Interim order against carrying out death penalty extended till 2020

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The Supreme Court has extended the interim order preventing the implementation of the death penalty until March 20, 2020, says our reporter.

The petitions lodged against the implementation of the death penalty were called up before the Supreme Court Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Murdu Fernando and S. Thurairajah, this morning (09).

The judge bench directed that all petitions filed in this regard will be taken up on 17, 18 and 19 of March 2020.

Accordingly, the injunction order imposed on former President Maithripala Sirisena on implementing the death penalty was extended till March 20, 2020.

Eleven Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions and a Writ petition were filed with the Supreme Court in between June and July this year, against carrying out the death penalty. The FR petitions were filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Professor C. Gunaratne, Dr K. Senaratne, Venerable Galkande Dhammananda Thera and the attorneys of several death row inmates at the Welikada Prison. The Writ petition was lodged by journalist Malinda Seneviratne.

On July 5th, the Supreme Court delivered an interim order preventing the implementation of the death penalty until the 30th of October.

However, on August 20, Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri informed the Parliament that the Supreme Court had rejected 3 of the petitions submitted against the implementation of the death penalty.

Claiming that implementation of the death penalty is a violation of basic human rights, the petitioners have pointed out the President’s decision to impose capital punishment only on the inmates convicted for drug trafficking is also a violation of Article 12 (1) of the Constitution which ensures that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

Accordingly, the petitioners request the Supreme Court to issue an order preventing the implementation of the death penalty.