The Court of Appeal allowed the parties including the Attorney General to file limited objections yesterday (20) in connection with two writ petitions filed seeking confirmation of protecting the lives of Nadun Chinthaka Wickremaratne alias ‘Harak Kata’, a powerful drug trafficker and criminal, and Salindu Malshika Gunaratne, alias ‘Kudu Salindu’ a large-scale drug trafficker, who were arrested by the Security Forces in Madagascar.
The objections were ordered to be filed on or before April 4.
This order was made when the relevant petitions were called before President of the Court of Appeal Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Court of Appeal Justice M.A.R. Marikkar.
President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty who appeared for the petition filed by the mother of ‘Kudu Salindu’ stated that the suspect is currently in detention by the Criminal Investigation Department and that he was surprised by the detention order and the facts contained therein.
President’s Counsel Ladduwahetty also mentioned that in the detention order it had been stated that Salindu was connected with international terrorist organizations and drug traffickers and that he was involved in terrorist activities such as illegally gathering firearms and guiding shooters and carrying out murders in various areas.
He mentioned that an officer named Inspector Thusitha Kahagalla, Officer-In-Charge of the Public Complaints Division, had made a request to obtain the detention order and that it was questionable why a police inspector requested this detention order, when there were many senior officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). He also mentioned that there are only four cases pending against the suspect in different courts and two of them are based on complaints made on false information.
Deputy Solicitor General Shanil Kularatne, who represented the Attorney General, obstructed the presentation of those facts and requested the Court of Appeal to dismiss the petition without hearing it.
He stated that this writ petition which has been filed based on media reports and assumptions, is not based on legal facts, so it cannot be maintained, and that he strongly objects to and cannot grant any of the reliefs requested.
Also, after a suspect gets detention orders, he is in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department and his safety is the responsibility of that department, the Deputy Solicitor General said.
Then President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris who appeared for the petition filed by the father of ‘Harak Kata’ requested that an interim restraining order be issued to the respondents to ensure the safety of the suspect who is in the custody of the CID.
He emphasized that there have been many cases in which suspects have died while in the custody of the CID even when detention orders have been obtained and there has been a strong uncertainty regarding the security of this suspect.
Deputy Solicitor General Kularatne who represented the Attorney General, expressed his strong opposition to it. He submitted that this petition cannot be maintained.
After considering the facts, the Court allowed the parties including the Attorney General to file objections regarding the petitions and decided to recall these petitions on April 4. These petitions were filed by U. Shirani Malkanthi Fernando, the mother of Sella Perumage Salindu Malshika Gunaratne alias ‘Kudu Salindu’ and Mervin Wickremaratne, the father of Nadun Chinthaka Wickremaratne alias ‘Harak Kata’.
CID Director Senior Superintendent of Police Kavinda Piyasekera, DIG of that department Prasad Ranasinghe, DIG of the Police Special Task Force Waruna Jayasundara, the Inspector General of Police, the Defence Secretary and the Attorney General are the respondents in one petition.
Eight respondents including Public Security Minister Tiran Alles, Defence Secretary Retired General Kamal Gunaratne, Inspector General of Police C. D. Wickramaratne, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Western Province Deshbandu Tennakoon and the CID Director have been named as respondents in the other petition.