Puttalam Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake reprimanded the police when a suspect who stood charged with a traffic offence successfully cross-examined the police and defended himself.
The Magistrate said the police often produced suspects charged with traffic offences on the assumption that they would plead guilty and pay the fine imposed.
Mohamed Baskhan Ahmed Farouk, a resident of Nikaweratiya, was recently charged by the Pallama Police for using a cellular phone while driving a lorry. A significant feature of the case was that the suspect who defended himself and cross examined the police was acquitted of all charges.
“It is a misconception that a police statement is adequate to find a suspect guilty of an offence. Police officers who use their powers and take action against suspects are not prepared to accept any other plea other than that of being guilty. They are motivated by one thing and one thing only; to file as many cases as possible. The evidence of the Pallama Police OIC and the other officers clearly indicated their lack of knowledge in the law. It was obvious from the evidence they gave that police officers caused inconvenience to the public for want of knowledge in the legal implications of their action. The statements made by the OIC and other police officers under cross examination by the suspect clearly indicated their poor knowledge in traffic regulations,” the Magistrate said. (Upali Ananda)