- Police Say CID Has Taken Over Investigation
By Ranee Mohamed
Concern is emerging over the investigations into the case of a 20 year old domestic maid who alleges that she was abused by the master of the house – a judge of the Court of Appeal.
A complaint was made initially at the Mount Lavinia Police by the victim, a resident of Santhipura area in Nuwara Eliya, that she was sexually abused by ‘Sarath Mahaththaya.’
“There are allegations by several interested parties and some reports that the case is being swept under the carpet, but this is not so,” said a highly placed source at the Women and Children’s Bureau. “The case has now been handed over to the CID for investigations,” said the source.
Police sources say that the allegations are that her breast was squeezed and her frock was pulled and that she was beaten.
“If these allegations were leveled at a layman, let alone a judge, we cannot yet make an arrest or do anything more than what we have already done,” said the police source.
“The Women and Children’s Bureau is handling this case with the same ardor as it does all other cases of abuse. There is no question of reports not being handed over or the case not being looked into,” said the source.
“There are many women who walk into the Bureau and say that sexual advances were made and when they refused, they were beaten. We always make our investigations irrespective of the individual,” said police sources at the Bureau.
It is also learnt that the police have handed over the girl to the custody of the Women and Children’s Division after which this division had kept her in safe custody at the Salvation Army Centre near the National Hospital.
It is learnt that the victim’s brother has made a complaint on this issue to the Nuwara Eliya police.
“I have serious doubts that the police have the guts and a free hand to conduct investigations into this type of case. There have been previous cases of allegations of assault of a court clerk by this judge. If the case against this woman is assault then that is very serious too,” said senior lawyer and Executive Director of Transparency International, J.C. Weliamuna.
Expressing concern over the abuse of authority, Weliamuna added that there was a similar instance about eight years ago, when another judge was involved in this kind of allegation. “There were attempts to cover it up resulting in Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan exposing it all.
“As the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was silent, the whole judiciary had to pay for it,” observed Weliamuna.
“A judge is a human being. If there is an allegation against a judge, it must be investigated. Anyone trying to cover up such an investigation is committing an offence,” said Weliamuna, who went on to say that he is concerned about the reluctance and the delay in this case.