Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bribery Commissioner’s Officers are worse than Police Officers! - the case of Canagasabai Ranjan

It is well known that the Police Department in Sri Lanka extracts confessions using heavy handed techniques. It is usually the innocent parties that are accused who face the real wrath as they face considerably more harassment and abuse, and physical torture as it is assumed they are guilty before being innocent.

So it takes a lot of courage for an innocent person to get through torture and come out of a false charge, as he or she is traumatized from the episode. Some have been killed under torture and no charges have been brought against the offending law enforcement officers.

It appears that a worse case of this occurred with the bribery officers named in the article in the link who will most likely not face disciplinary procedures for their illegal behavior towards an innocently accused official of the Customs Department. The accused has said that the treatment meted out to him by the Bribery Commission was worse than one would expect from the Police, and the former are supposed to have some sense of propriety, even if the latter still suffer from their past practice.

The Tamil customs officer Canagasabai Ranjan with 30 years impeccable service in the department on the eve of a promotion to additional Director General of Customs was accused of soliciting a Rs1M bribe inside the Customs Department.

The very person who could not be bought off by a crook who imported spares by false declarations, was accused by the same crook and made to undergo inhuman threats from the same crooks cronies, and was held under interrogation until finally being released on bail pending the legal process which will take a long time to go through.

If he has good legal advice he will no doubt make an FR claim and include the fact that he was deprived of a promotion as a result too, as well as all the harassment he had to undergo, due to a corrupt customs service, where honest people find it hard to work in when big shots in the customs have habitually taken the biggest single bribes outside of politicians in Sri Lanka. 

One only has to look at the wealth of customs officials when they join the service and the net worth when leaving to determine how fraudulent some of the officials are. It therefore is a travesty of justice that all honest officials have to work under trying conditions with these threats just because they are incorruptible.

I trust he will be able to obtain good legal advice and be able to clear his name without recourse to a lot of time and stress, and let us hope the real culprits will be apprehended and charged. 

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