18 October 2020 :
The Supreme Court on 14 October 2020 extended till 28 October 2020 the stay order issued earlier on the re-imposition of death penalty on murder convicts.
A group of petitioners has complained that the re-imposition of the death penalty by the retired President Maithripala Sirisena, was inhuman and the violation of the right to life, enshrined in the constitution.
A person is convicted of murder on the evidence available at the trial Court. There can be even a trivial chance that the convict was not the person directly involved in the murder. In a predominately Buddhist country the imposition of death penalty is unethical. It was stopped in the constitution of 1978, they have argued.
Among the respondents are Maithripala Sirisena and the Commissioner General of Prisons.
On 15 October the petition was called before Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare and Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya.
Among the counsels appearing for petitioners are Romesh de Silva (President’s Counsel) K. Kanag Ishwaran PC, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC, M. A. Sumanthiran PC, and Saliya Peiris, PC.
The case will be next called before a five judge bench on 27 October 2020.