SC grants leave to proceed with 12 FR petitions on Easter Sunday attacks | Daily News

SC grants leave to proceed with 12 FR petitions on Easter Sunday attacks

The Supreme Court seven-judge-bench yesterday granted leave to proceed with the twelve Fundamental Rights petitions filed over the Easter Sunday attacks. Accordingly, the Supreme Court fixed twelve petitions to be taken up for argument on January 20.

The Supreme Court decided to grant leave to proceed in terms of Article 12(1) of the constitution in respect of IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and several other respondents.

The seven-judge-bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna Jayawardena, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando.

The Supreme Court decided to grant leave to proceed in terms of Article 12(1) of the constitution in respect of IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando both of whom are respondents in all 12 petitions. Leave to proceed was also granted in respect of other respondents including police officers in the 12 petitions filed by the different petitioners.

The respondents were directed to file their objections on or before November 8 and the petitioners were ordered to file counter objections on December 6.

Through these petitions, petitioners including the Sri Lanka Bar Association, are pleading an order to prosecute those who directly or indirectly responsible for the terrorist attacks.

The Chief Justice had nominated a fuller bench comprising seven judges of the Supreme Court to hear several Fundamental Rights petitions filed over the Easter Sunday attack.

The Attorney General, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and several other parties had filed motions seeking a fuller bench in respect of these petitions since these applications are of public importance.

Through these petitions, petitioners are pleading an order to prosecute those who directly or indirectly responsible for terrorist attacks. They are also claiming compensations for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

The twelve Fundamental Rights petitions including a petition filed by a father of two deceased children who died during Easter Sunday attack are to be taken up for hearing on next date.

In his petition, petitioner Saman Nandana Sirimanne, the father of late Medha Sathsarani Sirimanne (21) and late Imesh Thiwanka Sirimanne (19) who met an untimely death at the explosion that took place on the April 22, 2019 at the Shrine of St. Anthony Church, Kochchikade filed this FR petition seeking an order to investigate and prosecute the Inspector General of Police and former Defence Secretary under Penal Code.

The petitioner stated that late Medha Sathsarani Sirimanne (21) was an undergraduate of the Kelaniya University external degree programme.

The petitioner stated that his late son Imesh Thivanka Sirimanne (19) was to for the GCE (A/L) examination in 2019.

The petitioner stated that Thathsarani and Umesh had gone to the Shrine of St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, to pray for the upcoming exams and obtain blessings. Though they are both Buddhists, the Shrine of St. Anthony in Kochchikade was a preferred place for prayers not only the Catholics but by people of all religions.

The petitioner stated that his two children died due to the bomb blast took place at of St. Anthony Church, Kochchikade leaving the petitioner to face the sudden and unexpected loss of both his children at the prime of their youth.

The petitioner stated that the petitioner as well as every citizen of this country is entitled for right of equality before the law and equal protection of the law as the Article 12 (1) of the constitution of the republic as a Fundamental Rights.

The petitioner seeks to challenge inter alia the persistent failure on the part of the Inspector General of Police and former Defence Secretary to investigate and failure to take appropriate steps to safeguard the public security.

The petitioner stated that at least 359 people were killed including at least 37 foreign nationals and three police officers and at least 500 were injured during series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings at three Christian Churches and three luxury hotels.

The petitioner alleged that the respondents had received an intelligence memo warning about possible suicide bomb attacks on churches, other places of financial and economically vital places being planned by Mohammed Zaharan, the leader of an extremist National Islamist group called Thawheed Jamath.

President’s Counsel Faiz Mustapha, Manohara de Silva PC, Saliya Peiris PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC, Senior Counsel Gamini Perera and Chrishmal Warnasuriya appeared for the petitioners.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC, Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva, Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris and State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne appeared for the Attorney General.

Senior Counsel Viran Corea appeared for the IGP. President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne appeared for former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando.

 


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