Yesterday the Attorney General said that he is considering prosecuting DIG Vass Gunawardana for abducting and assaulting Nipuna Ramanayaka in 2009. Earlier both Attorney General and Police only prosecuted only DIG’s wife, son and a few police officers.
A team of Colombo Crime Division (CCD) police officers had abducted and assaulted Nipuna Ramanayaka.
Recalling the incident he told media in 2009 “I went to the canteen after I finished my exam around 12.30 p.m. There I saw the SSP’s son. He came and knocked on me and pointed me out to some men. But I didn’t take notice.
“Then later when I was going to a friend’s house with a friend of mine, a jeep stopped by us and five people in civvies got down. One of them had a T-56 while the other four carried pistols. They ordered me to get into the jeep and made me lie on the floor of the jeep. One of them kept his leg on my face while the others pointed their guns at me. They told me that if I got up that they would shoot me. One of them called Ravindu and asked him to come to Pittugala.
“When we were at Pittugala, Ravindu came and started to pistol-whip me while I was inside the jeep. He then ordered the men to blindfold me and tie my hands and legs. After that I heard him calling his mother and asking her to open the gate,” he said.
“Inside the house they started beating me with cricket stumps and hokey sticks. At that point I couldn’t even walk. Ravindu’s mother then walked in and scolded me in filth. She called me a beggar and took my purse and the three hundred rupees inside it. They cut my hair and shoved it in to my mouth. The mother started kicking my face and even stood on it,” he said.
“After several hours of torture they put me back into the jeep. Near Borella they untied me and took my blind fold off. The SSP then spoke to me and said ‘so you’re the one who has a problem with my son’.
“Then I was taken to the CCD. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs. So they dragged me to the fourth floor where the SSP’s office was. There he told another police officer that he should frame me for a bomb case and put me in jail for six years.
“I pleaded with him not to do so. Then he said I had to give a statement. In the statement they only asked my name, address, ID number and phone number. The rest was made up and written by them. I saw the policeman writing the statement jotting down underworld figure Olcot’s name. They were trying to link me with him. At that time my parents walked in to the CCD. They reprimanded the SSP and then brought me to a hospital.
This is the petition filed against Vass Gunawaedana by Nipuna Ramanayaka and his mother seeking to prosecute DIG Vaas Gunawardana re abduction of Nipuna in 2009.;
In the Court of Appeal of the democratic socialist republic of sri lanka.
In the matter of an application under and in terms of Articles 140 of the Constitution of the Republic for a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus.
1. R. Gnanalatha Ramanayake(nee Ranasinghe) Sirisanda, Dippitigala, Lellopitiya, Ratnapura.
2. A.R.D.Nipuna Dhanushka Ramanayaka of Sirisanda, Dippitigala, Lellopitiya, Ratnapura Currently residing in 29, Manor Park Way, Sheffield, S2 1 WP, United Kingdom.
Application No- Vs.
1. Hon. Attorney General, Attorney General’s Department, Colombo 12.
2. Vaas Gunawardana, Deputy Inspector General of Police of the Western Province-North Range,Office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police- North Range, Peliyagoda.
3. N.K. Illangakoon, Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, Colombo 01.
4. S.D.K.K.Senanayake Officer-in-Charge, Athurugiriya Police Station, Athurugiriya. RESPONDENT
TO HIS LORDSHIP THE PRESIDENT, AND THEIR LORDSHIPS; THE OTHER HONOURABLE JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA.
On this day of March 2013.
The Petition of the Petitioners above named appearing by Lilanthi De Silva their registered Attorney-at-Law state as follows;
- The 1st Petitioner is the mother of the 2nd Petitioner, Ariyapperuma Ramanayakalage Don Nipuna Dhanushka Ramanayaka who is now pursuing his post graduate studies in the United Kingdom. The 1st Petitioner has three daughters one of whom is still attending a School in Ratnapura. The Petitioner further states that the facts relating to this Petition relate to an incident of abduction, assault and torture of 2nd Petitioner on or about 4th August 2009, where the 1st Respondent failed to exercise the statutory duty to prosecute the 2nd Respondent.
A copy of the Marriage Certificate of the 1st Petitioner and the Birth Certificate of the 2nd Petitioner are annexed hereto and marked P1 and P2.
- The Petitioners impugn the failure of the 1st Respondent to indict the 2nd Respondent who was complicit in the abduction, torture of the 2nd Petitioner and the move to cover up the said incident in abuse of the power vested in his as a public officer in the subject matter of this application.
- The Petitioners state that;
(a) The 1st Respondent is the Hon. Attorney General, who is vested with the authority to order investigation and prosecution of suspects in terms of the law.
(b) At the time material to this application, the 2nd Respondent was the Senior Superintendent of Police and was the SSP in Charge of the Colombo Crimes Division. He is now a Deputy Inspector General of Police. The Petitioner impugns that the 2nd Respondent was complicit in the abduction and torture of the 2nd Petitioner carried out by the son the 2nd Respondent and some Police Officers under the direction and control of the 2nd Respondent morefully set out below. The Petitioners state that the 2nd \Respondent’s wife and son are being prosecuted in the Magistrate Court of Kaduwela in M.C Kaduwela Case no B4577 and therefore they are not being made parties to the instant application.
(c) The 3rd Respondent is the Inspector General of Police and is made a party for the purposes of notice.
(d) The 4th Respondent is the Officer-in Charge of the Athurugiriya Police Station who has filed the charge sheet in the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court in case number B4577 which is relevant to this application.
- The Petitioners state that on or about 4th August 2009, the 1st Petitioner received a telephone call at or about 3.00 p.m. from Mr. Hewawasam an administrative officer at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (hereinafter referred to as SLIIT) stating that the 2nd Petitioner had been abducted by a group of persons. The Petitioner and her husband immediately left for Colombo and the following transpired;
(a) The 1st Petitioner received several phone calls from the 2nd Petitioner’s batch mates that the 2nd Petitioner had in fact been abducted by one Ravindu Gunawardana and some other police officers in civil clothing who are assigned for the protection of Ravindu Gunawardana. Ravindu Gunawardana is the son of 2nd Respondent.
(b) The 1st Petitioner had telephoned a few relatives residing in Colombo and a politician from Ratnapura who were informed of the said abduction. Thereafter the 1st Petitioner received a call from the said politician who informed her that he was informed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) that the 2nd Petitioner had been abducted by persons with higher authority.
(c) The 1st Petitioner states that thereafter the Athurugiriya Police directed the 1st Petitioner and her husband to go to the Colombo Crimes Division Headquaters Dematagoda (Hereinafter referred to as the CCD).
(d) The 1st Petitioner states that they arrived at the said CCD at about 8.20 p.m. on the same day and informed a police officer guarding the entrance that she had come to see the 2nd Petitioner who was in custody at the CCD. However, the 1st Petitioner nor her husband were let into the CCD building and was kept waiting for over half an hour.
(e) After a lapse of over half an hour the 1st Petitioner and her husband were taken to the office of the 2nd Respondent located on the 3rd floor.
(f) The 1st Petitioner met Ratnayakalage Duminda Kumara, E.M.C.M Seneviratne, W.D.G. Rasika Prasad Gunarathne and R.M. Pulasthi Hansaka Bandara who were colleagues of the 2nd Petitioner were already at the CCD with the hope of meeting the Petitioner’s son. However, they were unable to do so.
(g) Thereafter the 1st Petitioner was permitted into the office of 2nd Respondent and the following transpired;
(i) When the 1st Petitioner inquired as to the whereabouts of the 2nd Petitioner, he informed the 1st Petitioner that the 2nd Petitioner had assaulted the 2nd Respondent’s son on that morning and he had no option but to place the 2nd Petitioner under arrest. The 1st Petitioner denied this allegation.
(ii) Further the 1st Petitioner inquired as to how the 2nd Petitioner had in fact assaulted his son when he had police protection at all times.
(iii)Then 2nd Respondent changed his tone and admitted that there has been a mistake and suggested that they arrive at a settlement. He further went onto offer monetary compensation and to sponsor the education and accommodation for the 2nd Petitioner but the 1st Petitioner and her husband refused the same and only requested him to hand over her son to her.
(iv)Thereafter the 2nd Respondent ordered that the 2nd Petitioner be brought to his room. Upon arrival the 1st Petitioner noticed that many bruise marks on the 2nd Petitioner’s face, arms and he could barely walk.
(v) The 1st Petitioner upon seeing the condition of her son accused 2nd Respondent of torturing the 2nd Petitioner and urged him to allow the 1st Petitioner to rush him to hospital. The 2nd Respondent permitted the same, the 1st Petitioner, her husband and the other friends of 2nd Petitioner carried him to the vehicle of the 1st Petitioner and rushed him to the accident service of the National Hospital.
- The Petitioner states that after her son was admitted to the accident ward of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (hereinafter referred to as the NHSL) he was treated for trauma to the head, contusions on legs and arms, abdomen contusions etc. The Petitioner further states that thereafter her son was transferred to Ward 72 and thereafter Ward No. 22 for further treatment. It was after that the Judicial Medical Officer at that time conducted the judicial medical examination at the said Hospital.
- The Petitioners states that the 2nd Petitioner was hospitalized for approximately for two weeks and was discharged on 19th August 2009. Thereafter proceedings commenced in case number B.4577 conducted at the Magistrate’s Court Kaduwela where the 2nd Petitioner immediately identified Sub Inspectors K.I. Pushpakumara, Shantha Lalith Withana, Vidanagamarachchige Ruwira Chandima Tissa, Police Constables P.D. Priyankara De Silva and P.B.D. Shyamal Dayawansha having being involved in torturing him.
A copy of the Diagnostic Ticket bearing number NGS/31763 issued by ward No. 11 and a copy of the case record bearing number B4577 are annexed hereto marked P3 and P4.
- The Petitioners specifically state that the 2nd Petitioner was subjected to severe torture and degrading treatment, including the following;
(a) Severe beating with wooden poles on his arms, shoulders and ribs;
(b) Trampling the head ;
(c) Stripping off the clothes and photographing his naked body;
- The Petitioners state that the Supreme Court has granted leave to proceed in Fundamental Rights Application bearing number 661 of 2009 and it is now fixed for hearing. In the said Petition, 2nd Petitioner has specifically pleaded that the said acts of torture was committed by the accused in case no. B4577 under the direction and control of the 2nd Respondent.
A copy of the Petition in SC/FR/661/2009 is annexed hereto and marked P5. The Petitioners further annex hereto marked P6 an affidavit of the 2nd Petitioner made on 3rd September 2009 and which has been filed in the SC in FR Application 661 of 2009 setting out the nature of torture. The Petitioners specifically plead that the said affidavit to be part and parcel of this Petition.
- The Petitioners further state according to document marked P6 the 2nd Petitioner states inter alia that;
(a) The 2nd Respondent took the 2nd Petitioner who was abducted and tortured by 2nd Respondent’s son Ravindu Gunawardana from his residence to the Colombo Crimes Division;
(b) 2nd Respondent had not taken any steps to subject the 2nd Petitioner to any medical attention considering the serious injuries he had been inflicted by Ravindu Gunawardana;
(c) An officer serving under the said 2nd Respondent tried to obtain a false statement and/or confession from the 2nd Petitioner to the effect that he had links to a member of the underworld called “Olcott of Borella”;
(d) At the time the 2nd Petitioner was released to his parents he was under arrest of the CCD which was headed by 2nd Respondent.
- The Petitioners state that any one or more of the above acts constitute the offence of torture under the Convention against Torture and other forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act No. 22 of 1994. The Petitioners further state that according to an Order made on 17th August 2009 in case No. B4577 before the Magistrate of Kaduwela the said Magistrate had directed Police Headquaters to make representation as to whether action would be taken to prosecute the 2nd Respondent for his complicity in any one or more of the offences committed against the 2nd Petitioner.
Your Lordships attention is respectfully drawn to pages 391-394 of the document marked P4).
- The Petitioners state that as transpires from the proceedings and the material filed before Court the 2nd Respondent was complicit in the acts of his son, wife and Police Officers who were involved with the assault and he was aiding and abetting serious offences including offences such as conspiracy to commit abduction and torture of the 2nd Petitioner.
- The Petitioners state that DIG Anura Senanayaka making representations on 31st August 2009 on the directive of the Magistrate’s Court of Kaduwela, stated inter alia that there was no reason to frame charges against 2nd Respondent as he was not complicit in the acts of his son. However, DIG Anura Senanayaka has selectively ignored contents of the statements given by the 1st Petitioner and the 2nd Petitioner when arriving at the conclusion. It is further stated that the Police has referred the matter for the Attorney General’s observations under the reference number CW2/137/2009.
You Lordships attention is drawn to pages 36-41 and 70 of the document marked P4.
- The Petitioners further state that on or about 23rd May 2011 the Police filed a charge sheet against the 6 persons which includes Ravindu Gunawardana and Shyamalie Priyadarshani Perera the son and wife of 2nd Respondent. However, the Police nor the Attorney General have taken any steps to prosecute 2nd Respondent who has been directly complicit in the said abduction and torture of the 2nd Petitioner. The charges are as follows;
(a) Abetting abduction to secretly and wrongfully confine a person;
(b) Unlawful confinement of a person;
(c) Abduction and unlawful confinement of a person;
(d) Voluntarily causing hurt.
Your Lordships attention is respectfully drawn to pages 1-6 of the document marked P4.
- The Petitioners states that by way of letter dated 5th February 2013 the Petitioners through their Attorney-at-Law wrote to the 1st Respondent and requested the 1st Respondent to take steps to prosecute the 2nd Respondent. However, the 1st Respondent has failed to take any steps.
A copy of the letter sent to the 1st Respondent dated 2nd February 2013 is annexed hereto and is marked P7.
- The Petitioners specifically state that based on the material available to the 1st Respondent and the law enforcement authorities there is prima facie case against the 2nd Respondent for committing offences under Sections 333, 356, 314 read with Sections 32 and 102 of the Penal Code. The 1st Respondent has failed to effect and appropriate prosecution/indictment notwithstanding the availability of the evidence and the statutory duty vested upon him to do so.
- The Petitioners therefore state that;
(a) The 1st Respondent as the Attorney General has a public duty to indict and/or prosecute the said 2nd Respondent given the facts reported and the statements recorded.
(b) The said 1st Respondent has failed to exercise such Public Duty.
- In view of the aforesaid the Petitioners state that they are entitled to a mandate in the nature of Mandamus compelling the Respondent to indict 2nd Respondent for any one or more of the offences purported to have been committed by him.
- The Petitioners state that the continuation of the trial without making the 2nd Respondent an accused will cause prejudice to the all parties concerned. The Petitioners seek interim relief that the prosecution be stayed until the conclusion of the instant application.
- The Petitioners respectfully seek the indulgence of Your Lordships’ Court to reserve their right to tender further affidavits/documents substantiating the averments contained above and add any parties, in the event of further material becoming available regarding the actions complained of in the preceding paragraphs.
- The Petitioners state that they have not invoked the jurisdiction of Your Lordships’ Court previously in respect of matters pleaded herein.
WHEREFORE The Petitioners Most Respectfully Pray That Your Lordships’ Court Be Pleased To:
(a) Issue Notice to the Respondents;
(b) Call for the case record bearing number B4577;
(c) Examine the Hon. Attorney General’s case file no.CW2/137/2009;
(d) Grant a mandate in the nature of Writ of Mandamus compelling the Respondent to take steps to indict and/or charge sheet 2nd Respondent forthwith;
(e) Issue appropriate interim order staying the proceedings in case number B4577 in the Magistrate’s Court of Kaduwela until the conclusion of the case;
(f) Call for the medico-legal report prepared by the Judicial Medical Officer of the National Hospital and/or any other documents recording the injuries sustained by the 2nd Petitioner on 4th August 2008;
(g) Grant costs; and
(h) Such other and further reliefs as to Your Lordships Court shall seem fit and meet.
Attorney-at-Law for the Petitioners