Moves to issue receipt on arrests

Published : 8:58 am  August 27, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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DM_20150827_A001-17By Sandun A Jayasekera
In a bid to further strengthen individual fundamental rights, the government would introduce a system where law enforcement officers would issue a receipt to a close family member, when a person was arrested, a senior official of the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

The new regulation to be drafted, based on the ‘National Human Rights Action Plan’ and to be incorporated in the Police Ordinance, requires the acknowledgement of the Peace Officer (A Policeman, a Grama Niladhari or any other law enforcement officer) and issue a receipt indicating the basic information that led to the arrest, the name of the officer who is in charge of the team of officers, the place of arrest and the name of the person arrested, the official said.

“When a Peace Officer arrests any person, he shall issue an acknowledgement in the prescribed form signed by him and issue it to an adult member of the family of the person arrested or in his absence to another person named by the person arrested,” the official said quoting the draft regulations.

If a Peace officer arrests a person, he shall inform the arrest immediately to the Police Station which he is attached to. If any other Peace officer other than a Police officer arrests a person, he is required to inform the arrest immediately to the OIC of the nearest Police Station. When a Peace officer arrests a person he should obtain three copies of such acknowledgement with the name and signature of the officer and give one copy to the family member or the person named by the arrested person, the official added.

Family members or any other persons close to the person arrested are free to demand an acknowledgment of the arrest from the official/s that makes the arrest.

“We believe, the proposed measures will put an end to unlawful arrests and disappearances involving law enforcement officers. The arbitrary arrests and the disappearances that followed in the recent past have tarnished the image of Sri Lanka, the armed forces and the Police Department with international ramifications. The objective of these measures is to prevent a repetition of that kind of illegal arrests and abductions,” the official said..

Once the regulations were enacted, Peace officers would be issued with receipt books or acknowledgements, when they are deployed for outdoor duties, the official said.

“If and when a person arrested by a Peace officer goes missing after the arrest, get injured or die, the officer will have to explain the circumstances that led to such harm. If the particular officer found to be responsible fully or partly to the ill-treatment to the arrested person, he/she will be dealt with the law of the land, as any other law breaker,” the  official said.