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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Lawyer seeks SC jurisdiction not to appoint Deshabandu as IGP

By LAKMAL SOORIYAGODA

Colombo, Jan. 11 (Daily Mirror)- A lawyer of the National People’s Power (NPP) has filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking an order restraining the Constitutional Council from granting approval to the President with regard to the appointment of Acting IGP Deshabandu Thennakoon as the IGP.

The petitioner Harshana Nanayakkara, an Attorney-at-Law by profession, stated that the Presidential Commission appointed to inquire into the Easter Sunday bombings of 2019 had made several findings of serious negligence and or lapses on the part of numerous public officials, and officials serving in the Sri Lanka Police including Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon and had recommended taking disciplinary action against them.

The petitioner further said Deshabandu Tennakoon who had at his disposal considerable Police presence and the use of emergency regulations, had failed to prevent the mob that attacked unarmed citizens at Galle Face in front of the Presidential Secretariat, at which location he was physically present.

He further said that as of May 16, 2022, the Attorney General’s Departments had identified Senior DIG Tennakoon as someone who was involved in the incidents of 09 May 2022 and had directed further investigations in relation to him. By 30 May 2022, the Attorney General’s department had recommended expeditious criminal investigations into the conduct of Tennakoon.

The petitioner further stated that the Supreme Court had recently held that respondents, including the incumbent Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon have 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.

The petitioner further said the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court had issued summons on Tennakoon to appear before Court. This was based on an allegation that he had aided and abetted in committing the offence of criminal breach of trust with regard to Rs. 17.8 million recovered by protestors inside the President’s House on 09 July 2022.

The petitioner is of the view that in light of the above, granting Deshabandu Tennakoon more responsibilities and power, as that which is reposed in the office of the IGP, is arbitrary and irrational and would imperil the safety, security and right to equal protection of the law of the citizens of Sri Lanka.

This petition had been filed through Attorney-at-Law Manjula Balasooriya.

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