By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Cabinet approval has been granted to amend the Criminal Procedure Code No. 15 of 1979 enabling the Police to frame charges against a suspect and also to proceed with a criminal or terrorism related case without producing the suspect in courts.
A Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry spokesperson told that Minister Talatha Athukorale submitted a cabinet paper in this respect and the cabinet has given the nod this week to the proposal to amend the Criminal Procedure Code.
“Producing the suspects in terrorism-related cases and other crimes has become a threat to the national security, to the public and police and prison officials. The new amendments will permit the Police to appear for proscription in court proceedings without the suspects,” she stressed.
The law enforcement authorities have arrested nearly 1,000 terror suspects since April 21 and interrogation, recording of their statements and further inquiries based on their disclosures have become a tedious task. However, the government is determined to frame charges against the suspects as early as possible and new amendments will help the process, the spokesperson noted.
This procedure was in addition to the imposition of emergency regulations that give security forces sweeping powers to search and arrest and also to control the media in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack by Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists.
However, the cabinet approval has been granted for the amendments subject to the approval in Parliament, Minister Athukorale added.