Torture victim granted bail
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 July 1999, 11:41 GMT]
The Batticaloa high court yesterday decided to proceed with three cases filed against Shanmuganm Manogaran,23, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act despite a supreme court verdict last month ordering the state to grant him compensation on grounds that he was tortured while in detention.
Manogaran, a resident of Maamangam, a suburb of Batticaloa town, was arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on 12th of June, 1996. Three separate cases under the PTA were filed against him earlier this year by the Police in the Batticaloa high court.
In one he was charged for attacking the SLA camps at Kattumurivu and Tharavaikulam. In the second case he was accused of receiving military training from the Liberation Tigers and in the third was charged with learning to fire heavy mortars from Johnson Master, a member of the LTTE.
The chief witness in the three cases filed by the Batticaloa Police against him was Superindent of Police P.D.A Wijeyawardena who had recorded his confession in custody. The only other witness in the cases was the Police constable Pathmasiri who had typed Manogaran's confession.
The sole production in all three PTA cases filed against Manogaran was his confession.
He was detained at the camp of the Batticaloa unit of the SLA's military intelligence at Lake road One and at the office of the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) at Pioneer road in Batticaloa town.
Later he was transferred to the Batticaloa jail. A fundamental rights case was filed on behalf of Manogaran in the supreme court that he was tortured during his detention and interrogation. A three member bench of the supreme court which heard his case, ordered the judicial medical officer (JMO) of Batticaloa, Dr.S Chandrapalan, to examine Manogaran.
The JMO in his report to the supreme court observed that Manogaran had been tied upside down by his toes and severely assaulted with plastic pipes, blunt weapons and sticks and that his ear drums were affected by internal bleeding due to heavy blows on his ears. Manogaran's hand, according to the JMO, was fractured when he was beaten while trying to remove a bag that had been pulled over his head filled with petrol and chillie fumes.
The supreme court held that the state should pay Manogaran 30000 rupees in damages as well as his legal costs amounting to 5000 rupees.
When the cases against Manogaran were taken up for hearing in the Batticaloa high court yesterday, his attorney Perinpam Premnath argued that he should be aquitted in all the cases in view of the supreme court's verdict.
The state counsel however strongly objected to this and urged the court to hear the cases fully before issuing a verdict.
However, he did not oppose a bail application that was moved for Manogaran on the ground that he has to be treated for torture. The high court judge granted him 10000 rupees personal bail and directed that Manogaran should sign up at the CSU office every Sunday and should not leave the Batticaloa municipality limits until all the cases are concluded. The next date for the hearing was fixed for September 22, 1999.
The numbers of the cases against Manogaran are HC-EP-1315-99, HC-EP-1331-99 and HC-EP-1332-99