Petition fixed for further submissions on Aug. 5

The writ application filed by former Negombo Prison Superintendent Anuruddha Sampayo was yesterday fixed for submissions on August 5 by the Court of Appeal.

The petitioner is seeking an order to stay the arrest warrant issued against him by the Negombo Magistrate’s Court.

When the matter came up before the Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz (President) and Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna, President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya appearing for the petitioner commenced his oral submissions.

In his submissions, Upul Jayasuriya PC informed court that items found inside the prison had been provided in terms of section 196 of the Prison Ordinance.

He argued that Superintendent of Prison had acted in terms of the section 196 of the Prison Ordinance in which discretionary power has vested on him to provide necessary facilities after considering the requirements.

‘The only allegation levelled against my client is providing a refrigerator to a suspect. The suspect was a diabete who had to be given insulin during the COVID-19 pandemic.’ Jayasuriya said.

At this time, Senior Deputy Solicitor General raised objections alleging that some facts presented by petitioner’s counsel were not included in the affidavit. Jayasuriya further submitted to court that the arrest warrant was not valid in law since it had been issued wrongly. The petitioner is seeking an order to quash the arrest warrant issued by Negombo Magistrate’s Court on July 22.

Filing this petition through President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya, the former Negombo Prison Superintendent stated that the CID is preparing to arrest him following an incident where a cell equipped with luxury utilities were discovered inside the Negombo prison.

In his petition, the former Negombo Prison Superintendent stated that the CID conducting investigations into the incident has already filed a ‘B’ Report against him at the Negombo Magistrate’s Court and measures are taken to obtain a warrant for his arrest arbitrarily contrary to the laws. The petitioner stated that there are provisions in the Prison Ordinance to provide required items including electronic equipment to inmates after taking into consideration their requirements.

The petitioner has cited the Negombo Magistrate, the Commissioner General of Prisons, CID Director, Justice Ministry Secretary, the Attorney General and several others as respondents. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilleke with Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appeared for the Attorney General.

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