Parliamentarian Wijedasa Rajapksha, who filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court, seeks a declaration that the agreements entered into between the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Fund and Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) are not valid in law.


The respondents, in this case, are Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Members of the Cabinet, Attorney General, Chairperson and members of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Inspector General of Police, directors of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology,

PetitionerRajapaksa states that he instituted these proceedings as a matter of public interests litigation.

Parliamentarian Wijedasa Rajapksha said late Lalith Athulathmudali established the “Mahapola Trust Fund” with his own money by depositing a sum of Rs. 10,000, and the said trust was later converted to a statutory trust by enacting Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund Act No. 66 of 1981.

The Petitioner states that he was dismayed and surprised when it was noticed by the petitioner that the control of Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) has been completely taken over by Sri Lanka Institute of Information (Guarantee) limited severing the ownership of the Mahapola Trust Fund.

The Petitioner states that in 2015 Mahapola trust fund has granted scholarships to 11,147 students in the State Universities and 2047 students of the Vocational Training Institute. By the end of 2020, 66,214 students were taking scholarship grants from Mahapola Trust Fund and so far, the Fund has granted scholarships to a total number of 317,000 students.

The Petitioner states that it was surprising to observe that Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, then Minister of Food Security within whose authority the Mahapola Trust Fund remained, and Dr Sarath Amunugama, then Minister of Higher Education had signed as witnesses to the documents the fact that there was no resolution passed by the Board of Trustees to enter into the agreements. Further, it was unbecoming for ministers to become witnesses especially to the said purported indentures which smacks the illegality on the face of it.


The Petitioner states that the Auditor-General Department after having a special investigation on the said matter issued the report dated 07.09.2018 and recommended among other things that the trustees of the Mahapola Trust Fund are responsible for causing a loss to the fund amounting to over Rs. 1,645,494,237 by extinguishing the ownership and the controlling authority of the said SLIIT institute.

The Petitioner states that F. J & G De Saram, Notaries had executed the Indenture of Lease No. 952 by which Mahapola Trust Fund had agreed to lease out the 25 Acre land (only the land) in which SLIIT is situated for sixty years at an annual rental at the commencement is fixed at Rs. 20 million.

The Petitioner states that the said two documents are prima facie invalid and fraudulent whereas the purported agreement is not attested by F. J & G. De Saram, Notaries and similarly a document does not contain an attestation.


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