May 03, Colombo: More than 45,000 people arrested for violating curfews and other misconduct during the curfew will be prosecuted as soon as normal court proceedings begin, the Police said.
A total of 45,115 persons have been arrested for violating curfew within the past 45 days. In addition 11,699 vehicles have been seized by the police.
Four people including the Chairman of the Akuressa Pradeshiya Sabha Munidasa Gamage who had traveled without a curfew permit from Akuressa to visit Sri Pada, have been arrested today (03) at the Maussakelle police checkpoint in Maskeliya.
Earlier the police have arrested members of the government as well as opposition, including the mayor of Dambulla for abusing their political power and violating quarantine laws and curfew.
These persons are to be prosecuted in accordance with the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance No. 03 of 1897, amended by the Act No. 12 of 2005.
Under the act legalized during the British colonial rule and amended later, the violators can be prosecuted in magistrate court and if convicted, can be imprisoned up to 6 months and fined up to Rs. 2000.
Further, under this ordinance, police can take suspects into custody and detain without a warrant and produce before a Magistrate's Court or a Primary Court.
In addition to this act, under the Article 14 of the Penal Code suspects can be charged as a danger to society by spreading disease, and punished by imprisonment of 6 months and a fine.
Also under Section 263 of the Penal Code, a person can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of two years and a fine, if he or she is aware of the disease and maliciously spreading it.
Although the more than 45,000 arrested so far have been released on bail, the legal action will be initiated against them on the advice of the Attorney General's Department when the normal court proceedings begin once the COVID-19 epidemic is over, the Police said.