Arjuna Mahendran yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the Treasury bond scams that he had not taken the oath of public servants when he assumed duties as the Governor of the Central Bank.
Giving evidence before the commission, Mahendran said that he had not been aware of such a protocol. Nor those who appointed him to the post had informed him of it. Mahendran said so in response to questions raised by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera PC.
Senior Additional Solicitor General: You told this commission under oath that you would state only the truth nothing but the truth.
Senior Additional Solicitor General: You are supposed to discharge your duties as the Governor of the Central Bank for the stability of the economy.
SASG: You were also a public servant and it is a mandatory requirement that you render your duties in such a manner as to gain public trust.
Mahendran: Yes, I accept that.
SASG: While you were giving evidence on a previous occasion you stated that you had not taken the public servants’ oath as per the provisions of the Section 165 of the Constitution. That mean you did not take an oath pledging to uphold the Constitution of Sri Lanka and serve the people in accordance with the Fourth Schedule.
SASG: All public servants should take that oath.
Mahendran: I was not aware of it.
SAG: Don’t you know that it was a constitutional requirement?
Mahndran: None of the appointing authorities informed me of that requirement.
SASG: Are you still not aware that each and every public servant should take that oath?
Mahendran: I am not aware.
SASG: It is mandatory in accordance with the Section 165 of the Constitution.
Mahendran: I was not aware of that.
SASG: All heads of department in the public sector should take that oath. As the governor of the Central Bank you should have done so, but you state that you did not do that? Now you state that you did not know that.
SASG: As the Governor of the Central Bank you should serve the interests of the people and the country. You are bound by the law to do so. But, you have not taken that oath. There has been a serous lapse on your part.
Mahendran: Your honour, I cannot comment on that.
SASG: I stress that you did not want to serve the people and this country. You wanted to serve yourself and your son-in-law Arjun Aloysius.
Mahendran did not respond to that.