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AG blames non-summary proceedings for laws’ delay
by Franklin R Satyapalan

The Attorney General said he was against non-summary proceedings, in the Magistrate’s Courts, in cases involving grave crimes such as murder, attempted murder and rape as such proceedings drag on for years and were the main cause of laws’ delays.

Giving the keynote address at the 15th Annual General meeting of the Asian Crimes Prevention Foundation on Saturday evening at Galle Face Hotel, the Attorney General, C. R.de Silva said "At the very outset the Magistrate’s Court should contact my department and then I would decide whether the case should be directly indicted before a High Court or allowed to take its own course in the Magistrate’s Court."

He said though the criminal procedure code states that cases must be heard on a day-to-day basis as far practicable, this cannot be done especially at the Magistrate’s Courts because of the large volume of cases and lawyers asking for postponements. Long delays could either end in the acquittal of a criminal or even in the conviction of an innocent person, he said.

People are beginning to lose confidence in the system of justice and are urging for meaningful amendments to the system, De Silva said.

The Attorney General said cases are heard almost day-to-day at High Courts thus preventing delays. He also lamented that the laws of the country are inadequate to deal with the rising rate of crime.

He cited an incident where a victim of rape from Matara lamented before the Magistrate that it was eight years since the offence was committed on her but she still had to attended Court once a month spending her hard earned money.

President of the Asian Crime Prevention Foundation, retired Chief Justice Parinda Ranasinghe, Retd. Commissioner of Prisons P. H. M. Ratnayake and Treasurer, Retd. Senior DIG Crimes Ignatius T Canegaratnam also addressed the meeting.

 

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