AG gives undertaking to the Court of Appeal
The Attorney General has instructed IGP not to take legal action against the motorcyclists wearing full-face helmets as per the gazette notification issued in 2017, the Court of Appeal was informed yesterday.
Additional Solicitor General Parinda Ranasinghe PC appearing on behalf of the Attorney General informed court that the Attorney General has given instructions to the IGP not to institute legal action as per the provisions of extraordinary gazette notification (No. 2007/39) dated February 23, 2017 which imposedcertain restrictions on the use of full-face helmets by the motorcyclists.
This was consequent to submissions made by Counsel Dharshana Weraduwage appearing for a petitioner that the relevant regulations are not valid in law since it was not approved by Parliament.
This petition had been filed by Namal Prasanga of Wellawaya, a motorcyclist and a businessman by profession. The petitioner alleged that Wellawayapolice had initiated legal action against him for wearing a full-face helmet in violation of the extraordinary gazette notification.
The Attorney General gave an undertaking not to take any further legal action against the petitioner at the Magistrate’s court in Wellawaya as per the regulations.
Accordingly, the petitioner decided to withdraw the petition filed challenging the gazette notification banning the use of full-face helmets since he obtained the primary relief.
Through this Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2007/39, February 23, 2017; then Minister of Transport had imposed certain restrictions on the use of helmets by the motorcyclists effectively prohibiting the use of full-face helmets.
Petitioner states that he had used a full-face helmet for a period of over a two and a half year period and on 11th December 2018 he was stopped on the roadside by a Police Constable attached to Wellawaya police at Warunagama, Wellawaya, alleging that the use of full-face helmets were banned. He was ordered to surrender his full-face helmet together with his driving licence. He had handed over his helmet and driving licence and was issued with a permit in lieu of driving licence. However, he was not issued with a receipt for his crash helmet which was taken into custody and was directed to appear in the Magistrate’s Court, Wellawaya on 08th Jan 2019.
The Petitioner states, on or around the 19th of December, 2018, the OIC of Wellawaya police had reported the facts of the said incident to the Magistrates Court of Wellawaya, by case number 15879 and had sought orders from the Court to send the detained helmet to the Sri Lanka Standard Institute to get a report on the helmet and clearly had submitted that they suspect a violation of the concerned regulations.
Petitioner states that the action initiated against him is arbitrary and it violates the equal protection of the law and it also violates the health and safety measures afforded to motorcyclists to protect them from severe facial and other injuries.