Court order against publishing COPE report

Court order against publishing COPE report

July 16, 2015   11:17 am

The Colombo District Court today issued an interim injunction preventing the publishing of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sub-committee report on the Central Bank bond issue, until July 23.  

The COPE sub-committee was appointed to look into the controversial bond issue and compile a report following concerns raised in Parliament by the opposition over controversial deals made by Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Arjun Aloysius, the son-in-law of Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

Deputy Minister of Justice Sujeewa Senasinghe had moved the Colombo District Court seeking an interim injunction preventing the publishing or circulation of the said report before it is handed over to the Speaker of Parliament, citing that it was illegal to do so. 

The court issued the interim injunction, effective until July 23, and also issued notice on the respondents named in the petition including former COPE chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara.   

At the Feb. 27 auction, the government had raised more than 10 billion rupees ($75.2 million) from the sale of a 30-year treasury bonds at a yield of 11.73 percent, after initially offering just 1 billion rupees with an indicative price of 9.5 percent.

The CB had announced it was accepting bids worth Rs. 10 billion at 9.50-12.50 per cent whereas clients and most primary dealers had made bids between 9.50 and 10.50 per cent, not in the 11-12 per cent range. Only a few bids, including those by Perpetual Treasuries were made in the 12 per cent range.

A panel of legal experts probing auction had cleared the central bank chief of any direct role in the decision to increase the size of the sale by 10 times, while calling for tighter supervision of the government’s borrowing office.

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