Roshan Mahesh Ukwatta, vs Sub Inspector Marasinghe, Officer in Charge,Sagara Liyanage, Inspector of Police,The Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, SC. FR Application No. 252/2006

When the case was mentioned in open Court on 09-11-2006 the 1st and 2nd respondents were absent and unrepresented and the State Counsel who represented the 4th Respondent ( Hon. the Attorney-General) had informed Court that the Attorney General was not appearing for the 1st and 2nd respondents. Perusal of the docket reveals that on 25th August 2008 the Attorney-General had intimated to Court that on investigation reports filed by the 1st and 2nd respondents the Petitioner would be discharged in the criminal proceedings. However the petitioner elected to proceed with this application. At the outset I wish to deal with the objection taken up by the 1st respondent that this application is time barred, in that the petitioner has not invoked the jurisdiction of this Court within one month of the alleged violation as stipulated in article 126 of the constitution. Section 13(1) of the Human Rights Commission Act No. 21 of 1996 which empowers the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (hereinafter sometimes referred to as HRCSL) too to entertain complaints in respect of the violations of fundamental rights
guaranteed by the constitution, and it mandates that when a complaint is made to the Commission by an aggrieved party in terms of Section 14 of the Act, within one month of the alleged infringement of a fundamental right by executive and administrative action the 4 period within which the inquiry into such complaint is pending before the commission shall not be taken into account in computing the period of one month within which an application may be made to the Supreme court in terms of article 126(2) of the constitution. According to the complaint marked P1, same had been preferred on 24.02.2006 – that is within two days of the alleged arrest of the petitioner and as the alleged illegal detention and torture were continuing the petitioner is within the stipulated one month time frame from the alleged violations.

On the evidence set out above I hold that the petitioner has been subjected to torture whilst in the custody of the 1st and 2nd respondents and I accordingly grant a declaration that the petitioner’s fundamental right guaranteed by Article 11 has been infringed. I also hold that petitioner’s fundamental right guaranteed by Article 13(2) has
also been violated. Accordingly I award the petitioner a sum of Rs.80,000/- as compensation. I direct the state to pay the said sum of Rs 80,000/- and a further sum of Rs 20,000/- as costs of this application to the petitioner. The said amounts shall be paid within three months from today.

full judgement here

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