Detained GA's rights plea heard

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 October 1999, 18:59 GMT]
The Fundamental Rights plea by the Mannar Government Agent (GA) Saveriyar Mariathasan Cruz challenging his detention was accepted for hearing by the Supreme Court today.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, Justice Priyantha Perera and Justice Shiranil Bandaranayaka.

The fundamental Rights application of the detainee Cruz was filed by his counsel Gowry Shankary Thavarasa.

Senior Counsel S.Mahendran who supported the application submitted that the petitioner was appointed Mannar GA on January 20, 1995 and holds that post to date.

The court was told the GA's residency at Mannar and the Kachchcheri occupy 2 acres of land along with the Government Agent's office.

The District Fisheries Project Officer employed his driver A.Anthonythas on recommendation.

At a later point of time, an Interview Board comprising the Additional Government Agent, Examiner of Motor Vehicles, Anuradhapura and an Officer of the Vavuniya Traffic Police selected him as a permanent driver.

Mr Mahendran told court that the petitioner Cruz was unaware of the character and the family background of the driver.

Behind the GA'S room, there is a tea-room, which is used by the junior employees for their meals and at times to have a rest. Watcher Gabriel Anthony was in charge of the room.

Mt.Lavinia Police say they arrested the driver and took him to Colombo and brought him back to Mannar on August 30,1999. The Police recovered explosives from the tea-room.

This came as a shock to the petitioner, the application says.

Thereafter, on receipt of a message requesting the petitioner to be present at the Mt.Lavinia Police Station he went to the Police Station. On September 4 he was detained.

Mr.Mahendran said that the petitioner had not violated any law and that his detention was unreasonable.

S.Mahendran with Saliya Pieris instructed by Mrs.Gowry Shankary Thavarasa appeared for the petitioner.


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