Director General of Health cannot act above judicial powers – Chilaw High Court judge in Hejaaz Hizbullah case!

The CID is pressuring persons who could be witnesses in the case of Hejaaz Hizbullah to give evidence against him, Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Athukorala informed Chilaw High Court Judge Kumari Abeyratne today (11).
Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Athukorala made this announcement when the case filed against Hejaaz Hizbullah was called by a motion in the Puttalam High Court today. Chilaw High Court Judge Kumari Abeyratne has been appointed to hear the case filed in the Puttalam High Court.
Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Athukorala appeared for Hejaaz Hizbullah, a group of Attorneys-at-Law including Hafeez Faris, Niron Ankital appeared on behalf of the Principal of Madrasa School in Madurankuliya, Mohamed Shakeel.
Attorney-at-law Athukorala told the High Court that although it is told that charges have been filed against Hejaaz Hizbullah and Mohamed Shakeel in the High Court, no chargesheet has been presented against them and that Hizbullah has been in custody and remanded for more than a year without being charged.
The lawyer said that this should be called as a matter of priority as the charges have been filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and that the rights of the accused would be violated by prolonged detention orders and remand. The lawyer urged to prosecute Attorney Hizbullah (the first defendant) and file charges, since the CID has been pressuring potential witnesses in the case for about three months to testify him.
The Attorney General was represented by the State Counsel of the Puttalam High Court and he stated that this case alone could not be dealt with in any different way from the other cases and that the action would be taken on the instructions of the Director General of Health.
Responding to the State Counsel’s statement, Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Athukorala said that although he was well aware of the deplorable situation in the country, no one could do anything beyond the Code of Criminal Procedure. The lawyer also stated that one cannot be deprived of one’s freedom by pointing out the prevailing catastrophic situation.
After hearing the views of both parties, the High Court Judge stated that the Director General of Health can not act beyond the jurisdiction of the judiciary. However, the High Court Judge concluded that the opinion of the Director General of Health is important and that the Director General of Health and the Negombo Superintendent of Prisons should submit their views on the case before the court and the case should be taken up again on July 02
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