Madu’s Story; Torture and Professional Negligence - Sri Lanka Guardian

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Madu’s Story; Torture and Professional Negligence

"When Madu went to the police station the next day she was assaulted with a cricket pole and told to plead guilty. They took her signature on a written statement by force. The statement was neither read nor explained to her. After that she was produced before the Magistrate's Court. The magistrate remanded Madu on the 28th January and she pleaded innocent."

by Harshi.C.Perera

(September 30, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Madu is a 20-year-old resident of Kaduwela. She is married and a mother of a three year old baby girl who is now placed under the care of her mother in law. Her father was a drunkard since she was a child and her mother is a heart patient.

One day she found her brother-in-law's clothes in a basin ready for washing. It looked brown in color so she asked him what the reason was. He told her that he had a fight with his relatives.

This quarrel had taken place on 24th January 2010 and Madu's father had stabbed him. Her brother-in-law removed the knife and stabbed her father who died on the spot. Madu only came to know about the incident on 26th January.

After the burial of the body the police arrested the brother in law, Madu's brother and a relative regarding the alleged murder. The police informed the family to appear at the police station the next day.

When Madu went to the police station the next day she was assaulted with a cricket pole and told to plead guilty. They took her signature on a written statement by force. The statement was neither read nor explained to her. After that she was produced before the Magistrate's Court. The magistrate remanded Madu on the 28th January and she pleaded innocent.

A lady lawyer appeared on Madu's behalf but did not explain the details of the lawsuit. Madu has no way to contact the lawyer who has never some to the prison to interview her. According to the ethics of lawyers they have to do best behalf of the client.

The charge against Madu is one of aiding attempted murder. This is her first offence but she has now been in remand prison for eight months.

The Constitution of Sri Lanka mentions in chapter (111) Fundamental Rights as article 11 that: No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Torture is a crime under the torture act which was passed by the parliament in 1994. It was mentioned in the Torture Act

2. (1) Any person who tortures any other person shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
(2) Any person who -
(a) attempts to commit;
(b) aids and abets in committing;

(c) conspires to commit,

an offence under subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.


(3) The subjection of any person on the order of a competent court to any form of punishment recognized by written law shall be deemed not to constitute an offence under subsection (1).

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this Act shall on conviction after trial by the High Court be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than seven years and not exceeding ten years and a fine not less than ten thousand rupees and not exceeding fifty thousand rupees.

(5) An offence under this Act shall be a cognizable offence and a non-bailable offence, within the meaning, and for the purposes, of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No.15 of 1979. Tell a Friend

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