Case Reference/File No [1997] 3 SriLR 225
Case Name Abeywickrema v. Gunaratna and three others
Court Supreme Court
Date of judgement 9th Sep 1997
Judges G.P. S. De Silva CJ
Ananda Coomaraswamy J
Dr Shirani Bandaranayake J
Parties Petitioner



Chief Inspector of the Police Station, Maradana
Keywords Articles 11, 13(1) – legal arrest and degrading treatment – Section 32(1)b of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act
Head note  
Brief facts The petitioner, a three-wheeler driver, who took a passenger on a hire waited at the destination hotel to be paid. As the passenger didn’t return, he went into the hotel, saw the passenger is in an argument with another person. Then, some police officers came and took the passenger to the police station and the petitioner’s three-wheeler was used again. While the petitioner was waiting outside to be paid, he was called in and was assaulted, was taken to AJMO and was locked up in a cell until the next day when he was released on police bail.

The Court referred to the earlier decision Thadchanamoorthi v. Attorney-General that an ‘aggravated form of treatment or punishment’ could satisfy the requirements of Article 11 and with additional consideration on the circumstances of the case held that the respondents have violated the rights of the petitioner entrenched under Article 11 of the Constitution. Considering the legality of the arrest and detention of the petitioner within the meaning of Article 13(1) of the Constitution and Section 32 (1) b of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, basis the Court held that such arrest and detention has infringe amounted to the petitioner’s fundamental rights under Article 13 (1) of the Constitution.
Judicial Precedence The arrest has to be lawful and for it to be lawful, the arrest should be carried out according to the procedure laid down by law.
Legislation Title The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979
Area Articles 11, 13(1) of the Constitution; Section 32(1)b of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act