Parliament Of The Democratic Socialist Republic Of Sri Lanka
Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979
[Certified on 20 July 1979]
AN ACT TO MAKE TEMPORARY PROVISION FOR THE PREVENTION OF ACTS OF TERRORISM IN SRI LANKA, THE PREVENTION OF UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, ASSOCIATION, ORGANISATION OR BODY OF PERSONS WITHIN SRI LANKA OR OUTSIDE SRI LANKA AND FOR MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH OR INCIDENTAL THERETO.
WHEREAS the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka continues to affirm that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for the Rule of Law and that grievances should be redressed by constitutional methods:
AND WHEREAS public order in Sri Lanka continues to be endangered by elements or groups of persons or associations that advocate the use of force or the commission of crime as a means of, or as an aid in, accomplishing governmental change within Sri Lanka, and who have resorted to acts of murder and threats of murder of members of Parliament and of local authorities, police officers, and witnesses to such acts and other law abiding and innocent citizens, as well as the commission of other acts of terrorism such as armed robbery, damage to State property and other acts involving actual or threatened coercion, intimidation and violence:
AND WHEREAS other democratic counties have enacted special legislation to deal with acts of terrorism:
BE it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows:-
1. This Act may be cited as the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No 48 of 1979, and shall come into operation in respect of all or any of its provisions on such date or dates as the Minister may appoint by Order published in the Gazette.
PART I - OFFENCES
2. (1) Any person who -
(2) Any person guilty of an offence specified in -
3. Any person who -
4. Where any person is convicted by any court of any offence under section 2 or section 3, then, in addition to any other penalty that the court shall impose for such offence -
5. Any person who -
PART II - INVESTIGATION OF OFFENCES
6.(1) Any police officer not below the rank of Superintendent or any other police officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector authorised in writing by him in that behalf may, without a warrant and with or without assistance and notwithstanding anything in any other law to the contrary -
(2) Any person who obstructs or hinders any police officer lawfully exercising any power conferred on him by or under subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment of either description or a period not exceeding seven years.
7.(1) Any person arrested under subsection(1) of section 6 may be kept in custody for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours and shall, unless a detention order under section 9 has been made in respect of such person, be produced before a Magistrate before the expiry of such period and the Magistrate shall, on an application made in writing in that behalf by a police officer not below the rank of Superintendent, make order that such person be remanded until the conclusion of the trial of such person: Provided that, where the Attorney-General consents to the release of such person before custody before the conclusion of the trial, the Magistrate shall release such person from custody.
(2) Where any person connected with or concerned in or reasonably suspected to be connected with or concerned in the commission of any offence under this Act appears or is produced before any court other than in the manner referred to in subsection (1), such court shall order the remand of such person until the conclusion of the trial: Provided that, if an application is made under the hand of a police officer not below the rank of Superintendent to keep such person in police custody for a period not exceeding seventy-two hours, the Magistrate shall authorise such custody and thereupon the order of remand made by the Magistrate shall remain suspended for the period during which such person is in police custody.
(3) A police officer conducting an investigation under this Act in respect of any person arrested under subsection (1) of section 6 or remanded under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section -
8. Any police officer may at any stage of an investigation or trial produce before any Magistrate any person conversant with any fact relating to the commission of any offence under this Act, and the Magistrate shall thereupon record the statement of such person upon oath.
PART III - DETENTION AND RESTRICTION ORDERS
9.(1) Where the Minister has reason to believe or suspect that any person is connected with or concerned in any unlawful activity, the Minister may order that such person be detained for a period not exceeding three months in the first instance, in such place and subject to such conditions as may be determined by the Minister, and any such order may be extended from time to time for a period not exceeding three months at a time: Provided, however, that the aggregate period of such detention shall not exceed a period of eighteen months.
10. An order made under section 9 shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court or tribunal by way of writ or otherwise
11.(1) Where the Minister has reason to believe or suspect that any person is connected with or concerned in the commission of any unlawful activity referred to in subsection (1) of section 9, he may make an order in writing imposing on such person such prohibitions or restrictions as may be specified in such order in respect of -
(2) Where the Minister makes a restriction order in respect of any person while an order of detention in respect of such person is in force, such restriction order shall, unless otherwise specified, take effect upon the expiry of the detention order.
(3) Every order made under subsection (1) shall be in force for such period, not exceeding three months, as may be specified therein: Provided, that the Minister may, by order in writing, extend such period from time to time for periods not exceeding three months at a time so however that the aggregate of such periods does not exceed eighteen months.
(4) Where an order is made under subsection (1), the Minister may by notice in writing served on the person to whom such order relates, vary, cancel or add to any prohibitions or restrictions imposed by such order on such person and the prohibitions or restrictions so varied or added to shall, unless earlier cancelled, continue in force for the unexpired portion of the period specified in such order or the period as extended under subsection (3).
(5) An order made by the Minister under subsection (1) shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court or tribunal by way of writ or otherwise.
12. Any person who contravenes or acts in breach of any prohibition or restriction imposed on him by an order under section 11 shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a term of imprisonment of either description for a period of five years.
PART IV - ADVISORY BOARD
13.(1) There shall, for the purposes of this Act, be established an Advisory Board consisting of not less than three persons appointed by the President.
(2) Any person in respect of whom any detention order or restriction order has been made shall be informed of the unlawful activity in connection with which such order has been made and such person or any other person on his behalf may make representations to the Advisory Board.
(3) Every meeting of the Advisory Board held to consider such representations shall be presided over by a Chairman nominated from among the members by the Minister and it shall be the duty of the Chairman to advise the Minister in respect of such representations.
(4) The Minister may make rules in relation to the hearing and disposal of any representations that may be made by any person in respect of any such order.
PART V - PROHIBITION OF PUBLICATIONS
14.(1) Notwithstanding any Order made under section 1, the provisions of subsection (2) shall come into operation only upon an Order made in that behalf by the Minister from time to time and published in the Gazette for such period as may be specified in the Order.
(3) Any person who commits any act in contravention of any of the provisions of subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment of either description for a period not exceeding five years.
15. (1) Every person who commits an offence under this Act shall be triable without a preliminary inquiry, on an indictment before a Judge of the High Court sitting alone without a jury or before a High Court at Bar by three Judges without a jury, as may be decided by the Chief Justice. The provisions of sections 450 and 451 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979, shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the trial of offences under this Act by the High Court at Bar and to appeals from judgements, sentences and orders pronounced at any such trial held by the High Court at Bar. [The above sub-section was introduced by Amending Act 22 of 1988]
(2) Upon the indictment being received in the High Court against any person in respect of any offence under this Act or any offence to which the provisions of section 23 shall apply, the court shall, in every case, order the remand of such person until the conclusion of the trial.
15A.(1) Where any person is on remand under the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 15, or section 19(a), notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or any other law, the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Defence may, if he is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interests of national security or public order, make Order, subject to such directions as may be given by the High Court to ensure a fair trial of such person, that such person be kept in the custody of any authority, in such place and subject to such conditions as may be determined by him having regard to such interests.
(2) Any Order made by the Minister under sub-section (1) shall be communicated to the High Court and to the Commissioner of Prisons and it shall be the duty of such Commissioner, to deliver the custody of such person to the authority specified in such order and the provisions of the Prisons Ordinance shall cease to apply in relation to the custody of such person. [Note: Section 15A was inserted by Amending Act 10 of 1982 w.e.f. 24 July 1979]
PART VI - TRIAL
16.(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, where any person is charged with any offence under this Act, any statement made by such person at any time, whether -
(2) The burden of proving that any statement referred to in subsection (1) is irrelevant under section 24 of the Evidence Ordinance shall be on the person asserting it to be irrelevant.
(3) Any statement admissible under subsection (1) may be proved as against any other person charged jointly with the person making the statement, if, and only if, such statement is corroborated in material particulars by evidence other than the statements referred to in subsection (1).
17. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law, the provisions of sections 25, 26 and 30 of the Evidence Ordinance shall have no application in any proceedings under this Act.
18.(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law -
(2) If in the course of a trial for an offence under this Act, any witness shall, on any material point, contradict either expressly or by necessary implication a statement made by him and recorded by a Magistrate or a statement made by him at any identification parade, it shall be lawful for the presiding Judge-
(3) At any trial referred to in subsection (2)(b), it shall be sufficient to prove that the witness made the contradictory statement and it shall not be necessary to prove which of the statements is false.
19. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law -
20. Notwithstanding anything in the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No 15 of 1979 -
21. Every court shall give priority to the trial of any person charged with, or indicted for, any offence under this Act and to the hearing of any appeal from the conviction of any such offence and sentence imposed on such conviction.
PART VII - SPECIAL PROVISIONS
22. Any person who has committed any offence under section 296 or section 297 or section 300 of the Penal Code prior to the date of coming into operation of Part VI of this Act or has abetted or has conspired to abet the commission of any such offence prior to such date, in relation to any person who is a specified person or a person who was a witness to any offence which if such offence had been committed after the date of coming into operation of Part I of this Act would have constituted an offence under this Act shall, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, be triable without a preliminary inquiry, on an indictment before a Judge of the High Court sitting alone without a jury.
23. The provision of sections 8, 16, 17 and 18 of this Act shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to and in relation to any act, or the trial for the commission of an offence in respect of any act, committed before the date of coming into operation of Parts I, II and VI of this Act, which act would, if committed after such date, have constituted an offence under this Act: Provided, however, that no statement referred to in any such section shall be admissible unless such statement was made after the coming into operation of the aforesaid Parts of this Act.
24. Any person who commits an act in or in relation to any vessel or aircraft registered in Sri Lanka shall, if such act constitutes an offence under this Act, be guilty of an offence under this Act.
PART VIII - MISCELLANEOUS
25. Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body of persons, then if that body of persons is -
26. No suit, prosecution or other proceeding, civil or criminal, shall lie against any officer or person for any act or thing in good faith done or purported to be done in pursuance or supposed pursuance of any order made or direction given under this Act.
27.(1) The Minister may make regulations under this Act for the purpose of carrying out or giving effect to the principles and provisions of this Act.
(2) Every regulation made by the Minister shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or on such later date as may be specified in the regulation.
(3) Every regulation made by the Minister shall as soon as convenient after its publication in the Gazette be brought before Parliament for its approval. Any regulation which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded as from the date of disapproval but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder. Notification of the date on which a regulation is deemed to be rescinded shall be published in the Gazette
28. The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other written law and accordingly in the event of any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and such other written law, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.
[Section 29 was repealed by Amending Act 10 of 1982, w.e.f. 24 July 1979]
30. The Proscribing of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Other Similar Organisations Law, No 16 of 1978, is hereby repealed.
PART IX - INTERPRETATION
31.(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -
(2) All words and expressions used herein and defined in the Penal Code and not hereinbefore defined shall be deemed to have the meanings respectively attributed to them by that Code.