By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday deferred until August 6 granting leave to proceed for the fundamental rights petition filed on behalf of Dr. Mohamed Shafi Shihabdeen (42) attached to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.
The bench comprising Justices B.P. Aluwihare, L.T.B. Dehideniya and P. Padman Surasena deferred the matter as respondents informed court they had not received notices.
Dr. Shafi, who is alleged of sterilising women, filed an FR petition against his arrest and detention at the CID yesterday.
In his petition filed through Attorney Rushdie Habeeb, Dr. Shafi claims his arrest had taken place as a result of “jealousy” over a purchase of three plots of land worth Rs.130 million in Kurunegala.
He said these properties were jointly purchased by three persons including him and refuted allegations of sterilising women since they have not been supported by clinical evidence.
He seeks a court order to quash the detention order issued against him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He is also seeking an interim order on his detention at the CID.
Faisz Musthapha PC with Razeed Zarook PC, Faiza Markar and Hejaz Hizbullah appeared for Dr Shafi.
The petition states that Dr. Shafi contested as a candidate of the United National Party (UNP) at the general elections in 2015 and secured some 54,000 preferential votes and was placed 8th in the list of candidates on the basis of preferential votes but was not elected as an MP as the UNP obtained only 7 seats from the Kurunegala District.
It states after failing to secure a seat in Parliament, Dr. Shafi returned to the government service and based on an appeal made by him, was appointed in August 2016 as a Medical Officer, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Base Hospital, Dambulla and thereafter in February 2017, transferred to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital as a Senior House Officer, Gynaecology and Obstetrics. The petition states that Dr. Shafi and three others in their individual capacity purchased the land in Kurunegala.
The petitioner claims that the purchase of the said land and premises caused jealousy and the perception that he amassed wealth and that could have contributed to his illegal arrest.
The petition claims that Dr. Shafi’s contribution to the purchase was paid by money saved from his salary, earnings from his private practice and other declared income sources.
On May 22, 2019, the first respondent reported to the Kurunegala Magistrate that a Muslim doctor serving in the Teaching Hospital assisted Muslim extremist groups that had links with ISIS terrorists.
The petition states that thereafter, the first respondent conducted ‘investigations’ and purportedly received ‘intelligence information’ that the unidentified doctor caused harm to the fallopian tube of Sinhalese women when performing caesarian operations and thereby reducing the functionality of the said organs which in turn made them infertile.
The petition alleges the statement that ‘investigations’ were being conducted or have been conducted is totally false.
It states that Dr. Shafi has never been a member of, involved with, connected to or assisted any terrorist group and in particular the National Tawheed Jamaat (NTJ) linked
The petition states that after the Easter Sunday attacks and before May 23, Dr. Shafi’s house and Goldmed Diagnostics and Laboratories (Pvt) Limited have been searched by the police on three separate occasions and no allegations of criminal and/or terrorist activity was made out or put forward.
- Alleges the statement that ‘investigations’ were being conducted or have been conducted is totally false
- Claims arrest had taken place as a result of “jealousy” over a purchase of three plots of land worth Rs.130 million