The Bar Association Sri Lanka (BASL) has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa take action to close all Court Houses in the country from March 17 to March 20 as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
BASL Secretary Kaushalya Nawaratna in a letter to the President said this request was made solely for the purpose of preventing the spreading of the Covid-19 and with the objective of protecting the public and the members of the legal profession.
“We have sought medical advice and according to experts the best period to take precaution measures to prevent the spreading of the virus is now. This probably may have been a reason why some of the State institutions, including schools are closed,” the letter said.
The BASL Secretary said that the final decision to close the Court Houses should be taken in consultation with the Chief Justice and the Judicial Services Commission.
The letter also said:
“We have received several complaints from the Provincial Bars of suspected cases of certain incidents and individuals, which may add to the existing health condition. We are also mindful of the closure of schools and several other institutions which was done with the view of preventing the spread of the Virus”.
“The Court Houses in this country arc public places where a considerable number of people gather on a daily basis. The hygienic conditions in most Court houses are highly questionable and unless closely monitored the Court houses could become a breeding ground for this pandemic.
“The conditions under which remand prisoners are kept when they are brought to Courts also carries a high risk of spreading the virus, the letter said.