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CID officer arrested along with Shani Abeysekera reinstated and given full salary: AG

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Sub Inspector Sugath Mendis, who was detained and arrested alongside former CID Director Shani Abeysekera, has been reinstated, according to information provided to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General’s Office yesterday. He will also be paid his entire salary.

Sugath Mendis claimed to the supreme court in his appeal that he and his family had suffered hardships as a result of being illegally detained, denied his income and rights, and denied due process.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court yesterday postponed making a decision on the appeal for fundamental rights brought by CID Sub Inspector Sugath Mendis.

As a result, the Supreme Court would rule on this petition when it was appropriate.

Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, S. Thurairaja, and Mahinda Samayawardana made up the Supreme Court bench.

The petitioner has already been restored, and at the final court date, he will receive his full salary and the five increments that were withheld from him, according to Deputy Solicitor General Suharshi Herath speaking on behalf of the Attorney General. The parties who were the respondents had submitted an affidavit to that effect.

Senior Counsel Viran Corea said that the actions complained of in the petition were taken to harm and prejudice the petitioner because they refused to provide false testimony against SSP Shani Abeysekera in a cunning plot to overturn the ex-DIG Vaas-conviction Gunawardena’s for the kidnapping and murder of businessman Mohamed Shiyam. He emphasized that the complaints that were given legal weight came six years after the same people made first assertions to the contrary effect and lacked even the barest appearance of legitimacy. He emphasized that the late charges had been found to be untrue and improbable even by the Appeal Court. Despite this, Corea argued that the respondents and the state were seriously violating the petitioner’s fundamental rights by treating her like a victim. The petitioner, he said, had an impeccable career record and had received numerous accolades and even awards, notably for aiding in the thorough investigation and prosecution of the Vaas-Gunawardena trial. He emphasized that the petitioner immediately after being detained told the magistrate that he had been detained for refusing to cave in to pressure from two police officers—ASP Neville Silva and Inspector Nishantha—to fabricate evidence against Shani Abeysekera in order to frame him for framing Vaas Gunawardena. This is why the petitioner had been arrested, the petitioner claimed. However, strong forces were working against the petitioner and Shani Abeysekera, which managed to free Vaas Gunawardena from the charge. He emphasized that even after depriving the petitioner and his family for several months, providing withheld income nevertheless constituted a violation of Articles 12(1) and 14(1). (g).

The petitioner was encouraged to receive declarations that his fundamental rights had been gravely violated, considerable compensation, and additional remedy under the fair and equitable jurisdiction to make sure that his chances for advancement and career advancement are not hindered in any manner. He urged the court to act similarly in this instance by citing earlier cases in which the court had awarded such reliefs.

The court made clear to the Deputy Solicitor General representing the respondents that it was questioning whether it was appropriate for the same Attorney General representing the trial at bar conviction by five High Court judges in the Supreme Court to also represent steps taken against the petitioner based on the belated complaint in what appeared to be a clear collateral attack on the conviction.

Sub-inspector Mendis was detained and placed on remand for 11 months in connection with claims that SSP Shani Abeysekara, his superior officer, had placed weapons in specific locations to frame former DIG Vaas-Gunawardena, who was found guilty of killing millionaire businessman Mohomed Shyam along with his son and four other people.

The Appeal Court granted Mendis and SSP Shani Abeysekara bail after pointing out various opposing views in complaints brought against Mendis, which clearly featured fabrications and misleading versions. Mendis claimed he was imprisoned and brought into custody as a result of his refusal to make the untrue claim that SSP Abeysekara had planted firearms to implicate Vaas-Gunawardena and others.

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