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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Detained M.P. Rishad Bathiudeen petitions Supreme Court : “Arrest and detention both unlawful”

In his Fundamental Rights petition to the Supreme Court  detained member of parliament  Rishad Bathiudeen says that ” there no reason exist for the Minister of Defence or any other person to believe or suspect that the Petitioner is concerned with or connected with any unlawful activity as contemplated by Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 and as such there is no material to justify the issuance of any detention order under the provisions of Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979. The Petitioner further states that he has not committed any act, which would constitute an offence or an unlawful activity under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, and or any other Law. Hence, in the circumstances the arrest and continued detention of the Petitioner by the Respondents, are a grave violation of his Fundamental Rights.”

The sections dealing with the arrest and detention:

The unlawful arrest of the Petitioner

  1. The Petitioner states that he was residing at 410/16, Baudhdhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07 with his wife and two of their children.
  2. The Petitioner states that in the early morning of 24.04.2021 a large number of police officers led by Mr. G.D. Kumarasinghe the 1st Respondent came to his residence and arrested him. On being asked why he was being arrested the Petitioner was informed by the officers of the CID that they have to question him regarding his alleged connection with the business activities of Collossus Pvt. Limited.
  3. Before the arrest the Petitioner has tweeted stating that his brother Bathiudeen Mohamed Riyaj too has been arrested and the CID is attempting to arrest him without a charge.

 “The CID has been standing outside my house in Boudhaloka Mawatha since 1.30 am today attempting to arrest me without a charge. They have already arrested my brother. I have been in Parliament, and have cooperated with all lawful authorities until now. This is unjust.”

 The screenshot of the said tweet of the Petitioner is annexed hereto marked as “P-3” and the same is pleaded as part and parcel hereof.

The Petitioner in addition to the tweet has uploaded a video before the arrest where he inter alia states that he inquired from the CID as to whether they informed the Hon. Speaker of the Parliament relating to his arrest and/or whether they have any warrant to arrest him. Nevertheless, there was no response from them.

 The copy of the CD containing the said video of the Petitioner is annexed hereto marked as “P-4” and the same is pleaded as part and parcel hereof.

  1. The Petitioner’s wife was permitted to see him on 26.04.2021 at the CID and she was handed over a document termed a “Receipt of Arrest” dated 24.04.2021. The said document stated that the Petitioner was arrested for questioning regarding aiding to mobilize funding for terrorist activities and abetting in the conspiracy of the attack on 21.04.2021”.

A copy of the said Receipt of Arrest is annexed hereto marked as “P-5” and is pleaded as part and parcel of this Petition.

  1. The Petitioner states that he never assisted to mobilize any funding for any terrorist activity nor was he in any way concerned in the said terrorist attack and therefore his arrest was unreasonable, mala-fide and illegal.
  2. The Petitioner states that as he was a political leader of the Muslim Community he was singled out for hostile discrimination with a view to satisfying certain sections of the population and therefore his arrest was for a collateral purpose.
  3. After his arrest the Petitioner was detained at the CID for three days purporting to be under Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979. The Petitioner states that the said detention was contrary to law and illegal.
  4. On 27.04.2021 the Petitioner’s wife tried to complain about the violation of the fundamental rights of her husband to the Human Rights Commission but she was informed that due to the prevailing Covid 19 pandemic the Human Rights Commission does not personally accept complaints and to send the said complaint by Registered Post. Accordingly the Petitioner’s wife on the same day sent the said complaint to the Human Rights Commission by Registered Post.

Subsequently on 12.05.2021 the Petitioner’s wife received an acknowledgement from the Human Rights Commission dated 06.05.2021 acknowledging the receipt of the said complaint.

A copy of the said complaint sent to the Human Rights Commission dated 27.04.2021 is annexed hereto marked as “P-6”and is pleaded as part and parcel of this Petition.

A copy of the said acknowledgement dated 06.05.2021 and a photocopy showing the envelope on which it was received are annexed hereto marked as “P-7” and “P-7a” respectively and are pleaded as part and parcel of this Petition.

  1. The Petitioner states that his arrest is unlawful in as much as;
    1. There was no basis on which the 1st Respondent would have reasonably formed the opinion that the Petitioner had committed any offence;
    2. The said arrest has been made mala fide and unreasonable;
    3. The said arrest has been made for a collateral purpose mainly to victimize him.

The Unlawful Detention of the Petitioner

  1. Thereafter on 27.04.2021 the CID obtained a Detention Order from His Excellency the President as the Minister of Defence to detain the Petitioner for 90 days at the CID purporting to be under Section 9(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 as amended. The Petitioner is presently detained at the CID. The Petitioner reiterates that his detention is unreasonable, contrary to law, illegal and in violation of his Fundamental Rights guaranteed and protected under the Constitution.

A copy of the said Detention order dated 27.04.2021 bearing No. MOD/LEG/PTA/51/2021 is annexed hereto marked as “P-8” and is pleaded as part and parcel of this Petition.

  1. The said detention order states as follows. “…………. Abdul Rishad Badiutheen of No. 410/16, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07 is connected with or concerned in unlawful activity to with: conspiring, aiding and abetting to the suicide bomb attack by Mohamed Ibrahim Inshaf Ahamed on 21.04.2019, engaging in activities detrimental to religious harmony among communities and knowingly concealed such information from the police”.
  2. The Petitioner states that his detention is ex-facie illegal in as much as;
    1. The said purported detention order has not been made in terms of the law;
    2. There is no basis on which the Petitioner could be justifiably detained
    3. There is no material to reasonably believe or to suspect that the Petitioner is involved in any unlawful activity as alleged in the said detention order.
    4. The Petitioner apprehends that His Excellency would have been misled by officers of the 1stRespondent and/or the CID and/or others with respect to the Petitioner which resulted in his unlawful detention.
  3. The Petitioner states that there is no rational object and/or purpose is served by keeping the Petitioner in detention.
  4. The Petitioner categorically denies that the Petitioner,
  5. aided and abetted the suicide bomb attack carried out by Ibrahim Inshaf Ahamed on 21.04.2019
  6. was engaged in any activity detrimental to religious harmony among communities, and
  7. concealed any information related to above from the police.

The Petitioner verily believes that the investigation conducted by the CID pertaining to the Easter Attacks or the testimony of witnesses at the Parliamentary Select Committee and the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the said Easter Attacks does not disclose any material / evidence incriminating and / or connecting the Petitioner in respect of the matters referred to in the aforesaid Detention Order.

  1. The Petitioner states that no reason exist for the Minister of Defence or any other person to believe or suspect that the Petitioner is concerned with or connected with any unlawful activity as contemplated by Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 and as such there is no material to justify the issuance of any detention order under the provisions of Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979. The Petitioner further states that he has not committed any act, which would constitute an offence or an unlawful activity under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, and or any other Law. Hence, in the circumstances the arrest and continued detention of the Petitioner by the Respondents, are a grave violation of his Fundamental Rights.
  2. The Petitioner states that his arrest and detention is illegal, unlawful, contrary to law, mala-fide and done for a collateral purpose. The Petitioner further states that the law does not provide to arrest a person and thereafter look for evidence to prosecute him.

Read  the complete petition here: Rishard Bathiudeen FR pettion May 2021

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