SC dismisses FR petitions filed by 13 groups
By Kamal Mahendra Weerarathna
A three-Judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice, yesterday (1), dismissed the Fundamental Rights petitions filed by 13 groups including former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, against the Government’s decision to cremate the bodies of those who die of COVID-19, including those of Muslims.
The Bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Murdu Fernando and Preethi Padman Surasena.
Senior Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle and Sanjaya Jayawardena (PC), appearing on behalf of the intervenient petitioners, stated the Government’s decision to cremate bodies has not been taken against any particular ethnic group, religion or a community. They added the Government took the said decision to protect the lives of all citizens of the country irrespective of ethnicity, religion or the community they belong to. They further requested that the petitions be rejected without being heard.
In opposition, several lawyers including President’s Counsels M.A. Sumanthiran, Faisz Mustapha, Viran Corea, Saliya Peiris, Awenika Devendra, Pulasthi Hewa, Faizer Mustapha and Nishan Kariyappar expressed their views.
Speaking on behalf of the intervenient petitioners, Sanjaya Jayawardena (PC) and also Counsel P.P.E.C. Siriwardena who is also a retired Major expressed their views. The petitions were taken up on the day before yesterday (30) and yesterday (1).