The new Government is to extend for two years a controversial law which allows the Police to detain for upto 48 hours persons arrested without a warrant on charges of murder and other serious crimes. The Minister of Justice has issued a Gazette notification to extend for another two years the operation of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act No. 2 of 2013, a law that was opposed by the UNP when it was introduced by the previous government.
The Act was certified by the Speaker on February 6, 2013 and its two year period of validity lapsed this week. The validity of the law can be extended with a Gazette notification, following which it will have to be approved by Parliament.
The law allows for persons arrested without a warrant to be detained up to 48 hours and also allows the Attorney General to forward indictments directly to the High Court in special cases where murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, and offences committed with the use of explosives or an offensive weapon or gun. Such proceedings have to be concluded within ninety days under the terms of this Act.