AG formulates guidelines to release minor drug offenders on bail

Court decision

Attorney General Dappula de Livera has formulated guidelines for the Acting IGP to take steps to grant bail to minor drug offenders to reduce overcrowding in prisons due to the seriousness of Covid-19 pandemic.

It is reported that there are about 13,000 remanded detainees in the prisons and out of them 8000 of detainees were remanded for drug related offences.

In his letter to the Acting IGP Chandana Wickremaratne, the Attorney General stated that he decided to instruct the Acting IGP following a discussion held between senior police officers and Commissioner General of Prison in terms of the section 393(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code in an endeavour to minimize the overcrowding at prisons in view of the seriousness of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Attorney General further stated that the Government Analyst had also sent his opinion regarding the net weight of the drug samples through a letter dated 6th of April, 2020.

The Attorney General observed that his instructions would not be applicable to the remandees who had been arrested for possession of more than two grams of heroin.

The Attorney General further observed that the remandees scheduled to be released on bail should not be habitual offenders involved in drug trafficking, IRC offenders and remandees arrested for large scale drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

The Attorney General further stated that the he would not raise objections for the applications filed by detainees who have fulfilled above requirements when the matters taken up before courts through the motions.

At a previous occasion, the Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundara had sent to the Attorney General requesting to take relevant steps to release deserving remandees after assessment of the seriousness of the charges leveled against them.

(Source: Daily News)