SC Orders IGP to Probe Lohan’s Conduct

By Kamal Weeraratne | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 22 2021
News SC Orders IGP to Probe Lohan’s Conduct

By Kamal Weeraratne

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered IGP C.D. Wickremaratne to conduct an investigation, under the Code of Criminal Procedure and on the advice of Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, into the recent incident at the Anuradhapura Prison, involving ex-State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation, Lohan Ratwatte. Ratwatte is alleged to have, at gunpoint, threatened eight LTTE suspects detained at the Prison, with death. 

He is also charged with illegal and forcible entry to the Prison, with his security convoy at midnight and behaving in a threatening and intimidating manner. The order was issued when the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition, filed by eight prison inmates against Ratwatte, were taken up for consideration yesterday and in response to interim relief sought on behalf of the petitioners by TNA MP President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran. 

The petition was perused before a three-Judge Bench comprising Justices Gamini Amarasekara, Yasantha Kodagoda and Janak de Silva. Though Sumanthiran made submissions to the Bench to issue an order transferring his clients to the Jaffna Prison, considering their safety, DSG Rajiva Gunathileka opposed the request. He informed the Court that the Defence Secretary had conveyed to him that due to matters of security, the LTTE suspects cannot be transferred to the Jaffna Prison under any circumstance.

 Accordingly, the Bench directed the Commissioner General of Prisons to transfer the petitioners from the Anuradhapura to another suitable prison, considering their safety. DSG Gunathileka then stated that two of the inmates had already expressed their willingness to be transferred to the Colombo Prison. 

The Supreme Court also issued notice on the respondents in the case, Ratwatte and the Anuradhapura Prison Superintendent, to file objections to the petition, if any. After considering the all submissions, the Bench ordered the petition to be taken up for hearing while the case was postponed to 15 February next year.  

By Kamal Weeraratne | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 22 2021

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