Case Reference/File No [1999] 2 SriLR 23
Case Name Subasinghe v. Police Constable Sandun and others
Court Supreme Court
Date of judgement 25th Aug and 30th Nov 1998
Judges G.P.S. De Silva CJ
Wadugodapitiya J
Bandaranayake J
Parties Petitioner




1st respondent – Police Constable Sandun
2nd respondent – a police officer
3rd respondent – OIC, Dankotuwa Police Station
Keywords Articles 11, 13(1) and (2) of the Constitution – degrading treatment
Head note  
Brief facts The petitioner on 26th Nov 1996 went to the Dankotuwa Police Station to meet the 3rd respondent and since he was absent, next morning, the petitioner met the 3rd respondent and complained about a commercial transaction. Later on the same day, the 1st respondent who was in civil clothes, came up to the petitioner who was near the Dankotuwa Public Market and said that he will come in uniform to teach him “a good lesson”. The next day, the petitioner was taken to the Police Station by 1st and the 2nd respondents, and the 3rd respondent ignored the presence of the petitioner. There the petitioner was beaten by the 1st respondent and was then taken to Dankotuwa Public Market by a private bus that belongs to the Don Bosco church and was made to walk with handcuffs across the market and was brought back. He was then taken to the Dankotuwa District Hospital, and was brought back. He was then put in a cell and beaten again by the 1st respondent. He also noticed that his gold chain which was worth about Rs.20,000 was missing. The 1st respondent had violated the Fundamental Rights of the petitioner guaranteed by article 11,13 (1) and 13 (2) of the Constitution.
Judicial Precedence The Court held that the fact that the petitioner was taken to the town in a private vehicle and was “exhibited” by making the petitioner walk across the public market in handcuffs is a contempt to the dignity of the petitioner as a human being and therefore constructs “degrading treatment” within the meaning of Article 11 of the Constitution.
Legislation Title Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Area Articles 11 and 13 (1) and (2) of the Constitution