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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Attorney at Law and HRD  Namal Rajapaksa files FR petition at SC against Deshabandu Thennakoon’s appointment and promotions

Attorney at Law and human rights activist  Namal Rajapaksa has filed a fundamental rights petition at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka requesting an order to stop Deshabandu Thennakoon from being appointed as Inspector General of Police ( IGP) or given a further extension as Acting IGP as he has been convicted for torture by the SC. Further, the petition says that although the SC judgment on 14/12/2023, directed the National Police Commission and other relevant authorities to take appropriate disciplinary action against the officers [including Deshabandu Tennakoon] no action has been taken yet.

Excerpts  from the FR petition:

The Petitioners state that, the 1st Respondent, Mr. Deshabandu Tennakoon, the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) overseeing the Western Province, was appointed to the post of Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) on the 29th of November 2023, and is anticipated to be confirmed in the position of Inspector General of Police after a period of 3 months.

The Petitioners further state that, in the said Judgement Honourable Justice S. Thurairaja PC determines, withing pages 56 to 60, that the 1st Respondent to have conducted torture and grave violations of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, by quoting the following;

The Petitioners state that, in the overall said Judgement, the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on 14/12/2023, unanimously held that the Police Officer including the incumbent Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon has violated the fundamental rights of a former army soldier to freedom from torture, unlawful arrest, and arbitrary administrative action that denied equal protection of the law; subsequently ordering the National Police Commission to take disciplinary action against Tennakoon and the other Police Officers for the multiple infringements of fundamental rights, unlawful arrest and detention, and torture, discussed above.

The Petitioners submit that, the said judgment further directs the National Police Commission (NCP) and other relevant authorities to take appropriate action against the officers who are made responsible through the said judgment, and thereby these authorities have been given orders by the Supreme Court to take disciplinary action against the 1st Respondent as well.

“Therefore, we direct the National Police Commission and other relevant authorities to take appropriate disciplinary action against the officers we have found to be responsible.”

However, the Petitioners state that, the said judgement was delivered on the 14th of December and until now none of the authorities nor the NCP have taken any measures to take disciplinary action against the 1st Respondent despite being removed from his current position or denying the possibility of being appointed as the IGP.

The Petitioners further state that, this inaction and the failure to adhere to a Supreme Court judgement by the relevant authorities is thereby deemed to be an infringement and imminent infringement of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 12 (1) of the Constitution which reads;

In addition to that, the Petitioners also state that, the said failure to adhere to a Supreme Court judgement by the relevant authorities is also deemed to be in violation of the following Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties enshrined under Chapter VI of the Constitution;

The Petitioners state that, in these circumstances, there exists a clear cause of action to remove Mr. Deshabandu Tennakoon (1st Respondent) from his current position as Acting IGP, and further to prevent him from accepting any appointment as Inspector General of Police as such acceptance would constitute an infringement and imminent infringement of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the Petitioners and other citizens under Article 12(1) of the Constitution.

Declare that the action of the 1st to 19th Respondents have violated the Petitioners’ Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 12 of the Constitution,

An order not to extend the term of the 1st Respondent from the post of “Acting Inspector General of Police”,
An order to restrain the appointment of the 1st Respondent as “Inspector General of Police” in the future,
An order to the National Police Commission to initiate inquiry against the 1st Respondent and to submit the final report of the inquiry against the 1st Respondent on a date decided by Your Lordships’ Court

The petition: Namal Rajapaksa application re Deshabandu SC-FRA-06-2023

 

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