29 September, 2020

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LfD Condemns The Move By The Govt To Pass The Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill

By Colombo Telegraph

The  Lawyers for Democracy calls upon all political parties to take a principled stand on the  government’s attempt to pass the Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill through Parliament disregarding the numerous concerns expressed by the legal community, political parties, Human Rights groups and civil society groups.

Lal Wijenayaka -Convener LfD

“This will be another instance where the government will be using its 2/3rd majority dubiously obtained by the crossing over of opposition members and not on a mandate from the people.  The government has no moral or legal right to make use of this majority as it is obtained against the provisions of the constitution and violating the principles of proportional representation.” says Lal Wijenayake, the Convener of the Lawyers for Democracy.

Issuing a statement LfD says; “The impact of this legislation has to be considered in the context of the happenings of resents times where it is seen that a process is in place to deprive the people of the democratic rights that they enjoyed for years, including the Rule of Law, independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights.”

We publish below the statement in full;

 

Statement by ‘Lawyers for Democracy (LfD)’ on the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill:

LfD condemns the move by the government to pass the Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill through Parliament disregarding the numerous concerns expressed by the legal community, political parties, Human Rights groups and civil society groups.

This will enable a suspect arrested without a warrant to be detained at a police station for 48 hours without producing the suspect before a magistrate.

The Law as it stands makes it obligatory for the Police to produce a suspect arrested without a warrant before a magistrate within 24 hours.

We are aware of a numerous instances where even this existing provision has been abused by the police, notorious for its ill treatment of suspects in custody.  This provision has existed for well over 100 years and no necessity has arisen for a change in the Law.  Specially in the face of advances made in science and technology in the investigation of crimes.

The impact of this legislation has to be considered in the context of the happenings of resents times where it is seen that a process is in place to deprive the people of the democratic rights that they enjoyed for years, including the Rule of Law, independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights.

Further, the Supreme Court has held that this legislation is in consistent with this Article 13(2) of the Constitution and has to be passed by a 2/3rd majority.

This will be another instance where the government will be using its 2/3rd majority dubiously obtained by the crossing over of opposition members and not on a mandate from the people.  The government has no moral or legal right to make use of this majority as it is obtained against the provisions of the constitution and violating the principles of proportional representation.

We call upon all political parties to take a principled stand on this vital issue as this is just one chain of events to follow aimed at suppressing the democratic rights of the people.

Lal Wijenayake

Convener Lawyers for Democracy.

‘Lawyers for Democracy’ (LfD) is a representative body of legal practitioners throughout the island.  Conveners include Lal Wijenayake, Chandrapala Kumarage, J. C. Weliamuna, K. S. Ratnavale, Sudath Netthisinghe, Sudarshana Gunawardana.  It was established on 10th December 2009’.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Don’t bank on Ranil Wicramasinghe

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    Instead of making the process more efficient and quick we have the government fixing the laws to suit the outmoded procedures of the police. Any citizen knows the state of our police stations. They are more the dungeons of hell than the service of law enforcement.

    Justice delayed is justice denied. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet the govt is in haste to approve yet another piece of ill concieved legislation which will affect the ordinary public not any terrorist.

  • 0
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    Will MR bring laws for the release of convicted criminals in times of tension and conflicts in the country, for purpose of committing further crimes on law abiding citizens and judges and to shatter the Rule of Law.

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    Dear Mr. Wijenayake and other LfD activists,

    You are very great people of our time against injustice, but be watchful of your lives as already some of you have got threaning letters ( Weliamuna, Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Sumanthiram etc). Though your voices are not heard loudly at present as you do not get adequate publicity since media today do not play their role, your attempts are very great.

    I have heard that Mr. Lal Wijenayake is a well respected person from Kandy who maintains his long standing principles has not got a single benifit/favour for him, from any government, though he had helped to highest authorities maintaining his principles eg- he appeared for D.M. Jayaratne when his lawyers from Colombo ( Stanly Thilakaratne) was not allowed to get out from Peradeniya Rest House by UNP thugs. You did not care of the powerful UNP government as you stood for justice & democracy.

    I write this to inform the readership of a great person. Now it is our responsibilty to protect lives of such people from political threats.

    Sahadevan

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    Ranil and the UNP officials would have got their Kappam already to support this bill. Dictatorship in Sri Lanka has been completed. The President paying money to get 2/3 majority in the Parliament by buying the UNP members and then building personal files on each of the UPFA parliamentarians now controls the legislature. Getting the legislature to act against the court order and impeaching the CJ, and appointing an international liar as the cheap justice has made sure that the legislature and in return the President has taken control of the judiciary. So why do we need this bill? Even if a person is locked up for 24 months without presenting him or her to courts, nothing would happen. The cheap justice would always give a decision which supports the government. Even if this does not happen, like what happened to the University Students in Jaffna, lock them up under the Terrorism Act and in the name of sending them for training show them by torture (since the training is not a voluntary training) what would be the cost if they oppose the government.

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    The proposed law should enforce ‘private investigation’ about alleged offences commited by those brought before them by police,by magistrates conversing with them to obtain their side of the allegations,prior to deciding on custody or bail.
    Too many citizens are being “automatically” remanded on allegations by police.
    There have been instances when persons visibly injured, are remanded.The magistrate never inquires as to how these injuries occured.
    This is allowed – even required – by law,but never adhered to,by magistrates.
    Now this has become imperative,as police now can hold persons in custody for 48 hours,during which period intimidation by the ‘usual’ means could occur.

  • 0
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    LfD,
    At least this time you got it right. Problem is; you have a lousy record. Shed your partisan image, pick the right things and fight for the common man and oppose the government, people will back you to the hilt.
    Leela

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    Lawyers for Democracy -LFD- is constituted by a few remaining lawyers with exceptional moral and professional integrity who have displayed exemplary courage in defying and resisting the bulldozing drive by the Mahinda Rajapakse Junta to monopolize, centralize and perpetuate state power in the hands of the ruling dynasty. The present criminal procedure amendment is a focal point in this drive towards enforcing the “naked terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (Lenin), unrestricted by any constitutional or legal limits-as in the case of the impeachment, Divi Neguma and the 18th Amendment. This is an issue confronting all citizens who value democracy, freedom and just common decency. It should be raised into a powerful People’s Movement for Freedom and Democracy that can unify all protest and resistance by the workers, farmers, fishermen, students, youth, women and the oppressed nationalities in a common front of struggle to overthrow the Regime.

    All strength to the LFD.

    Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe
    Secretary,
    Ceylon Communist Party ( Maoist)

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