- Revisit PTA when arresting suspects: Court
- No evidence to bring charges under PTA
By Shehan Chamika Silva
Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday in his order referring to the question of bringing charges under No:48 of the 1979 Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), said the allegations levelled against former DIG Nalaka de Silva cannot be maintained under the PTA in the absence of sufficient evidence.
He observed that the allegations can be levelled against the suspect under Sections 108, 109, 120 of the Penal Code and hence is subject to the Bail Act.
The former DIG was subsequently released on a cash bail of Rs.25,000 with two sureties of Rs.5 million each and a travel ban imposed.
The suspect was in remand custody for more than seven months after he was arrested in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate VIPs.
The Magistrate observed the existence of a legal lacuna with regard to the Prevention of Terrorism Act, as there was a question of legal interpretation as to what was exactly meant as ‘terrorism’ under the Act.
He said investigators acted irresponsibly by arresting suspects under the PTA and as such the Magistrates were unable to consider bail resulting in the suspects being kept in remand for months.
The Magistrate said there were instances where suspects were produced under the PTA initially at the magisterial inquiry and later at the High Court indictment process the allegations are dropped and then charged under the Penal Code. He requested the prosecution to bring this order to the attention of the relevant authorities because the concerns raised required the attention of the Supreme Court.