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Sakvithi: Central Bank cannot be held responsible - SC

COLOMBO: The Central Bank could not be held responsible when gamblers lose their money, observed Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga refusing to inquire into the alleged rights violation of eight depositors who had been allegedly cheated by Sakvithi Ranasinghe out of their deposit money.

The Bench comprised Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi and Justice K.Sripavan.

Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga refusing the leave to proceed in three rights applications filed by eight depositors noted that they could not complain of any rights violations since they had entered to agreements with individuals, but not with any state institution.

Justice Amaratunga pointed out that the petitioners had withdrawn their money from licensed commercial banks and deposited them with rogue individuals expecting higher rates. He regarded it as outright gambling.

Petitioners including Buddhika Lakmal Wijesekera of Kadawatha and seven other complained to the court that the first respondent Monetary Board of the Central Bank had failed to take any action until the Sakvithi Ranasinghe defrauded thousands of depositors of over Rs.700 million.

The petitioners stated that the first respondent Monetary Board had been well aware of the risks in the aftermath of the Pramuka Bank case. It however waited for four years without taking any action to stop the illegal activities of the 11th respondent Sakvithi Ranasinghe.

He stated that the monetary Board the sole authority maintain the financial stability of the country failed take steps cast upon by the Financial Companies Act.

The petitioner sought Court to declare that the petitioner and the others who had deposited money are entitled to be repaid by the Central Bank. The petitioner cited 12 respondents including the Monetary Board of the Central Bank, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Sakvithi Ranasinghe and the Attorney General.

Counsel Upul Jayasuriya instructed by Priyalal Sirisena appeared for the petitioner.

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