Damages for tortured youth
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 02 February 2000, 21:27 GMT]
The High Court in Colombo ordered today the state to pay fifty thousand rupees in compensation to a youth who has been tortured in police custody. The youth, Thambirasa Arudchelvam, 22, who was arrested on May 19, 1999 is currently held as a detainee at the Kalutara Prison.
His fundamental Rights application was filed through Attorney at Law Perinpam Premnath and supported by Attorney at Law Sellathamby Selvaratnam.
Thambirasa Arudchelvam of Mukathan Kulam was arrested by the Cheddikulam police.
He was held blindfolded at the Cheddikulam police station for two days and handed to the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) in Vavuniya. Later he was held in the custody of CSU in Colombo, Perinpam Premnath told the courts.
Perinpam Premnath said the youth underwent various forms of torture while in the custody. He was tied to a log and beaten with cricket wicket. The police had attempted to obtain confession under duress; they had threatened to beat Arudchelvam until he admitted to being a member of the Liberation Tigers. Further, the police hung him upside down on a tree and beat him, Perinpam Premnath told the courts.
Medical report submitted in the courts by the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer, Dr. L. Alwis, who examined the youth, also confirmed that Arudchelvam had been tortured.
The court ordered the state to pay 50,000 rupees damages to the youth.
The court further ruled that defendants in the case, the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police, the Officer in Charge of the Cheddikulam Police, the Officer in Charge of the Vavuniya CSU and the Officer in Charge of the Colombo CSU violated the fundamental rights of Arudchelvam.
State Counsel Alan Thambirajah appeared on behalf of the defendants.
Meanwhile a case has been filed against Arudchelvam in the Vavuniya High Court under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.