Maligakanda Magistrate Lochana Abeyewickrema yesterday (20) ordered four people including the director of the Medical Supplies Division of the Health Ministry, Dr. Kapila Wickramanayaka to be remanded until November 29 over the substandard immunoglobulin vials import case.
The others who were remanded are Niran Dhananjaya (Accountant – Supplies), Assistant Director D. Solomon and Stock Controller Sujith Kumara.
Also, the Magistrate allowed the Criminal Investigation Department’s request to inspect the files in the office of Dr. Kapila Wickramanayaka tomorrow (22).
The Magistrate ordered the Director General of Health to keep the office locked until the inspection.
The Magistrate also said that since the four suspects work as Government employees in the Medical Supplies Division and the payment of Government money without checking the accuracy of the WOR certificate submitted by the first suspect in the relevant transaction amounts to negligence of professional responsibility.
The Magistrate observed that as public servants they should be more responsible in placing signatures on important documents and should act with utmost care when dealing with medicines prescribed.
Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama representing the Attorney General informed the Court that Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake, Director of the Medical Supplies Division, has neglected his responsibility by not looking into issue of whether the immunoglobulin vaccine has been imported into Sri Lanka following proper procedures and other suspects have committed and offence under Section 386 of the Penal Code amounting to criminal misappropriation, offences against the Public Property Act and aiding and abetting in a conspiracy, by accepting the relevant vaccine stocks and paying Rs. 44 million on six occasions without properly inspecting the vaccines and without WOR certificates.
Deputy Solicitor General Girihagama said that Government money cannot go to the supplier’s account without the agreement of the supplier and the second suspect, adding that this has happened as a result of a conspiracy.
Speaking on behalf of the second suspect, Saliya Peiris PC said that before this incident, his client went for overseas for training on 04.01.2022 and returned on December 16.
Saliya Peiris PC said that he was appointed as the Director of the Medical Supplies Division after that.
He also said that the Medical Supplies Division does not conduct tests in research laboratories regarding the condition of drugs.
He further said that the Medical Supplies Division only stores and distributes medicines and Dr. Kapila Wickramanayake has not committed any offence.
Peiris said that the procurement process should be investigated and that the payment was made with the approval of the Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
He went on to say that it is not justified to charge officials of the Ministry of Health without investigating the Secretary, the Minister and the procurement process.
Earlier in the day the four suspects were arrested by the CID over the substandard Immunoglobulin import case.