Feb 16, 2020

President and Defence Minister are one, revealed in courts Featured

Appearing as the Defence Minister, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had sought court approval for a detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, at the Panadura Magistrate’s Court on February 13.

The president had signed the request to court for the detention of a suspect Madurapperumage Kanchana Madurapperuma who is held at the Kalutara Remand Prison on charges of possession of drugs and weapons.

Only the Defence Minister has the authority to issue a detention order under the PTA, but the President does not have that power.

Currently there is no Defence Minister appointed and according to the constitution the President cannot hold any ministry.

The Peliyagoda CID Headquarters Chief Inspector Jayantha Dahanayake had presented the document signed by the President to court.

The Attorney appearing for the suspect Upul Kumarapperuma stated that only the Defence Minister has the authority to issue orders under the PTA. He noted that in appointing the Cabinet a Defence Minister had not been appointed.

Accordingly, he said as there is no Defence Minister no one has the authority to issue detention orders.

Although the President is the head of the Cabinet, under the 19th Amendment he does not have the ability to hold a ministerial post.

Kumarapperuma told court that the detention orders are not valid and if a detention is carried out it is illegal.

The Panadura Magistrate Chandana Kalansooriya postponed the verdict on this case to February 20th. 

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