Toddy tapper’s FR petition dismissed | Daily News

Toddy tapper’s FR petition dismissed

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to grant leave to proceed with a Fundamental Rights petition filed by a toddy tapper.

Gamaralalage Siril Kumara of Kitulgala challenged the activities of Kitulgala police in producing persons who refuse to comply with their demand to provide free toddy, before Courts on illicit liquor offences.

The Supreme Court two-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justice Sisira de Abrew refused to grant leave to proceed with the petition, citing that there is no legal basis to proceed with the petition.

Siril Kumara filed this petition along with two other his relatives.He named Inspector Chanaka Wijeratne, the OIC of Kithulgala Police Station, SI Gunasena, SI Senaratne, Sergeant Sandamal, Sergeant Guanwardena of Kitulgala police station and IGP Pujith Jayasundara as respondents.

The petitioners stated that officers of the Kitulgala Police engage in the wrongful and illegal practice of requiring persons engaged in the lawful business of toddy tapping in the Kitulgala area to bribe the said officers with quantities of toddy for their consumption.

They said Kitulgala Police engage in the wrongful and illegal practice of producing persons who refuse to comply with the demand to provide toddy free before courts on charges of brewing illicit liquor to meet prosecution targets set by the superior officers.

Such persons prosecuted in such a manner are compelled to plead guilty for the possession of illicit liquor and pay penalties ranging from Rs.1,000 to Rs.15,000. The failure to comply with such illegal demands results with further harassment and intimidation by the police officers, they alleged in the petition.

The Petitioners stated on July 28, 2017 at around 4.30 pm the 3rd and 4th Respondents arrived at the 1st Petitioner’s residence and took into possession a small quantity of toddy which was lawfully tapped by the first petitioner and claimed that the 1st Petitioner has illegally tapped toddy.

They further sought Rs.5 million as compensation from the respondents.

The petition had been filed through counsel Thisya Weragoda, Iresh Seneviratne and Niluka Dissanayake.


 

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