puttalam District. Bathiudeen said that on or around November 14, 2019, the petitioner as the Minister in charge for Resettlement of Protracted IDPs was informed and it was brought to his attention by relevant stakeholders that the said IDPs although the IDPs had registered to vote in the Vanni District they were unable to secure transport facilities on the day of the Presidential Election falling on November 16, 2019 and are in need of transport facilities to travel to their places of origin in Vanni to exercise their universal franchise.

Bathiudeen further stated that having realized the urgency of the issue, with less than two days left for the elections, the petitioner immediately wrote to the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking his approval for the Project Management Unit for the Resettlement of Protracted IDPs operating within the purview of the petitioner’s Ministry to facilitate the transport of the IDPs through buses belonging to the SLTB. The petitioner said the Prime Minister’s office positively responded to his letter directing that suitable steps should be taken.

Bathiudeen further stated that the Election Commission Chairman had informed the SLTB Chairman by letter dated November 14 that there are no objections on the part of the Elections Commission to provide transport to the IDPs provided the relevant IDPs made payment for providing transport facilities. He further said then Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had also given his approval for this project.

The petitioner said the SLTB Depot Manager for Wayamba region had written to the project Director of the Project Management Unit (PMU) indicating that the buses can be provided at Rs.9,529,060.

The petitioner said thereafter Rs.9,529,060 was released to the SLTB by the PMU for their services.

He said findings carried out by the respondents and material unearthed during the investigation has no basis in law and investigations are politically motivated and the petitioner is politically victimised.