The Court of Appeal has ruled that the provisions of the Right to Information Act also apply to Members of Parliament and that they are bound by law to submit statements of assets and liabilities.
Confirming a decision given by the Information Commission to release a list of members of parliament who submitted asset and liability statements. The decision has been given by the Appellate Court bench comprising Mr. Sampath Abeykon and P. Kumaran Ratnam.
Announcing the decision, the Court of Appeal Judge Mr. Sampath Abeykoon has stated that the Members of Parliament are a group appointed by the public.
The verdict states that the people are maintained by the public and they are bound by law to declare their assets and liabilities.
The judge pointed out that it is an offense under the law not to declare assets and liabilities in such a way and a magistrate has the ability to impose a prison sentence not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or both.
On June 21, 2018, journalist Mr. Chamara Sampath had sent a letter to the Secretary General of Parliament and requested to issue a list of the names of the Members of Parliament whose assets and liabilities have been declared.
But the request was rejected by the Secretary General of the Parliament and journalist Mr. Chamara Sampath submitted a complaint to the Information Commission.
The Information Commission which investigated the complaint had ordered the Information Officer of the Parliament to release the information requested by the complainant.
The Court Reporter stated that the Secretary General of the Parliament had filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal against that decision.
After a lengthy hearing, the Appellate Court of Justice bench, which announced the decision, stated that the facts contained in the petition were baseless.
Accordingly, it has been stated in the judgment that the appeal of the Secretary General of Parliament is rejected confirming the order given by the Information Commission on 02 February 2021 to release the statements of assets and liabilities.