Magistrate allows illicit liquor case to be handled by police

By Upendra Serasinghe, Kuliyapitiya Corr.

Kuliyapitiya Magistrate Ruwan Dhammika Dassanayake recently told the defence in a case where a suspect was arrested and produced before courts for keeping 25 bottles of ‘kasippu’ that suspects taken into custody for distilling of illicit liquor could be produced before courts by submitting a B report.

This was in response to objections raised by the lawyers looking after the interests of the suspects to taking the suspect into custody by the Dummalasuriya police.

The Defence argued that the police could not produce a suspect with a B report in a case of that nature and according to the provisions of the Excise Act, only Excise officers had the authority to arrest suspects in connection with illicit liquor.

The Magistrate ordered the suspect to be remanded and produce before courts the following day.

When the case was taken up the following day, it was postponed for 6 March, when the judge said that police and judiciary were empowered to help maintain the law and order and hence those two institutions had the authority to take into custody anyone for breach of peace and under Article 41 of the Excise Act, the police were empowered to produce a suspect before courts accompanied by a B report.

The Magistrate said that according to Article 115 of Criminal Procedure Code, in an instance where the investigation was not complete the police had to produce the suspect in court within 24 hours of his arrest with a B report.

The Magistrate ordered the suspect to be further remanded till March 20.

The suspect Warnakulasuriya Niroshan of Udabaddawa had two suspended sentences and 10 criminal charges against him.

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