SUBASINGHE v. POLICE CONSTABLE SANDUN AND OTHERS S.C. (SPECIAL) NO. 235/96

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On 26.11.1996 the petitioner made a complaint to the 3rd respondent (OIC, Dankotuwa Police) regarding a commercial transaction. On the evening of that day, the 1st respondent police constable met the petitioner at the Dankotuwa Public Market and threatened to teach him a “good lesson”. The next day, the 1st respondent and another police officer (the 2nd respondent) arrested the petitioner at the Dankotuwa Public Market and took him to the police station. Thereafter the 1st respondent assaulted the petitioner with hands, kicked him and also beat
him with a belt. The petitioner was then handcuffed, taken to the Dankotuwa junction in a private bus and paraded there and brought back to the police station, where he was confined in a cell. The 1st respondent again assaulted the petitioner. A Deputy Minister visited the police station immediately and obtained the release of the petitioner. The 1st respondent’s defence was that he arrested the petitioner for riding a motor cycle without a helmet, a driving licence and insurance and for obstructing the 1st respondent in the performance of his official duties. Medical evidence disclosed injuries on the petitioner caused by a blunt weapon.

the judge held that the 1st respondent has violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed by Articles 11, 13 (1) and 13 (2) of the Constitution. the judge direct the State to pay Rs. 10,000 to the petitioner as compensation and Rs. 5,000 as costs. The 1st respondent is directed to pay Rs. 5,000 personally to the petitioner as compensation. In all, the petitioner will be entitled to a sum of Rs. 20,000 as compensation and costs.

 full judgement here

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