Sarath Kumara Naidos vs. Inspector Damith and others S.C FR Application No. 608/2008

The Petitioner in his petition filed in this court, refer to several acts of assault on him by the 1st and 2nd Respondents along with some other police officers (not named). It is pleaded that a woman who worked at a house where   the Petitioner had worked for about three to four months had met him and  inquired about house breaking and whether the Petitioner was involved. This had led to a heated argument. On 5 th July 2008 at about 2.00 p.m the Petitioner was working at a site at Samagi Mawatha, Koralawella, 1st and 2nd Respondents arrived in a three-wheeler with two other police officers, and directed the Petitioner to accompany the police officers to the police station. When the Petitioner asked the police as to why he is taken to the police the 2nd Respondent assaulted him. Paragraph 4 of the petition describes several acts of assault on the Petitioner. The several acts of assault by the police as pleaded and other acts of the police are as follows.

The material placed before this court by the Petitioner, establish without any doubt that the police subjected the Petitioner to torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment. I wish to observe, more particularly that the 1st Respondent was responsible for such inhuman acts, but he alone cannot be held responsible as there were other police officers who assisted and took part to cause injuries to the Petitioner. Nor was the Petitioner produced before the Magistrate according to law. As such I hold that both 1st and 2nd Respondents have infringed the Petitioner’s fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 11 and 13(2) of the Constitution. I am also of the view that the state should be held
strictly liable as all inhuman acts of assault on the Petitioner occurred during the period the Petitioner was in police custody. I direct and Order both the 1st and 2nd Respondents to pay personally a sum of Rs. 100,000/- each to the Petitioner as compensation. I also Order the State to pay a sum of Rs. 100,000/- as compensation, to the Petitioner. Thus the Petitioner will receive a total sum of Rs. 300,000/- as compensation. All payments to be made within four weeks from today.

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