The Supreme Court yesterday allowed the appeal of the Attorney General against the Court of Appeal judgement granting bail to Thilanga Sumathipala who is alleged to have abetted Dammika Amarasinghe to use a forged passport.
Dammika Amarasinghe was killed in the Magistrates court premises when he was produced in connection with another case.
A panel of five judges comprising Justices Shirani A. Bandaranayake, T.B.Weerasuriya, N.K.Udalagama, N.E.Dissanayake and Raja Fernando of the Supreme Court heard the appeal filed by the Attorney General, the IGP, the CID Director and the OIC of the Anti Human Smuggling Unit of the CID.
Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in her judgement held that considering the provisions in terms of Section 47(1) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, it was evident that although Section 404 vests appellate and revisionary jurisdictions in the Court of Appeal to grant bail, Section 47(1) has taken away these jurisdictions from all Courts as offences under Section 45 of Immigrants and Emigrants Act shall be non bailable and no person accused of such an offence shall be admitted to bail.
She said compared with the provisions of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution, it is an arguable point that this position leads to an injustice as even a suspect would be deprived of his liberty irrespective of the fact that in terms of the provisions contained in the Chapter on fundamental rights of the Constitution, the basic rights of the individual must be safeguarded. However she ruled that although the liberty and freedom of an individual is thus restricted in terms of the provisions of Section 47(1) of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act, injustice cannot be cured by this Court. She held that it is for the Parliament to make necessary amendments if there is a conflict between the specific provisions and individual liberty.
On December 8, 2003 (which was a poya holiday), Mr. Sumathipala surrendered to Magistrate A.S. .Gamlath Aarachchi who was on roster duty to function as the Magistrate and he made the order on `conditional release`.