Legal Lacuna in police raid: Ranil
July 7, 2012
A legal lacuna exists in the manner in which the police acted in raiding the office of Sri Lanka Mirror and X news at Kotte on June 29, it was argued in Parliament yesterday.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who raised the matter under Standing Order 23(2) said the police officers had quoted section 118 of the Penal Code in this case, but it had been repealed.

“There is no legal basis for the police to take persons into custody under a law which is not in force. This amounts to the violation of not only the law of the country, but also the Police Code of Discipline. Equally, it is an infringement of the right for expression established Under Section 14 (1) B of the Constitution. The government kept passively watching while the police were violating the law,” he said. Mr. Wickremesinghe said the police officers had contravened Sections 1 and 2 Under Schedule B of Police Code of Discipline.

“It is a punishable offence to engage in such undisciplined actions. Equally, the police have no room whatsoever at this point to slip out of their responsibility on the pretext of their ignorance of law,” he said.

The Section No.118 of the Criminal Procedure Code was amended 10 years ago.

Leader of the House and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the CID raided the office of this website and arrested eight persons along with some computers in accordance with Sections 115 and 120 of the Penal Code, which had given clear definitions on activities against the state.

“We ask the Opposition Leader to look at these two sections, but not solely on section 118,” he said.

However, he said had the police quoted the irrelevant section, it could be dealt with. “Man has a natural inclination to look for information.

The open media fulfil this need to a great extent. Mass media is an art that has to be handled with special skills. It is unfortunate to see some persons with distorted mindsets acting to destroy people’s moral behaviour and culture in the name of media freedom,” he said.

He said that the media was meant to be used in an open manner.

“If anybody uses the media in a discreet manner, it will pose a threat to the personal freedom as well as to state security,” he said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka