ABEYWICKREMA v. GUNARATNA AND THREE OTHERS S.C. SPL 93/96.

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The petitioner who is a three wheeler driver has taken a passenger on hire; and after arriving at the Police Station with the passenger as requested by him, he was assaulted by the Police taken into custody and produced before the A.J.M.O.

According to the petitioner, on 7th July 1996 he has taken a passenger to Ragama on hire and had returned with the said passenger around 7 p.m. The passenger had gone into his place of lodging to bring the money to pay the hire due to the petitioner and the petitioner had been waiting outside the hotel for the passenger. As the passenger did not return, the petitioner had gone in search of him and had seen the passenger involved in an argument with a person who was inside the said lodge. After a while, some police officers had come to the lodge and had directed the passenger to go to the Maradana Police Station. The passenger had decided to go in the same three wheeler. After arriving at the police station, the petitioner had stayed outside, when a police officer had called the petitioner into the police station. When the petitioner went inside, the petitioner was assaulted and thereafter produced before the AJMO. On his return from the AJMO, the petitioner was locked up in a cell. The petitioner was in the custody of the police until he was released on the 8th July 1996 on police bail.

The petitioner was released on bail only around 11.30 a.m. on the 08th July 1996. As stated earlier, there was no basis whatever for his arrest. On a consideration of the to ta lity of the facts and circumstances of this case, supreme court direct the State to pay the petitioner a sum of Rs. 12,000/- as compensation and Rs. 3000/- as costs.

full judgement here

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