Colombo Telegraph

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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