SRIYANI SILVA (WIFE OF JAGATH KUMARA-DECEASED) v. IDDAMALGODA, OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, POLICE STATION, PAYAGALA AND OTHERS SC APPLICATION No. 471/2000

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On 12.6.2000 the deceased was arrested and kept in custody at the Payagala Police Station where he remained in custody until he was produced before the Magistrate on 17.06.2000 when he was remanded to prison. On 20.6.2000 the detenue died at the Remand Prison. There is prima facie evidence including medical evidence to the effect that the deceased was assaulted whilst in police custody and his death resulted by reason of such assault.
A petition was filed on 18.7.2000 on behalf of the petitioner (the deceased detenue). On 23.8.2000 on the day it was for support, the court allowed counsel to amend the petition by substituting the widow of the deceased as the petitioner. The amended petition was allowed by court on 23.10.2000. At the hearing of the application two preliminary objections were raised on behalf of the respondents:

In any event, even if the right to relief which accrued survives the death of the person whose fundamental rights were infringed as claimed by the Petitioner’s Counsel, then it is the legal rep­resentative of the deceased representing the estate of the deceased who can claim relief since that right to claim relief (compensation in this instance) that has survived is an asset of the estate of the deceased. In this instance the widow has not filed her petition in this Court as the legal representative of the deceased (vide caption), although counsel Weliamuna had stated on 23rd August 2000 (Vide journal entry 23/08/2000) that he moves to amend the caption to read “on behalf of K.A. Sriyani
as the legal representative of M.K.L. Jagath Kumara.the deceased” and for that reason too the present Petitioner cannot maintain this application.

full judgement here

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