By T. Farook Thajudeen
The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Director and the OIC of the Special Investigation Unit of the CID and the Attorney General to appear before the Court of Appeal to inquire the writ application filed against the arbitrary arrest and detention of lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah by the CID.
At the outset of the inquiry into the writ petition Presiding Judge Arjuna Obeysekera informed that he will refrain from inquiring the matter on personal grounds.
Thereafter, the case was postponed for December14 and the Court issued notice on the respondents for the case to be present in court on December 14.
The writ application was filed by Attorney-at-Law Chalana Perera, the instructing lawyer for Mr. Hizbullah alleging that he nor any other Attorney-at-law was allowed access to his client Mr. Hizbullah who is in the CID to seek instructions over the matter to which Mr. Hizbullah was arrested.
The petitioner claimed that the arbitrary arrest and keeping him in detention are illegal and to have a fair inquiry conducted in accordance with due process and fair trial guarantees under the law.
The petitioner pleads to issue a writ order to the Director of the CID and other concerned respondents to allow the Attorneys-at-law for Mr. Hejaaz Hizbullah to have access to his client to obtain instructions etc. which was denied by the CID which was a breach of attorney-client privilege.
He was arrested by the CID on April 14, 2020, pursuant to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and has since been kept in detention. No reasons were provided at the time of the arrest.