SRIYANI SILVA v IDDAMALGODA, OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, POLICE STATION PAIYAGALA AND OTHERS SC NO. 471/2000 (FR)

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The petitioner is the widow of an army deserter (deceased) against whom there was also an open warrant signed by the Magistrate for possession of illicit liquor and distilling equipment. On 12.06.2000 the 2nd respondent OIC (Crimes) Paiyagala Police Station, arrested the deserter and took him to the police station where he was detained
until the 17th. The petitioner and deceased’s mother and sister stated that they visited the deceased on 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th and observed the deceased being assaulted and with serious injuries. The deceased also told them that he had been assaulted by police officers. On the 15th the deceased’s sister complained to the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kalutara. The police produced the deceased before the Magistrate on the 17th which was a Saturday and he was remanded until the 29th and sent to Kalutara prison from where he was transferred to Welikada remand prison on the 18th where he died on the 20th. According to the post-mortem report the deceased had twenty injuries on all parts of the body, his head, chest, abdomen and every section of every limb. His upper right arm was swollen and black. The cause of death was “acute renal failure due to muscule cutaneous trauma”

hold that the deceased’s fundamental rights under Articles 11, 13(2) and 17 have been infringed by the 1st and 2nd respondents, 50o and other Police officers, and that his rights have accrued to or devolved on the petitioner and their minor child (M.K. Lakshitha Madusankha). I award them a sum of Rs 800,000, in equal shares, as compensation and costs, of which a sum of Rs 700,000 shall be paid by the State and Rs 50,000 each by the 1st and 2nd respondents personally, before 31.12.2003. The sum of Rs 400,000 to which the minor child is entitled shall be invested in the name of the minor child on the terms that the interest shall be paid monthly to petitioner for the maintenance of the child and that the principal sum shall be paid to the child on majority. I direct the Registrar to 510 forward a copy of this judgment to the National Police Commission for necessary action, particularly in the light of Article 4(d) of the Constitution.

full judgement here

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