Supreme Court to consider IGPís FR petition in July

Supreme Court to consider IGPís FR petition in July

June 24, 2019   11:36 am

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The Supreme Court has ordered to consider the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, challenging the President’s decision to send him on compulsory leave, on July 31st.

The petition was taken up before the three-judge bench consisting of Supreme Court Justices Prasanna Jayawardene, L.T.B. Dehideniya and S. Thurairajah today (24).

Speaking on behalf of the Attorney General, Additional Solicitor General Indika Devamuni de Silva stated that the Secretary to President and the former Director of State Intelligence Service, two respondents of the petition, have raised objections against the petition through affidavits.

Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea, appearing on behalf of the IGP, told the court that he is yet to receive the copies of the affidavits.

Justice Prasanna Jayawardene then stated that the judge bench has not received the copies of the affidavits thus far.

The three-judge bench subsequently announced that the IGP Jayasundara’s FR petition would be considered on July 31st and ordered the attorneys of the respondents and the petitioner to present submissions regarding the matter on that day.

President’s Consel Anuja Premaratne spoke on behalf of former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando while President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe appeared on behalf of the former Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis.

Responding to a question raised by Justice Prasanna Jayawardene, Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea stated that the disciplinary authority of the IGP is the Cabinet of Ministers although he is appointed by the President on the recommendations of the Constitutional Council. He added that the National Police Commission is not the disciplinary authority of the IGP.

Justice Prasanna Jayawardene pointed out that the President serving as the Minister of Law and Order at the time when the IGP was sent on compulsory leave is main debatable point in the hearing of this FR petition.

Petitioner Pujith Jayasundara says that President Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as the Inspector General of Police as per the recommendations of the Constitutional Council in 2016.

The IGP further says, despite observing some fractions in the relations between the President and the Prime Minister, he continued to serve as an unbiased public officer.

Under the orders of the President, he was not summoned to the meetings of the National Security Council since October 2018, the IGP has pointed out through his fundamental rights petition. However, he emphasized that he had informed then Defence Secretary and the Deputy Inspectors General (DIG) of Police regarding possible terrorist attacks.

The IGP further points out that the National Intelligence Chief directly details the President on the intelligence reports. 

On 29th April, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara was handed Compulsory Leave over investigations on the Easter Day attacks.

The Speaker of Parliament, members of the Constitutional Council, the Attorney General, the acting Inspector General of Police and several others were cited as the respondents of this petition, which was filed on May 29th.

The IGP stated that he was sent on compulsory leave as per the orders of the President, however, this has violated his fundamental rights.

He has said that the decision to send him on compulsory leave is completely against the law as the President is not vested with such powers.

Accordingly, the IGP seeks the Supreme Court to hear the petition and to deliver an interim order to void the decision to send him on compulsory leave until the hearing concludes.

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