By S.S. Selvanayagam
Senior Counsel brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan is being kept in remand custody for more than one and a half years and that his client has little or no access to relevant documentation.
Counsel also brought to the notice of the Court that the State has filed Objection minus important documents and pleaded that he be given further time to file Counter Objection.
The Bench comprising Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Upaly Abeyrathne and Anil Gooneratne fixed the matter for 26 October.
The Court, on 24 January last year, granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by Former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan.
Leave to proceed was granted for the alleged violation of the petitioner’s fundamental right to equality and his right to the freedom from arbitrary detention.
Sanjeeva Jayawardane with Abdul Najeem appeared for the Petitioner. Senior State Counsel Sudharsan Silva appeared for the Attorney General.
Petitioner challenges his alleged arbitrary arrest and detention as third suspect in connection with the assassination of former TNA Batticaloa Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham on 25 December 2005.
Petitioner Pillayan who is also the leader of the political party ‘Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal’ (Tamil People Liberation Tigers) cited IGP, 7 CID officers and the Attorney General as Respondents.
He claims that having left the LTTE, he fully extended his cooperation to the Military, fighting side by side with the Army and providing crucial and vital support to defeat the LTTE and that his alliance with the Army was one of the several influential factors in the relentless march towards victory by the Sri Lankan Forces.
He said he had been detained with the Detention Order from the Defence Ministry which, he maintains, has lapsed with the effluxion of the designated period (three months) and thereafter continued to be held in remand, under the judicial custody.
He asserts that he was staying in one of the high security houses maintained by the State Intelligence Service near Sapukaskanda under the protection of the Army Intelligence service on the day of the said incident of murder.
He states he neither involved himself or instructed, nor ordered anyone to commit the murder of Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham.
He states his bail application was dismissed by the Batticaloa High Court. He laments he has been held in long incarceration by abusing and misconstruing the provisions of PTA, systematically depriving him of liberty and freedom of movement.
He alleges that prior to the last Presidential Election held in January 2015 as well as the Parliamentary Elections held in August 2015, he was severely pressurised to extend his cooperation to implicate the former Defence Secretary and a few other political heads of the former regime with criminal offences.
He sustains his continued incarceration is an integral component of well disguised political plan by a certain group of powerful persons.
He is seeking the Court to direct the Magistrate’s Court to enlarge him in bail and also seeking a declaration that his fundamental right to equality, right to freedom from torture or degrading treatment, right to freedom from being discriminated against on the grounds of political opinion, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention have been infringed.