The CID sub-inspector, Sugath Mendis, who had been arrested and interdicted along with former CID Director Shani Abeysekera, was today awarded one million rupees in compensation by the Supreme Court.
Sub-inspector Mendis was arrested and remanded for 11 months in connection with allegations that his superior officer, SSP Shani Abeysekara, had planted weapons in certain premises to frame former DIG Vaas-Gunawardena, who was convicted along with his son and four others by a trial-at-bar for murdering millionaire businessman Mohomed Shyam.
The Supreme Court three-judge bench, comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, S. Thurairaja, and Mahinda Samayawardena, held that the petitioner’s fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 12(1)—right to equality and right to occupation under Article 14(1)(g) of the Constitution—have been violated by the respondents.
The Supreme Court further ordered the respondents to retrospectively grant all salary increments, benefits, and promotions to Sugath Mendis, extending up to the date of his retirement from the Police Service if he has already retired from the service.
In his petition, Sugath Mendis complained to the Supreme Court that he was denied due process, has been wrongfully interdicted, and has been denied his salary and entitlements, inflicting hardship on him and his family.
Following an 11-month incarceration, Mendis was granted bail along with SSP Shani Abeysekara by the Appeal Court, which noted several contradictory positions in complaints made against Mendis that evidently contained fabrications and false versions. Mendis had complained that he was taken in and remanded for refusing to falsely allege that SSP Abeysekara had planted weapons to frame Vaas-Gunawardena and others.
IGP C.D. Wickremaratne, Chairman and members of the Public Service Commission, Attorney General, and several others were named as respondents in the petition.
Senior Counsel Viran Corea, with Thilini Vidanagamage, instructed by Lilanthi De Silva, appeared for the petitioner. Deputy Solicitor General Suharshie Herath appeared for the respondent.