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SC awards Rs.1 mn compensation to torture victim’s wife

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The presiding judge, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena ordered that out of the sum of one Million rupees awarded as compensation, a sum of Rs.500,000 should be invested in the names of the two children in equal shares in a State bank.

The Supreme Court awarded a sum of one million rupees as compensation of which a sum of Rs.750,000 should be paid by the State and Rs.50,000 each by the five respondents personally.

It was revealed during the Post Mortem examination that the cause of death is due to extensive muscle and soft tissue contusions caused by blunt force trauma.

The petitioner Nilmini Vijesekara, the wife of Chadik Shyaman Wickramarachchi, who is alleged to have died while in Police custody had filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the respondents have violated the fundamental rights of her husband.

The Supreme Court three-judge-Bench comprising Justice Preethi Padman Surasena, Justice Janak de Silva and Justice Mahinda Samayawardena held that the five respondents have infringed the Fundamental Rights of the Petitioner’s husband Chadik Shyaman Wickramarachchi guaranteed under Article 11 for freedom from torture and 12(1) of the Constitution.

The petitioner stated that around 4.00 am on February 25, 2017 five Police Constables Sumedha Thushanga, Indika Priyadharshana, Chanaka Rukman, Ajith Jayalal and Lahiru Roshan had come to their residence in Kaduwela and arrested her husband Chadik Shyaman and taken him to the Peliyagoda Police Station.

When inquired as to the reasons for taking him to the Police station the respondents had stated that they wanted to record a statement from Chadik Shyaman over a robbery.

Around 9.00 am on February 25, 2017, the Petitioner had gone to her husband’s house in order to visit the Peliyagoda Police Station. It was at that time she was informed that her husband had died and the body was lying at the Colombo General Hospital.

The petitioner said one high ranking Police Officer had explained to the petitioner that Chadik Shyaman was arrested in connection with a robbery of a car and jewelry in Kelaniya and Bandarawatte, that her husband had fallen sick, suffering from a wheezing attack when his statement was recorded and that he was admitted to the hospital.

The Post Mortem Report is clear that the cause of death is due to extensive muscle and soft tissue contusions caused by blunt force trauma.

The Attorney General who had directed to file charges against the five respondents for an offence punishable under Section 296 of the Penal Code and conduct a non-summary inquiry in the relevant Magistrate’s Court.

Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias with Maneesha Kumarasinghe appeared for the petitioner.

Attorney-at-Law Amila Palliyage with Nihara Randeniya and Sandeepani Wijesooriya appeared for the respondents.

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