Nine FR cases against SLA for barring voters

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 January 2002, 19:59 GMT]
Two fundamental rights applications were filed in the Supreme Court Monday praying that the election held on December 5 in the Batticaloa electoral district be annulled and that the court should order the Election Commissioner to conduct re-poll there.

Theivanayagam Alagusundaram and Ponnan Sundaramasamy of Vaakarai and Thambipillai Thangavelu and Kanapathipillai Sivaraj of Kannankudah in their FR applications state that most of the electors numbering about 69 thousand residing in areas that are not controlled by the Sri Lankan armed forces were barred from voting at the last general election by the security forces.

This has violated their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, according to them.

The petitioners have prayed court to declare the election held in the Batticaloa electoral district on December 05 last year null and void and to direct the Commissioner of Elections to take steps to conduct a re-poll in the said electoral district.

The petitioners have cited six respondents including the Commissioner of Elections and area commanders of the Sri Lankan security forces.

The number of FR applications filed against the State in the SC that the elections held on December 05 in the Batticaloa and Vanni electoral districts should be annulled and that fresh elections should be held there increased to nine with the two FR applications filed Monday.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court Monday upheld the fundamental rights application of a Tamil youth that he was subjected to illegal arrest, detention and torture by the security forces.

The petitioner Gopalapillai Jegatheeswaran of Mallavi in Mullaithivu district stated in his FR application that he was arrested by the security forces on 27 July 2001 and was subjected to severe torture when he was in detention and hence his fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution had been violated.

The FR application Monday came up before a three-member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Mark Fernando, D. P. S. Gunasekara and Ameer Ismail. At the conclusion of the inquiry, the SC upheld the FR application and ordered the State to pay forty thousand rupees as compensation to the petitioner. The SC further directed the State to pay the compensation on or before 28 February.


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