The Supreme Court yesterday (21) issued an order to transfer former Western Province Governor Azath Salley to the Merchant Ward of Colombo National Hospital with the approval of health authorities.

Salley was arrested by CID and currently being detained over controversial remarks he made detrimental to ethnic-religious harmony in the country. Subsequently, he filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an order to release him from CID custody.

President’s Counsel Faiz Musthapha appearing for the petitioner Salley informed the court that his client was transferred to the General Hospital on May 16, 2021, given his health condition and thereafter at the ICU and was transferred back toward No.49 where he is currently being treated.

Musthapha urged the Supreme Court to transfer his client to the Merchant Ward given the present pandemic situation.

Meanwhile, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appearing for the Attorney General informed the Court that all possible assistance has been given to the detainee concerning his health condition. Pieris told the court that he has no objection to the application made by Mr Musthapha to transfer the detainee to the Merchant Ward with the approval of the health authorities.

Given the submissions made by parties, the Supreme Court made an order to the effect directed to transfer him to the Merchant’s ward with the approval of the health authorities.

The case was re-fixed for support on June 2, on an urgent basis.

The Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprised Justice Murdu Fernando, S. Thurairaja and Justice Mahinda Samayawardhena

Filing this petition through his lawyer, Azath Salley alleged that he was arrested on baseless charges and seeking a declaration that his fundamental rights have been violated by the respondents through his arrest and detention.

The petitioner has cited the IGP, CID Director, Minister of Public Security and Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security and Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner stated that he addressed a press conference held on March 9 stating that the affairs of the Muslim people of Sri Lanka should be governed under Muslim law.

The petitioner states that following the media conference relating to this incident, he was arrested by the CID under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The petitioner alleged that the police have so far failed to produce him before a Magistrate. He denied the allegations that he was involved in the Easter Sunday attack.



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