Relevant Statutes

Anti Torture Legislation

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA  

CHAPTER III –

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

Freedom from torture.

11. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Right to equality.

12.  (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:

Provided that it shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any employment or office in the Public, Judicial or Local Government Service or in the service of any public corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of the duties of such employment or office:

Provided further that it shall be lawful to require a person to have sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any such employment of office where no function of that employment or office can be discharged otherwise than with a knowledge of that language.

(3) No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex or any one such grounds, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of his own religion.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent special provision being made, by law, subordinate legislation or executive action, for the advancement of women, children or disabled persons.

 

Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment, and prohibition of retroactive penal legislation.

13. (1) No person shall be arrested except according to procedure established by law. Any person arrested shall be informed of the reason for his arrest.

(2) Every person held in custody, detained or otherwise deprived of personal liberty shall be brought before the judge of the nearest competent court according to procedure established by law, and shall not be further held in custody, detained or deprived of personal liberty except upon and in terms of the order of such judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(3) Any person charged with an offence shall be entitled to be heard, in person or by an attorney-at-law, at a fair trial by a competent court.

(4) No person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law. The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, pending investigation or trial, shall not constitute punishment.

(5) Every person shall be presumed innocent until he is proved guilty:

Provided that the burden of proving particular facts may, by law, be placed on an accused person.

(6) No person shall be held guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission which did not, at the time of such act or omission, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any offence more severe than the penalty in force at the time such offence was committed.

Nothing in this Article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.

It shall not be a contravention of this Article to require the imposition of a minimum penalty for an offence provided that such penalty does not exceed the maximum penalty prescribed for such offence at the time such offence was committed.

(7) The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, by reason of a removal order or a deportation order made under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act or the Indo-Ceylon Agreement (Implementation) Act, No. 14 of 1967, or such other law as may be enacted in substitution therefor, shall not be a contravention of this Article.

Remedy for the infringement of fundamental rights by executive action.

17 . Every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court, as provided by Article 126, in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by executive or administrative action, of a fundamental right to which I such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter.

Fundamental rights jurisdiction and its exercise.

126. (1) The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringement by executive or administrative action of any fundamental right or language right declared and recognized by Chapter III or Chapter IV.

(2) Where any person alleges that any such fundamental right or language right relating to such person has been infringed or is about to be infringed by executive or administrative action, he may himself or by an attorney-at-law on his behalf, within one month thereof, in accordance with such rules of court as may be in force, apply to the Supreme Court by way of petition in writing addressed to such Court praying for relief or redress in respect of such infringement. Such application may be proceeded with only with leave to proceed first had and obtained from the Supreme Court, which leave may be granted or refused, as the case may be, by not less than two Judges.

(3) Where in the course of hearing in the Court of Appeal into an application for orders in the nature of a writ of habeas corpus, certiorari , prohibition, procedendo , mandamus or quo warranto , it appears to such Court that there is prima facie evidence of an infringement or imminent infringement of the provisions of Chapter III or Chapter IV by a party to such application, such Court shall forthwith refer such matter for determination by the Supreme Court.

(4) The Supreme Court shall have power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable in the circumstance in respect of any petition or reference referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article or refer the matter back to the Court of Appeal if in its opinion there is no infringement of a fundament right or language right.

(5) The Supreme Court shall hear and finally dispose of any petition or reference under this Article within two months of the filing of such petition or the making of such reference.

 

 _______________________________________

Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Act, No. 22 of 1994

Certified on 20th December, 1994]

Published as a Supplement to Part II of the Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka of December 23, 1994

L.D. - O 8/94

AN ACT TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT; AND FOR MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH OR INCIDENTAL THERETO.

WHEREAS a Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, was signed in New York on December 10, 1984:

AND WHEREAS by an instrument of accession dated December 14, 1993, and deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization, on January 3, 1994, Sri Lanka has acceded to the aforesaid Convention:

AND WHEREAS the aforesaid Convention has entered into force for Sri Lanka with effect from February 2, 1994:

AND WHEREAS it has become necessary to make legislative provision to give effect to Sri Lanka's obligations under the aforesaid Convention:

NOW therefore be it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows: -

1. This Act may be cited as the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act, No. 22 of 1994.

2. (1) Any person who tortures any other person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
(2) Any person who -
(a) attempts to commit;
(b) aids and abets in committing;
(c) conspires to commit,

an offence under subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

(3) The subjection of any person on the order of a competent court to any form of punishment recognized by written law shall be deemed not to constitute an offence under subsection (1).

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Act shall on conviction after trial by the High Court be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than seven years and not exceeding ten years and a fine not less than ten thousand rupees and not exceeding fifty thousand rupees.

(5) An offence under this Act shall be a cognizable offence and a non-bailable offence, within the meaning, and for the purposes, of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No.15 of 1979.

3. For the avoidance of doubts it is hereby declared that the fact that any act constituting an offence under this Act was committed -

(a) at a time when there was a state of war, threat of war, internal political instability or any public emergency;

(b) on an order of a superior officer or a public authority, shall not be a defence to such offence.

4. (1) The High Court of Sri Lanka shall have the jurisdiction to hear and try an offence under this Act committed in any place outside the territory of Sri Lanka by any person, in any case where-

(a) the offender whether he is a citizen of Sri Lanka or not, is in Sri Lanka, or on board a ship or aircraft registered in Sri Lanka;
(b) the person alleged to have committed the offence is a citizen of Sri Lanka; or
(b) the person in relation to whom the offence is alleged to have been committed is a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(2) The jurisdiction of the High Court of Sri Lanka in respect of an offence under this Act committed by a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka, outside the territory of Sri Lanka, shall be exercised by the High Court holden in the Judicial Zone nominated by the Chief Justice, by a direction in writing under his hand.

5. A confession otherwise inadmissible in any criminal proceedings shall be admissible in any proceedings instituted under this Act, for the purpose only of proving the fact that such confession was made.

6. Where a person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka is arrested for an offence under this Act, then he shall be entitled to communicate without delay with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national or if he is a stateless person, the nearest appropriate representative of the State where he usually resides.

7. (1) Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Minister in charge of the subject of Foreign Affairs shall inform the relevant authorities in any other State having jurisdiction over that offence, of the measures which the Government of Sri Lanka has taken, or proposes to take, for the prosecution or extradition that person, for that offence.

(2) Where a request is made to the Government of Sri Lanka, by or on behalf of the Government of any State for the extradition of any person. accused or convicted of the offence of torture, the Minister in charge of the subject of Foreign Affairs shall, on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, forthwith inform the Government of the requesting State, of the measures which the Government of Sri Lanka has taken, or proposes to take, for the prosecution or extradition of that person, for that offence.

(3) Where it is decided that no order should be made under the Extradition Law, No. 8 of 1977, for the extradition of any person accused or convicted of the offence of torture pursuant to a request for his extradition made under that Law, by the Government of any State, the case shall be submitted to the relevant authorities, so that prosecution for the offence which such person is accused of, or other appropriate action may be considered.

8. The Extradition Law, No. 8 of 1977, is hereby amended in the manner set out in the Schedule to this Act.

9. (1) Where there is an extradition arrangement in force between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of any other State, such arrangement shill be deemed, for the purposes of the Extradition Law, No.8 of 1977, to include provision for extradition in respect of the offence of torture as defined in the Convention, and of attempting to commit, aiding and abetting the commission of, or conspiring to commit, the offence of torture as defined in the Convention.

(2) Where there is no extradition arrangement made by the Government of Sri Lanka with any State, in force on the date of the commencement of this Act, the Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, treat the Convention, for the purposes of the Extradition Law, No.8 of 1977, as an extradition arrangement made by the Government of Sri Lanka with the Government of that State, providing for extradition in respect of the offence of torture as defined in the Convention and of attempting to commit, aiding and abetting the commission of, or conspiring to commit, the offence of torture as defined in the Convention.

10. The Government shall afford such assistance (including the supply of any relevant evidence at its disposal) to the relevant authorities of any State as may be necessary in connection with criminal proceeding instituted in that State against any person, in respect of the offence of torture.

11. In the event of any inconsistency between the Sinhala and Tamil texts of this Act, the Sinhala text shall prevail.

12. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

"Convention" means the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment signed in New York on December 10, 1984;

"public officer" means a person who holds any paid office under the Republic;

"torture" with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions. means any act which causes severe pain, whether physical or mental, to any other person, being an act which is - (a) done for any of the following purposes that is to say -(i) obtaining from such other person or a third person, any information or confession; or (ii) punishing such other person for any act which he or a third person has committee, or is suspected of having committed ; or (iii) intimidating or coercing such other person or a third person; or done for any reason based on discrimination, and being in every case, an act which is done by, or at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public officer or other person acting in an official capacity.

Government of Ceylon

LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENTS

Penal Code

Of Hurt

 

310. "Whoever causes bodily pain, disease, or infirmity to any person is said to "cause hurt".

311. The following kinds of hurt only are designated as “grievous”:-

  • Firstly – Emasculation.
  • Secondly – Permanent privation, of the sight of either eye.
  • Thirdly – Permanent privation, of the hearing of either ear.
  • Fourthly – Privation of any member or joint.
  • Fifthly – Destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint.
  • Sixthly – Permanent disfiguration of the head or face.
  • Seventhly – Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth.
  • Eighthly – Any hurt which endangers life, or which cause the Sufferer to be, during the space of twenty days, in Severe bodily pain or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits.

312, Whoever does any act with the intention of thereby causing hurt to any person, or with the knowledge that he is likely thereby to cause hurt to any person, and does thereby cause hurt to any person, is said "voluntarily to cause hurt".

313. Whoever voluntarily causes hurt, if the hurt which he intends to cause or knows himself to be likely to cause is grievous hurt, and if the hurt which he causes is grievous hurt, is said "voluntarily to cause grievous hurt".

Explanation:-- A person is not said voluntarily to cause grievous hurt except when he both causes grievous hurt and intends to knows himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt. But he is said voluntarily to cause grievous hurt if, intending or knowing himself to be likely to cause grievous hurt of one kind, he actually causes grievous hurt of another kind.

Illustration

A, intending or knowing himself to be likely permanently to disfigure Z's face, gives Z a blow which does not permanently disfigure Z's face, but which causes Z to suffer severe bodily pain for the space of twenty days. A has voluntarily caused grievous

hurt.

321. Whoever voluntarily causes hurt for the purpose of extorting from the sufferer, or from any person interested in the sufferer, any confession or any information which may lead to the detention of an offence or misconduct, or for the purpose of constraining the sufferer or any person interested in the sufferer to restore or to cause the restoration of any property or valuable security, or to satisfy any claim or demand, or to give information which may lead to the restoration of any property or valuable security, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Illustrations

(a) A, a police officer tortures Z in order to induce Z to confess that he

committed a crime. A is guilty of an offence under this section.

(b) A, a police officer, tortures B to induce him to point out where certain

stolen property is deposited. A is guilty of an offence under this section.

(c) A, a revenue officer, tortures Z in order to compel him to pay certain arrears

of revenue due from Z, A is guilty of an offence under this section.

(d) A, a landowner, tortures his tenant in order to compel him to pay his rent, A is

guilty of an offence under this section.

PARLIAMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF

SRI LANKA .

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT (REPEAL)

ACT, No. 23 OF 2005.

Corporal Punishment (Repeal)

Act No. 23 of 2005.

(Certified on 02nd August, 2005)

L.D. - O. 55/2004.

AN ACT TO REPEAL THE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT ORDINANCE

BE it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows:=

 

1. This Act may be cited as the Corporal Punishment (Repeal) Act No. 23 of 2005.

2. The Corporal Punishment Ordinance (Chapter 21) is hereby repealed.

3. Wherever in any written law, there is included as part of a sentence to be imposed by Court in respect of any offence, a sentence of whipping, such law shall from and after the date of the coming into operation of this Act, be deemed to be amended by the omission therefrom of such part of such sentence as relates to whipping.

4. In the event of any inconsistency between the Sinhala and Tamil texts of this Act, the Sinhala text shall prevail.

 

PARLIAMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST

REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

 

PENAL CODE (AMENDMENT )

ACT, No. 22 OF 1995

  (Certified on 31st October, 1995)

  Printed on the Order of Government

  (2) In this section----

"child" means a person under eighteen years of age:

and

"film" includes any form of video recording.'.

 

3. The following new section is hereby inserted immediately after

section 308, and shall have effect as section 308 A of the principal

enactment: ----

 

308 A (1) Whoever, having the custody charge or care

of any person under eighteen years of age, wilfully assaults,

ill-treats, neglects or abandons such person or causes or

procures such person to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected or abandoned in a manner likely to cause him suffering or injury to health (including injury to, or loss of sight or hearing, or limb or organ of the body or any mental derangement), commits the offence of cruelty to children.

(2)Whoever commits the offence of cruelty to children shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than two years and not exceeding ten years and may also be punished with fine and be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for the injuries caused to such person.".

 

4. Section 311 of the principal enactment is hereby repealed

and the following section substituted therefor: ----

 

311. The following kinds of hurt only are designated

as "grievous":----  

•  emasculation;

•  permanent privation or impairment of the sight of either eye;

•  permanent privation or impairment of the hearing of either ear;

•  privation of any member or joint;

•  destruction or permanent impairment of the powers of any member or joint

•  permanent disfiguration of the head or face;

•  cut or fracture, of bone, cartilege or tooth or dislocation or subluxation, of bone, joint or tooth;

•  any injury, which endangers life or in consequence of which an operation involving the opening of the thoracic, abdominal or cranial cavities is performed;

•  any injury which causes the sufferer to be in severe bodily pain or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits, for a period of twenty days either because of the injury or any operation necessitated by the injury.'.

 

 

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