No executions till end this week -Prisons Commissioner General | Sunday Observer

No executions till end this week -Prisons Commissioner General

30 June, 2019

The Commissioner General of Prisons, Jayasiri Wijeyanath Tennakone on Friday gave a firm undertaking to the Court of Appeal that no executions will take place till the end of this week, when the writ petition filed by senior journalist Malinda Senevirathne was taken up for hearing.

The petition sought from court to issue an interim order preventing prisons authorities from “executing a sentence of death on any person until the final hearing and determination of this application”, amongst others.

The bench comprising of the president of the Court of Appeal justice Yasantha Kodagoda together with Justice Arjuna Obeysekara, was ready to hear the matter in detail in the event such an undertaking was not forthcoming, as it was a question of life and death of an individual. When the matter was taken up in the morning the court informed the Attorney General that it wishes to know with certainty if a date has been fixed for the execution, for the primary purpose of deciding whether the court should hear the matter immediately.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Nerin Pulle informed the court that he intends take up a preliminary objection at the very outset pertaining to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter. When court resumed hearing, Commissioner General of prisons was present and subsequent to court taking notice of his presence posed several questions at him.

After ascertaining that all convicts with death penalty is under his custody and whether an execution, if were to take place, should be done under his authority, court asked the Commissioner whether he has been informed of any executions to take place in the coming four days, to which he replied in the negative.

Upon making an inquiry as to whether the Commissioner can give a firm undertaking, voluntarily, that no executions will take place until the preliminary hearing of the case is conducted, the Commissioner affirmed and gave an undertaking that no such execution will take place till the end of this week.

Court thereafter fixed the matter to be taken up for support on Tuesday, 2 July.