Written by Zulfick Farzan
31 Aug, 2020 | 4:38 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Attorney General Dappula De Livera said Premalal Jayasekara who was elected to Parliament and is currently on death row is unsuitable to be seated in Parliament or cast his vote.
State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, the Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General said the AG on the 19th of August 2020 had communicated his opinion to the Secretary-General of Parliament, the Secretary to the Justice Ministry and the Commissioner-General of Prisons.
She said on that very day, the Commissioner-General of Prisons had written to the Justice Secretary seeking advice from the Attorney General on the possibility of Premalal Jayaseraka who was sentenced to death and was elected to the 09th Parliament, acting as a Public Representative and attending the sessions of the Parliament.
Premalal Jayasekera who was sentenced to death remains in custody pending the determination of the appeal.
The Commissioner-General of Prisons sought advice from the Attorney General as there is no mention to this respect in the Prison Laws and Regulations.
The Attorney General’s Department noted Section 333 (4) of the Code Of Criminal Procedure Act (No. 15 of 1979) says, where the accused is sentenced to death, execution shall be stayed and he shall be kept on remand in prison pending the determination of the appeal.
The AG’s Department however noted, it does change the conviction of the said individual, as per the provisions of the existing laws.
Further, the Attorney General’s Department said as per section 91 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka No person shall be qualified to be elected as a Member of Parliament or to sit and vote in Parliament if he is or becomes subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 89.
It adds, Section 89 (d) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka notes, No person shall be qualified to be an elector at an election of the President, or of the Members of Parliament or to vote at any Referendum if he is under sentence of death and he will lose his right to vote under such a sentence.
State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, the Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General said based on the aforementioned reasons, the Attorney General is of the opinion Premalal Jayasekera who was sentenced to death is not suitable to sit and vote in Parliament.
Premalal Jayasekera alias “Choca Malli”, Ex-Chairman of the Kahawatte Pradeshiya Sabha Wajira Darshana Silva, and Ex-Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Nilantha Jayakody were sentenced to death by the Ratnapura High Court on the 31st of July 2020.
The judgment was delivered by Ratnapura High Court Judge Rohan Jayawardena.
The trio was sentenced to death after they were found guilty of multiple indictments including causing damage to an election rally in Kahawatte during the run-up to the 2015 Presidential Election and shooting dead an individual.
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