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Mervyn Silva ordered to pay Rs. 4 lakhs compensation

The Supreme Court ordered former Deputy Minister of Highways and Road Development Mervyn Silva to pay Rs.400,000 personally as compensation to the Petitioner for the demolition and destruction of a parapet wall, two toilets and a wash room in Kiribathgoda that belonged to the Petitioner.

Justice Anil Gooneratne, with Justices Eva Wanasundera and K. T. Chitrasiri concurring, observed in his judgment that the law did not permit any kind of manipulation by the 7th Respondent Mervyn Silva to cause harm to citizens or interfere with their basic rights.

Justice Gooneratne also observed that a court of law cannot be immune to or ignorant of happenings around the country that affect human lives and cause tremendous loss or injury to persons, including the loss of property.

He further observed that if an illegal act or wrong was done to a citizen and he sought legal remedy, the court needed to engage itself in an all-inclusive inquiry to obtain circumstantial and direct evidence and try the case according to the law.

The fundamental rights jurisdiction vested in the Apex Court was wide enough to reach a genuine complaint of a citizen who had suffered as a result of executive or administrative action, he noted.

That was the reason the court, even in the past, permitted litigants to submit their grievances even by post or post cards, and permitted applications to be entertained beyond the period ordinarily permitted by basic law, he added.

The Supreme Court also ordered the then Chief Inspector of Police of Kiribathgoda and the State to pay Rs.50,000 and Rs.100,000 respectively to the Petitioner as compensation.

Court also directed the Inspector General of Police to conduct investigations and ascertain whether any other persons were responsible for the destruction of the petitioner’s property, and whether instruments and machinery belonging to the State had been utilised by them to cause the destruction, and to take appropriate action after consulting the Attorney General.

Petitioner Asitha Nanayakkara Liyanage cited Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera and Secretary Hemapala Hettiarachchi of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, the Commissioner of Local Government (Gampaha), the then Chief Inspector of Police, Kiribathgoda, Mervyn Silva, the Attorney General and two others as Respondents.

Vishva Gunaratne, with Sandeepani Wijesooriya, appeared for the Petitioner. D. M. G.Dissanayake, with Ms L. M. C. D. Bandara, appeared for Mervyn Silva.

Petitioner complained against the Respondents for harassment and abuse of him and his family, which ultimately resulted in the demolition and destruction of part of the house in which he resided and which belonged to him. (S.S.Selvanayagam)