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Magistrate chides British HC over request

9 July 2013 07:54 pm - 27     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While rejecting a request made through the police by the British High Commission in Colombo to get a Briton’s passport released from court custody, the Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday observed that he does not hear cases according to the wants of the British High Commission.

The Britisher in question had been charged with the non-payment of a hotel bill.   

 Magistrate Thilina Gamage observed that Courts functioned in accordance with rules and regulations and maintained that it was not for the British High Commission, but the owner of the passport to come to Court and make a request for its release.

Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH) Manager had in a complaint to the Fort police alleged that the Birtisher Allen John had defaulted on a payment of Rs.17,202 after using the hotel’s facilities. He had stayed in the hotel on April 4, 2013 and had reportedly left on the following day without paying the bill. However, the suspect had failed to carry his travel documents including the passport with him.

Subsequently, the hotel management had lodged a complaint with police after handing over the suspect’s passport to the police. Police who conducted investigations had informed the British High Commission. It was revealed that the British High Commission had paid the hotel bill owed by the Britisher. Subsequently, the complainant had informed police that they were willing to settle the matter since the bill had been already settled by the High Commission.

Filing a motion before Magistrate Thilina Gamage, the Fort police yesterday informed Court that the British High Commission had sent them a letter requesting to get the suspect’s passport released since he was to be sent back. In this instance, the Magistrate rejected the British High Commission’s move to have the passport released without following the proper legal procedure. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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  Comments - 27

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  • Sirimal Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:00 AM

    Haha... How embarrassing!!!
    A hotel bill equivalent to GBP 88 being paid by the British High Commission.

    Reader Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:05 AM

    Can not understand all this. If the due payments are paid and matter is settled, and no other complaints, why harass a foreigner.

    C.K.Lankaputhra Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:23 AM

    Unfortunately, British high commissioner is not so and so's so and so. Otherwise he could have got the passport in no time.

    Abdul Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:06 AM

    We should take a bond from british citizens before they arrive here.

    Garry Williams Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:47 AM

    Can see the difference how British Govt. take care of their citizens.
    Also hav e to pay 10% commission I guess.

    chams Wednesday, 10 July 2013 04:47 AM

    Does this apply to all nationals including Sri Lankan politicos?

    raviraj Thursday, 11 July 2013 05:06 AM

    law of the land prevails- you must be kidding

    MyLanka Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:11 AM

    Well Said.....

    Kalu Banda Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:15 AM

    The passport would have been handed over to the politicos house

    Aravinda Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:21 AM

    This man has dementia; he forgot to pay 90GBP and forgot to collect his passport. Even after settling that small amount of money , Sri Lankan court is harassing the man. Pathetic!

    Nihal Amarasekera Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:31 AM

    They and some "we" are still under the colonial mentality.

    chinthaka Wednesday, 10 July 2013 02:24 AM

    Defaulted 90 GBP ?

    I think he is having some memory problem.
    90 GBP is nothing. He has also left his PP and other documents.
    If he is a patient of some kind cannot HC represent him quoting that?

    be fair Wednesday, 10 July 2013 02:25 AM

    OMG why not the British try to rule us again....
    then they can maintain law & Order, HR, better education
    and most importatly like the old days rape the country of his rich heritage.

    kukula Wednesday, 10 July 2013 02:30 AM

    Please re-consider the visa application form Magistrate

    Up Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:58 AM

    Paying GBP 90 by the BHC ?

    Ranil Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:58 AM

    Yes you get plenty of british crooks here in UK and some think they are above the law.

    mohamed asfar Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:11 AM

    ajithkumar, anyone can pay a fine on behalf of anybody. but only the owner can ask for the property from any courts. simple law point man.

    nillu Wednesday, 10 July 2013 03:11 AM

    Really good move

    Dinesh Thursday, 11 July 2013 06:22 AM

    British High Commission has done nothing illegal by making an application through police to release the passport of a British citizen, which is the property of the British Government. Ignorance of the law! Pathetic!!!

    roy Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:00 AM

    Will the same apply if the request is from a top politico? via DM iPad app

    DONN Wednesday, 10 July 2013 03:38 AM

    How's that ?

    Kalutaraboy Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:38 AM

    Passport is a property of Gov of Briton or the issuing authority that line is clearly indicated there and a request from Her Majesty's home secretary to allow the bearer to pass without any trouble that why they have embassies all over the world
    do not take the law into your own hand

    Yuri Wednesday, 10 July 2013 03:51 AM

    I would love to be a British Citizen. imagine the people who in Jail for in the middle east went to earn money for our Minister travel expenses

    RAZA Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:59 AM

    Passport is the property of the issuing Government. So the issuing governments representative , the high commission can ask for it. They can cancel while it is in the Magistrates custody and issue a new one.. No hotel can collect or demand a passport for security deposit basis in any part of the world..

    Eagle Eyes Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:04 AM

    Can we ever dream of getting similar assistance from our Embassies.... The answer is simple NO.,

    Ajithkumar Wednesday, 10 July 2013 04:17 AM

    British High Commission represents the interests of the Brithish Nationals. If British High Commission takes responsibility of paying on behalf of him, why cannot they pass a motion on behalf of him. They are approaching through the legal means, which is the right thing to do...

    Ravi Seneviratne Wednesday, 10 July 2013 11:13 AM

    Great , excellent ruling by the court , Law of the land prevails .


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