CAN PO­LICE MAKE AR­RESTS UN­DER THE EX­CISE ORDINANCE?

Ac­cord­ing to a Supreme Court prece­dent po­lice have that power

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY KR­IS­HAN JEEWAKA JAYALRUK

Matara Mag­is­trate Ure­sha de Silva yes­ter­day re­served her rul­ing for March 9, 2017 whether the po­lice had the power to ar­rest sus­pects for of­fences un­der the Ex­cise Ordinance.

She made this de­ci­sion when a case against a sus­pect in­volved in a con­tra­band trade of il­licit liqour came up for hear­ing be­fore her.

Po­lice Depart­ment Di­rec­tor of the Le­gal Di­vi­sion DIG Ajith Ro­hana told court that a Supreme Court judg­ment has cre­ated a con­tro­versy over the pow­ers of po­lice of­fi­cers to ar­rest in­di­vid­u­als for of­fences un­der the Ex­cise Ordinance.

“Po­lice have been car­ry­ing on raids to seize il­licit liqour and to ar­rest sus­pects en­gag­ing in the il­le­gal trade for more than 104 years. Un­der the Supreme Court judg­ment the po­lice have the power to take ac­tion in case of all other of­fences ex­clud­ing the of­fences un­der Sec­tion 46 (2) of the Ex­cise Ordinance for vi­o­la­tion of liqour li­cences. The Supreme Court judg­ment is applicable to all districts alike,” he said.

At­tor­ney- at- Law Da­yaraj Dasanayake, ap­pear­ing for the sus­pect sub­mit­ted that the lower courts were to abide by the prece­dents cre­ated by the Supreme Court, the High Court or the Ap­peal Court judg­ments and that the po­lice should not at­tempt to seek an or­der favourable to them from the Mag­is­trate­court.

“A rul­ing in his re­gard should be given by the At­tor­ney Gen­eral or else the po­lice should file a pe­ti­tion in the Ap­peal Court to re­voke the Supreme Court judg­ment,” he sub­mit­ted.

About fifty trainee ASPS and Of­fi­cers- in -Charge of all po­lice sta­tions in the district were present in the court to fol­low the pro­ceed­ings.

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