Court awards damages in fundamental rights case
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 February 1999, 19:28 GMT]
A three-member Bench of the Supreme Court today awarded 350,000 rupees as compensation to Mr.Anura Bandaranaike, UNP Parliamentarian of the National List, stating that the fundamental rights of the petitioner had been violated by the police.
A nine-page judgement delivered by Justice Dheeraratne with Justice S.W.Wadugodapitiya and Justice Shiranee Bandaranaike consenting, stated that the Police had failed to prove that they conducted a search operation in the house of the petitioner for valid and justifiable reason on the day of incident.
The search conducted by the Police had an ulterior motive, violating the fundamental rights of the petitioner, the judgement further stated.
Mr.Anura Bandaranaike filed the fundamental rights violation petition on December 8, 1997 against six defendants including the then Inspector General of Police, W.P.Rajaguru, D.I.G.Sumanasekara and the Attorney General stating that the action of the police in conducting a raid in his house without justifiable reason had caused him considerable disrepute, thus violating his fundamental rights.
The Police in its answer had stated that they conducted the search on information that a suspect in the Nalanda Ellewela (former MP for Ratnapura) murder case was hiding in the house of the petitioner.
The Supreme Court found the first, second and third defendants, Rajaguru, and Sumanasekara respectively, guilty of violating the fundamental rights and ordered them to pay 40,000 rupees each, as compensation to the petitioner Anura, who is the son of the Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike and the brother of the President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratuge.
These three defendants were further ordered to pay 10,000 rupees each as costs to the petitioner.
The Supreme Court ordered the state to pay the petitioner 200,000 rupees as compensation. The court instructed the three respondents and the state to pay the compensation within a period of one month.
President Counsel Faiz Mustapha appeared for the petitioner and State Counsel Aluvihare appeared for the defendants.