Jul 04, 2019

Appeal Court hears Prisons Commissioner's stance on death penalty

The Prisons Commissioner General had taken steps to re-introduce the death penalty since it was part of his duties and not as per his personal undertaking, the Appeal Court heard today (Jul 4).

These remarks were made by Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle before a five-member judge bench that has been appointed to hear the fundamental rights petition against the punishment.

Malinda Seneviratne, a journalist had petitioned against this decision by citing that it is a violation of fundamental rights. However, the Attorney General had filed preliminary objections stating that a President's decision could not be challenged under the law.

In response, the petitioner's lawyer had clarified that his client wishes to challenge the decision taken by the Prison's Commissioner General to re-introduce judicial hangings and not the President's decision on the matter.

The petition is being heard before a five-member judge bench comprising Justices Yasantha Kodagoda, Arjuna Obeyesekere, Deepali Wijesundera, Janak de Silva, and Achala Wengappuli.

The Prisons Commissioner General and the Welikada Prisons Superintendent have been named as respondents to the petition.

During today's hearing, the judge bench announced that the petition would be postponed until tomorrow.