The Court of Appeal has affirmed theconviction of Colombo High Court to impose a five-year-Rigorous Imprisonment on former Akurana Divisional Secretary Mohomed HanifaMohomed Niyas for soliciting and accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 for the purpose of granting approval of a license to a metal quarry, in 2012.

Accordingly, the appeal filed by former Akurana Divisional Secretary challenging the conviction by Colombo High Court was dismissed by Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Devika Abeyratne and Justice P. Kumararatnam.

Meanwhile, Court of Appeal observed that there is no reason to interfere with the finding and conclusion of the trial judge since he has considered all the evidence properly.

On July 19, 2018, the Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga convicted the accused on two counts for soliciting and accepting a sum of Rs.50,000 as gratification from a businessman named Asanka Ranawana.

The accused was further ordered to pay a fine of Rs.10,000 on two counts.

Delivering his judgment, the trial judge observed that bribery and corruption have become a menace to society and he was passing sentence with the intention of deterring such crimes.

The Director General of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery Corruption had filed indictments against two accused former Akurana Divisional Secretary MohomedHanifa Mohomed Niyas andMohomed Ameen Asmir Ali. The indictments were filed against the second accused for aiding and abetting the first accused to commit the offences.

During the trial, the second accused admitted liability to both charges levelled against him and was imposed a sentence of one year rigorous imprisonment for each charge separately, suspended for 7 years and a fine of Rs.5000.

The indictments had been filed under Section 19 (b) and (c) of the Bribery Act against the former Divisional Secretary.

In his appeal, former Akurana Divisional Secretary sought an order to set aside the order made by the Colombo High Court Judgealleging that the Trial Judge had failed to analyse the evidence of the witnesses properly.


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