Sri Lankan Lawyer released from charge of honking tune to ‘Kaputu kaak kaak kaak’

Court decision

A Sri Lankan lawyer who had been charged under Motor Traffic Act for tooting vehicle horns for the popular rhythm of ‘Kaputu kaak kaak kaak’ was acquitted and released by court today (September 14).

Colombo Additional Magistrate M. S. Prabhakaran has given the order.

The Fort Police filed charges against Attorney-at-Law Dushmantha Weeraratne under section 155(2) of the Motor Traffic Act for whistling other than a horn sounding a single note at Galle Face green on last Friday (September 9).

Colombo Additional Magistrate strictly advised the Fort Police not to act in a biassed manner when framing charges and emphasised the necessity of understanding the law prior to instituting legal action.

President’s Counsels Saliya Peiris, Sarath Jayamanne and other counsel making submissions to the court said that the Lawyer in question had tooted his horn against the unlawful arrests by Sri Lanka Police, and noted that the constitution of Sri Lanka has given the right to the citizens to express their dissent towards the government.

Defence Counsel also told the court that the sitting President and Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also protested against governments when they were in the opposition.

They added that charging the lawyer for excess sound completely violated the Fundamental Rights that have been confirmed by the Supreme Court in the Jana Ghosha Case (Amaratunga v Sirimal).