CPA Comms Officer on 11 March, 2024

Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) challenges constitutionality of the appointment of Inspector General of the Sri Lanka Police (IGP)

Categories: Public Interest Litigation submissionsResearch and Advocacy

The Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed a Petition in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka challenging the constitutionality of the Presidential appointment of Mr. Deshabandu Thennakoon as Inspector General of the Sri Lanka Police (IGP) on the 26th of February 2024.

Article 41C of the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka provides that such an appointment by the President cannot occur without approval from the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka. According to Article 41E, that approval should have at least 5 votes in favour. The Leader of the Opposition, who is a member of the Council, has alleged that the Council did not approve the appointment of the IGP with the minimum 5 votes.

As such the Petition, argued that the appointment of the IGP was unconstitutional. Furthermore, the Petition also argued that Mr. Thennakoon is manifestly unsuitable for the role of IGP as the Supreme Court, in a fundamental rights case, found him to have engaged in torture (in the Supreme Court decision of SC (FR) 107/2011 Mr. Thennakoon was determined to have infringed Articles 11, 12(1), 13(1) and 13(2) of the Constitution.)

Essentially, his appointment as IGP will infringe Article 12(1) of the Constitution as it is arbitrary, grossly unreasonable and against the public trust.