The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, filed papers challenging the Prevention of Terrorism (De-radicalization from holding violent extremist religious ideology) Regulations No. 01 of 2021, published Extraordinary Gazette No. 2218/68 dated Friday, March 12, 2021. While the Petitioners maintain the need to integrate a process of rehabilitation into the criminal justice system, they note that the impugned regulations violate several of the Constitutionally guaranteed Fundamental Rights, of the Petitioners as well as of the general public.
The Petitioners argue that the impugned regulations serve to enable the denial of due process, due judicial protection and a fair trial, and result in an arbitrary deprivation of liberty, entailing infringement and/or imminent infringement of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Articles 12(1), 13(2), 13(3), 13(4) and 13(5) of the Constitution. They also argue that the impugned regulations, and the broad language contained therein, entail provisions that may result in degrading treatment of persons and deny persons the safeguards provided by law in cases of detention and imprisonment and thus and otherwise entail infringement and/or imminent infringement of Articles 10, 11, 14(1)(a), 14(1)(c), 14(1)(e) and 14(1)(f) of the Constitution.
The Petitioners also maintain that the impugned regulations are ultra vires as they have not been promulgated by the proper authority and thus and otherwise entail infringement of Article 12(1) of the Constitution. They further argue that the impugned regulations have the effect of conferring and/or transferring discretion required to be exercised (as may be duly conferred upon it by law) by the judicial arm of government, to the executive arm of government in a manner inconsistent with Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution and thus and otherwise entail infringement of Article 12(1) of the Constitution.
The Petitioners have prayed for inter alia declarations that the impugned regulations violate the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and that they are null and void and of no avail in law.