May 29, 2020

FRs against death penalty listed for support on 14 October

The Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions challenging the imposing of the death penalty has been listed for support on 14 October, 2020.

The matter was taken up before the Supreme Court today and a stay order on carrying out executions was subsequently extended.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and a number of others had challenged attempts by former President Maithripala Sirisena to implement the death penalty.

The Supreme Court granted Interim Relief as prayed for on 5 July 2019, directing the Commissioner General of Prisons and the Welikada Prison Superintendent to immediately desist from executing any prisoner consequent to a death warrant signed by the President.

The Supreme Court also granted another Interim Relief, suspending the operation of any and all death warrants signed by the President.

Fifteen Fundamental Rights Petitions were filed impugning the decisions for revival of executions, complaining that it is shrouded with secrecy, with utter lack of transparency and accountability, and is arbitrary and violative of the Constitution.