Fundamental Rights Chapter1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka Mrs Wasantha Seneviratne Senior Lecturer Faculty of Law University of Colombo
Article 10 -- Freedom of thought,conscience and religion. Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
Article 11 Freedom from torture. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Gerad Mervin Sriyani Silva v. OIC Payagala (Iddamalgoda)
Article 12 -- Right to equality. 12. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law. Ruwani Perera v. UGC
12 (2) – Non discrimination No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds
12 (3) No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex or any one of such grounds, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of his own religion.
12 (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent special provision being made, by law, subordinate legislation or executive action,for the advancement of women, children or disabled persons.
Article 13 Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment, and prohibition of retroactive penal legislation. Sepala Ekanayaka v A.G.
13 (1) No person shall be arrested except according to procedure established by law. Anyperson arrested shall be informed of the reason for his arrest.
13 (2) Every person held in custody, detained or otherwise deprived of personal liberty shall be brought before the judge of the nearest competent court (Within 24 hours)
13 (3) Right to a fair Trial Any person charged with an offence shall be entitled to be heard, in person or by an attorney-at-law, at a fair trial by a competent court. Rizana Nafeek- Saudi Arabia
13 (4) Noperson shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court,
13 (5) Presumption of Innocence Every person shall be presumed innocent until he is proved guilty :
13 (6) Retrospective legislations No person shall be held guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission which did not, at the time of such act or omission, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any offence more severe than the penalty in force at the time such offence was committed.
Article 14Freedom of speech, assembly, association, occupation, and movement
14 (1) Every citizen is entitled to- (a) the freedom of speech and expression including publication; (b) the freedom of peaceful assembly;
(c) the freedom of association; (d)the freedom to form and join a trade union;
(e)the freedom to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;
(f) the freedom to enjoy and promote his own culture and to use his own language;
(g)the freedom to engage in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business or enterprise;
(h)the freedom of movement-and of choosing his residence within Sri Lanka; and (i) the freedom to return to Sri Lanka.
Article 15 Restrictions on fundamental rights.
such restrictions may be prescribed bylaw in the interests of …. national security racial and religious harmony or national economy.(Emergency regulations)
in relation to parliamentary privilege, contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
Remedy for FR violations Article 126 of the 1978 Constitution provides a remedy
126 (1)- By an executive oradministrative action The Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringement by executive or administrative action of any fundamental right or language right declared and recognized by Chapter III or Chapter IV.
126 (2) (2) Where any person alleges that any such fundamental right or language right relating to such person has been infringed or is about to be infringed by executive or administrative action, …
… He may himself or by an attorney-at-law on his behalf, within one month thereof, apply to the Supreme Court by way of petition in writing
addressed to such Court praying for relief or redress in respect of such infringement.
Leave to Proceed Such application may be proceeded with only with leave to proceed first had and obtained from the Supreme Court, which leave may be granted or refused, as the case may be, by not less than two Judges.
126 (4) (4)The Supreme Court shall have power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable or refer the matter back to the Court of Appeal if in its opinion there is no infringement of a fundamental right or language right.
within two months (5) The Supreme Court shall hear and finally dispose of any petition or reference under this Article within two months of the filing of such petition or the making of such reference.