Aug 05, Colombo: The Supreme Court Thursday issued an interim order suspending the implementation of regulations issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The Supreme Court issued the Interim Order suspending the operation of Prevention of Terrorism (De-radicalization from holding violent extremist religious ideology) Regulations No. 01 of 2021, which was published by way of an extraordinary gazette notification on 12 March, 2021.
This Interim Order will be effective until August 24, the next hearing date.
The Supreme Court issued the interim order after considering three fundamental rights petitions filed by a group of journalists and human rights activists seeking an injunction restraining the implementation of the regulations.
The petitions were heard by a three-judge bench comprising Justices Murdu Fernando, Yasantha Kodagoda and Achala Wengappuli.
Journalists and human rights activists Ruwan Laknath Jayakody, Kavindya Christopher Thomas, Centre for Policy Alternative and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu and Shreen Saroor had filed the Fundamental Rights petitions naming Attorney General as the respondent.
The petitioners seeking a declaration that the De-radicalization Regulations are not legally valid, allege that the President on March 12, 2021 under Extraordinary Gazette Notification 2218/68 / 2021 had made regulations titled Prevention of Terrorism (De-radicalization from holding violent extremist religious ideology) Regulations No. 01 of 2021 issued under Section 27 of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 (PTA).
The petitioners also point out that under these regulations, any person can be arrested and rehabilitated without any judicial process.
The petitioners allege that the regulations pose a serious threat to their personal freedom.
As these regulations are in direct violation of Articles 10, 11, 12.1, 12.2, 13.1, 13.2, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.1 (b), 14.1 (d) and 17 of the Constitution, the petitioners request the apex court to allow the petitions to be heard, and to declare that the fundamental rights of oneself and the people of the country are being violated. The petitioners also sought an interim injunction restraining the implementation of this regulation.
Senior Counsel Viran Corea with counsel Suren Fernando, Pulasthi Hewamanna and Manjula Balasooriya appeared for the petitioners. Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle with Senior State Counsel Awanthi Perera appeared for the Attorney General.