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
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,
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