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Businessman’s FR petition against unlawful arrest, torture hearing on Nov.1

A fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by a businessman, against his unlawful arrest and torture by the Kadawatha Police, on suspicion of theft, was listed for hearing on November 1.
Petitioner Suriyaarachchige Lakshman de Silva and his wife B.M. Ajantha Weerasunghe cited Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Chaminda, OIC Crimes Division Viraj, Sgt. Dissanayake, Crimes Division PC Ratnayaka, all of Kiribathgoda Police station, Peliyagoda Deputy Inspector General (DIG) B. Cramer former Inspector General of Police (IGP) M. Balasuriya and the Attorney General (AG) as respondents.

The petitioner stated that he was a contractor involved in paint work, and that, he had carried out a contract job for the 5th respondent Cramer to the value of Rs. 450,000, which he had not settled for a considerable period. Petitioner stated that, as he had been pestering the 5th respondent for payment, the 5th respondent had, in connivance with the 1st, 2nd and 4th respondents and all Police Officers had arrived at his residence and searched his premises in his absence. They had threatened the 2nd petitioner, his wife, and wanted her to come to the Police station, where she was abused in foul language and forced to sign a statement that she would produce her husband at the station.

The 5th respondent Cramer, along with the other respondents from Kadawatha Police, arrested the petitioner, when he had visited a friend of his to seek legal advice on this matter, and taken to the station. There, he was assaulted mercilessly and remanded. He was produced before the Magistrate and released on August 30.

The petitioner stated that his unlawful arrest and detention violated his fundamental rights under the Constitution. Senior State Counsel Shanaka Wijesinghe informed Court that the AG was not appearing for the 3rd and 4th respondents.

As the 3rd and 4th respondents were not present and unrepresented, the Court listed the case for February 15, to ascertain whether the respondents would seek time to file their objections.


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