SC terminates FR filed by Kuliyapitiya child’s mother | Daily News


SC terminates FR filed by Kuliyapitiya child’s mother

The Supreme Court today decided to terminate its proceedings into the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the mother of the child in Kuliyapitiya who was denied a school based on false HIV rumours, in view of the steps taken to admit him to Trinity College in Kandy.

When the petition was taken before Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Eva Wanasundara, the Attorney General informed Court that the Education Ministry has informed the mother of the child and the Trinity College that the government will take the responsibility for the welfare of the child.

Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appearing on behalf of the respondents informed Court that the state authorities have taken every endeavour to ensure the best interest of the child.

The Supreme Court observed that education is a universal right and the concerned child should not be discriminated in accordance with government’s national policy of HIV prevention programme.

Counsel Senani Dayaratne with Ramani Jinadari, Thisya Weragoda and Suraj Rajapaksha appeared for the petitioner.

A mother residing in Kuliyapitiya had filed the Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking Court’s jurisdiction to ensure her child’s fundamental rights over false rumour that her child was HIV positive. The petitioner complained that her child’s school admission to grade one had callously been denied to all the schools in Kuliyapitiya zone due to said false rumour.

The mother sought a declaration that her child is entitled to be forthwith admitted to Grade One in a government school within two miles of her residence.

The petitioner further sought a declaration directing the IGP to take steps to ensure that her child’s right to a formal education and school attendance is not disrupted or obstructed or impeded by any person or persons and to conduct an investigation as to whether any one of the respondents are acting under duress or coercion or undue influence of any form or manner.

Through this petition, the petitioner had cited Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Provincial Director of Education J. G. N. Thilakaratna, Zonal Director of Education A. S. K. Jayalath, the Principals of Bohandiya Primary School, Illukhena and Sripathi Royal College, Diyakalamulla as well as the Education Ministry Secretary, IGP and the Attorney General as Respondents.

The petitioner states that she had a de facto marriage with person since 2009 and the child was born on 17.09.2010 and that father of the child died of Sepsis Tuberculosis on 24.09.2015.

The petitioner alleged that a false rumour was circulated by persons with vested interests that the child is HIV positive and his father died of HIV/AIDS.

She complained that the principals of both schools indicated unwillingness to admit the child purportedly due to the aforesaid false rumour and the protests by some parents.

She further stated notwithstanding the fact that there was no obligation to do so, in view of the compulsions arising from the exigencies of the attendant situation, her child was subjected to an HIV test which confirmed that her child was not HIV positive.

The petitioner further stated that she desperately visited a number of schools in the area, beseeching the respective principals to admit her child but those principals did not admit her child as the Principal of Bohandiya Primary School had informed them not to admit. The petitioner maintained that fundamental rights of her child to equality and equal protection of the law, that no citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such ground and the freedom from torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to the freedom of movement including the right to choose his residence within Sri Lanka are infringed by the Respondents.

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