By Gamini Gunawardane –
Writing on the Malaka fiasco you recently referred editorially, to the famous judgments of King Kekille. The latest turn of events where the complainant Major Pradeep is reported to have filed an affidavit in courts withdrawing his complaint against Malaka and others, seem to subvert the present Criminal Justice System to head towards the Kekille system. At this rate it might end up hanging the JAIC Hilton Hotel manager for running a casino in his hotel!
The Premadasa regime made Sotthi Upali a Reserve Sub-inspector of Police. This government could improve on President Premadasa by appointing Malaka too to the police and going one step further, attach him to the Police Narcotics Division!
Jokes apart, the poor Major could now be liable to be charged for making a false complaint implicating the innocent Malaka, under Section 180 of the Penal code or may be under sec.208 as the case may be, of course upon the sanction of the Attorney General in terms of sec. 135(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. But that is only if the Rule of Law prevails in this country. However it will be interesting to see what the Magistrate would do as he has correctly called for medical reports from the Military Hospital where the major had been warded consequent on this incident.
There seems to emerge a pattern in the incidents involving Mervyn and his son. (It reminds one the grave digger Jerry Cruncher and his son in Charles Dickens’ novel,’ Tale of Two Cities’). In the incident where Mervyn assaulted an official on duty at the Rupavahini Corporation, the victim did not make a complaint to the police. When his son Malaka assaulted the Narcotics Bureau officials no action was pursued. When Mervyn tied a Samaurdhi animator to a tree at Kelaniya in the presence of a police officer, the Samurdhi animator claimed that he voluntarily tied himself to a tree and that he deserved to be tied to the tree for neglect of duty on his part.This duo seems to be enjoying a queer kind of immunity that only the incumbent President of this country is entitled to. In fact this was underlined when some SLFP members of a Pradesheeya Sabha in the Kelaniya electorate agitated that Mervyn should be removed from the Kelaniya seat owing to corruption, a President’s sibling asserted that this man could be removed from office if at all, only by the President himself and by no other. This duo seems to be a standing embarrassment to the President, or are they?
Whatever may be the eventual outcome of this fiasco, which of course is not difficult to predict, I think the stories of King Kekille and those of Mahadenamuttha, should be taught at the Police College, SLIDA and at the Judges’ Institute. It will enlighten the present and future generations of Police Officers, Judiciary and the Bureaucracy and also the intlligensia as to how they contribute to subvert the Rule of Law in a country. It may be ironical here to recall the words of an IGP of old when he described the police as “the handmaid of Justice”. In the same breath I am reminded of an occasion where the Late G.G. Ponnambalam QC after demolishing a Justice of the Peace of dubious back ground in the witness box, summed up his cross examination with the remark : ” neither Justice nor Peace”. How prophetic!
*Gamini Gunawardena, Senior DIG (Rtd)