Jayakili Habeas Corpus to be heard in Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Friday, 23 November 2001, 19:26 GMT]
The inquiry into the Salli habeas Corpus application was fixed this week for 15th January 2002 by the Eastern High Court in Trincomalee after the Court of Appeal withdrew (vacated) the stay order issued on the application by the Officer-in-Charge of the Navy detachment at Nilaveli, the first respondent, to the Colombo High Court that his case be transferred out of the eastern port town as his life was at risk there. In this Habeas Corpus application Ms Jayakili Pushparatha said that her husband Jeyakili of Salli disappeared in February last year after he was arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy in Nilaveli, 13 kilometres north of Trincomalee town.
Ms. Pushparatha further stated in her application that on the day of incident navy personnel arrested three Tamil fishermen including her husband who were fishing in the sea near Pigeon Island off Nilaveli. Few days later, the navy had handed over her husband's colleagues to the police. When she inquired from the navy at Nilaveli about her husband, she was told that he was not in their custody.
The petitioner has cited seven respondents, the Officer-in-Charge of the Navy detachment at Nilaveli, The Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, the Inspector General of Police, the Headquarters Inspector of Police, the Secretary of the Ministry of defence and the Attorney General.
When this application was fixed for inquiry by the Eastern High Court holden at Trincomalee, the first respondent made an application in the Court of Appeal seeking the transfer of the case to the Colombo High Court as he faced a serious threat to his life while travelling to and from the Trincomalee court from his camp in Nilaveli.
The Court of Appeal then issued stay order on the Eastern High Court holden at Trincomalee until the final determination of the transfer application. Now the Court of Appeal has vacated the stay order and sent back the case to the Eastern High Court for inquiry.
Earlier the petitioner of the HC application, Ms Jayakili Pushparatha, objected to the transfer application by the first respondent. She stated in her objection that any security threat faced by the first respondent in appearing for the case is common to all members of the armed forces and the police in active service in the northern and eastern parts of the island and is an occupational hazard which cannot be extended to claim exemption from the law of the land taking its normal course.
She further stated in her objection that the transfer application by the first respondent is a ploy to suppress the course of justice by compelling the complainant's witnesses to travel long distances and face security problems in putting up in Colombo during the hearings.
Tamil human rights activists said that the transfer of Jayakili's HC application from the High Court of Trincomalee to Colombo would result in a flurry of further applications from the Northeast province in cases filed against service personnel on charges of crime and serious abuses of the law and violation of human rights and it would be a bad precedent encouraging various elements to violate the law with impunity.
29.06.01 Salli woman challenges case transfer
16.02.01 Wife asks officials to produce missing husband