Registrars of Courts among four most corrupt institutions
Posted on August 21st, 2020

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

A smiling Sabry holds his mother after addressing the media at the Justice Ministry (pic by Shamindra Ferdinando)

Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, yesterday (17) said that four state institutions––the Police, Prisons, Government Analyst’s Department and the Registrars of Courts––were so corrupt that the country faced a daunting challenge to rectify the situation.

Addressing a gathering immediately after assuming duties at the Justice Ministry, Sabry explained how those responsible violated the rule of law.

Referring to recent explosive reportage of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) dealing in heroin, Minister Sabry briefly discussed how law enforcement authorities, Prisons, the Government Analyst’s Department and the Registrar of Courts contributed to unprecedented deterioration of law and order.

Among those present on the occasion were President’s Counsels Romesh de Silva, Gamini Marapana, Kalinga Indatissa and U.R. de Silva.

Separate Registrars are assigned to Magistrate courts, High Courts, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Minister Sabry said that according to a survey, Registrars of Courts were among the most corrupt in the country and he would examine the situation before announcing a plan on how to tackle the situation. He sought the support of all stakeholders, including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) to address contentious issues.

The minister said he knew how the people suffered untold hardships due to law’s delays. Continuing system failures ruined lives, the minister said, pointing out how child abuse affected the community.

At the onset of his brief address, Minister Sabry apologised profusely for having the meeting in a small room which could hardly accommodate those present. In spite of display of notices restricting the gathering of people due to continuing threat posed by covid-19 epidemic, over 100 were allowed in with most of those present not wearing face masks. Minister Sabry had to fight his way to the podium to address the gathering with Ministerial Security Division (MSD) being helpless.

Pleading that he wouldn’t do anything inimical to the Constitution and the people, Minister Sabry thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for giving him the challenging responsibility. The new minister vowed to overcome what he called daunting challenges.

The Minister quoted the Rajapaksa brothers as having told him to do the needful as he knew what the shortcomings and problems were.

Minister Sabry emphasised that his responsibility would be to implement policy decisions of the government and the cabinet of ministers.

Delivering an anusasana at the onset of yesterday’s programme, scholar Ven Medagoda Abeytissa Thera said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accommodated Sabry in the cabinet of ministers, in spite of serious protests as he had confidence in him. It would be Minister Sabry’s duty and responsibility to maintain President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s faith in him.

The Ven. Thera said that there was no point in hiding the fact that opposition political elements instigated protests against the top the justice portfolio being assigned to Sabry.

The Ven. Thera appreciated the role played by Sabry as a civil society activist in helping the then Opposition movement led by the Joint Opposition to turn the tables on the then government.

Referring to a recent statement attributed to Minister Sabry that the 19th Amendment enacted in early 2015 would be amended to suit the new government’s requirements, Ven. Abeytissa stressed that President Rajapaksa and the SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) had received mandates in 2019 and 2020 to introduce a new Constitution. The scholar monk emphasized that there should be one law for everyone. Therefore, now in his capacity as the Justice Minister, it would be his responsibility to fulfill the aspirations of the public.

Referring to the 2019 Easter Sunday carnage, Ven Abeytissa said that it would be the Justice Minister’s obligation to take measures to prevent the birth of more Zahran Hashims.

Commenting on the enactment of the 19th Amendment by the previous government, Ven. Abeytissa advised the Justice Minister to follow a policy of transparency in that regard.

Ven. Kamburugamuwe Vajira Thera warned of dire consequences unless the required far-reaching constitutional changes were introduced within a month or two. The Thera said that if the government failed to use its two-thirds majority immediately, it would have to regret its failure.

One Response to “Registrars of Courts among four most corrupt institutions”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Our judiciary is a joke, judges together with the corrupt and greedy lawyers are deliberately putting off court cases for decades. truly a heart less bunch and no politician or government will ever tackle this problem. Came from UK for a land case that went on over 2 decades and I was so angry when the lawyer told the junior lawyer to get another date and was so furious told the judge about my plight whereby he adjourned the courts and held the session on my land, reminding of the days a British justice held the courts in the field,somwhere south of the country.
    we need the colonial types to put the country back to glory days of the colonial times. Case next to my next building was completed in day where all submissions done in the morning and judgement was given in the afternoon. We are too primitive and backward and even corrupt to come to that standard.

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