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Lawyer sues cops for stifling his professional rights

8 June 2018 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Claims his rights to represent a female victim was prevented by the Negombo HQI 

A lawyer, who visited the Negombo Police Station to represent a female victim, and was allegedly prevented from discharging his duties by a senior police officer, has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court for the violation of his professional rights. 

Having heard the case the Supreme Court granted leave to proceed for the fundamental rights petition filed by counsel Priyalal Sirisena against Woodler Udayakumara the HQI of Negombo Police and Sub Inspector Madushanka Dias. It is alleged that the duo had allegedly violated the lawyer’s professional rights.   


The petitioner Sirisena, an Attorney-at-Law, had also stated in the petition that he had filed that he was verbally abused by the HQI Woodler at the Negombo Police Station. He was represented by attorney Lakshan Dias at the Supreme Court.   


In his submission Counsel Dias had told the court that the two police officers had violated the rules imposed by the Inspector General of Police to ensure rights of lawyers to make representations at police stations. The counsel further informed the Supreme Court that the two respondent policemen had prevented the lawyer from participating in the police inquiry on two occasions. He had also informed that HQI Woodler had later called the lawyer to his room and verbally abused him.  


It’s mentioned in the petition that Attorney-at-Law Sirisena had provided legal support to a victim-a lady- who had continuously been abused by her husband, a member of a business family in Negombo. The victim (wife) had left her husband, but was later forcibly taken back by her husband. The victim had managed to escape again and was living in hiding when she sought legal assistance for her protection. Sirisena had filed action at Negombo Magistrate’s Court and obtained a court order preventing the husband from abusing the wife. However, she had been summoned by the Negombo Police on a complaint lodged by the husband, who was unable to locate the place she was hiding in. At the inquiry the two policemen had allegedly forced the woman to return to the abusive husband.  

The counsel further informed the Supreme Court that the two respondent policemen had prevented the lawyer from participating in the police inquiry


When Sirisena informed the policemen that there was a court order against the husband, he had been ordered out of inquiry room. The two police officers have allegedly prevented the lady from receiving legal assistance from her lawyer. After removing the lawyer from inquiry room, HQI Udayakumara Woodler had allegedly made perverse  requests from the wife, compelling her to return to her abusive husband and also to embrace him, inside the inquiry room. When Sirisena had objected to the move by the Police to handover the wife to the abusive husband, HQI Woodler had called him into his inquiry room and verbally abused him.  


The Police Commission is conducting a separate inquiry into the alleged actions of the two police officers.   


Counsel Lakshan Dias further pointed out that the police intervention was made two days after Magistrate’s order. However the respondent (police officer) has produced the inquiry notes to court, indicating that the inquiry was held before the Magistrate’s order was issued. The counsel pointed out that this is a fabricated document. The same document had been produced to the Police Commission as well.   


The Supreme Court, after hearing submissions of the counsel for the petitioner, granted leave to proceed and fixed a hearing for December 14.     

 

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