Legal Assistance

Statement by center for human rights and development on the muthur magisrate court proceeding.

It is with deep sense of disappointment, regret and anguish that the Board of Governors of the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) is constrained to issue this statement in respect of the proceedings in the Magistrates Court of Muthur concerning the cases of three underage school girls who were sexually abused by construction workers at a building site in Muthur.

At the invitation of several civil society members and organizations CHRD retained lawyers to appear on behalf of the affected school children at the Magisterial inquiry in the Magistrate Court of Muthur. Although the affected children failed to identify the suspects at the ID parade held on 05.06.2017, a suspect was identified at the second identification parade held on 12.06.2017. While this second identification parade was in progress on 12.06.2017, Attorney-at-Law Mr. R.N.Varathan walked in claiming to represent a survivor and made remarks casting doubt on the integrity of the identification parade imputing that photographs of the Accused had been shown previous to the holding of the parade. Later in open court, lawyers appearing for the victims and the police headed by ASP Trincomalee vehemently objected to enlarging the Accused person on bail, Mr. Varathan Attorney at Law while purporting to represent survivor, had moved that the Accused be granted bail. Court released the Accused on bail. Lawyers, survivors’ families and members of the public were shocked and dismayed at the strange and mysterious conduct of the said Attorney at Law Mr. Varathan. The unbecoming professional conduct of Mr.Varathan constitutes serious breach of the 1988 Code of Ethics for Attorneys at Law framed by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

The Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) categorically states that Mr. R.N.Varathan AAL had not been retained by CHRD or by victim families to represent the victims on 12.06.2017.

CHRD states that the conduct of Mr. R.N.Varathan AAL has not only brought dispute to the legal profession of the country but also has seriously jeopardized the interests of the innocent children who are the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of perverted elements. Sequence of events lead to the conclusion that this was not an independent or isolated act of a misguided lawyer but a concerted attempt by interested parties to pervert the course of justice to enable the vilest elements responsible for the cruel act to escape from the long arm of the law. CHRD however will continue its incessant efforts to seek justice to the innocent children. This incident has once again proved thatsectarian and racist elements possess immense financial and political clout to buy over pliant and weak characters from whatever quarters they come. It is the bounden duty of all responsible people therefore to guard themselves and the society from such unscrupulous and dangerous elements who will not balk at creating deep dissensions in the society in order to cover up the follies of a few individuals.

Contact Details

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Sri Lanka.

Telephone: (+94) 11 250 6001
Fax: (+94) 11 250 6002

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