Three Junior Counsel of detained Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah filed Fundamental Rights applications before the Supreme Court yesterday, citing violation of their rights as a result of the arrest and detention of Hizbullah.
When the matter came up before the Supreme Court yesterday, it was listed to be taken up with the other Fundamental Rights Petitions filed on behalf of Hizbullah on 1 June.
The three Juniors, Chalana Perera, Jegatheeswary Muthusamy and Shifan Maharoof, cited the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, the Officer in Charge of the CID and the Officer in Charge of Special Investigations Unit 3 among others as the Respondents.
The Petitioners stated they were full time Juniors of Hizbullah and that their Law Chamber was a vibrant and a dynamic one that they had chosen to be part of, and in fact considered themselves fortunate and privileged to be a part of the said Chambers.
They stated in the petition that: “The Chambers treats the matters it is handling with the utmost confidence and professional privilege and confidentiality is attached to briefs, matters and clients connected with the Chambers.” They said officers of the Criminal Investigations Department had searched the Chamber and taken two briefs into their possession, in violation of privileged communication between clients and lawyers.
The Juniors said that to the best of their knowledge, “No permission was obtained nor intimation was made to Magistrate or Attorney General prior to the search or the entry and search of the Chambers.”
The Petitions added the unlawful arrest and detention had caused tremendous detriment to and greatly affected, inter alia, the ability of the Petitioners to carry out their professional functions unimpeded, without interference and without fear.
The professional reputation of the Chambers, including the Petitioners’ own reputations, and the Petitioners’ income and financial stability have also been affected.
Counsel Eraj De Silva with Daminda Wijesuriya instructed by Vidanapathirana Associates appeared for the Petitioners.