Four Courts of Appeal to expedite cases and reduce prison congestion
A decision has been taken to establish four more Courts of Appeal to expedite the hearings of prisoners in order to reduce the prison congestion, the Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Affairs State Ministry said today.
Further, another decision has been taken to reduce the sentence of those on death row and given life imprisonment after 1998, except for those imprisoned for large scale drug smuggling, in accordance with Section 40 of the Prisons Ordinance.
These decisions were taken at a special discussion held at the Ministry of Justice under the patronage of Justice Minister Ali Sabry and Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Affairs State Minister Lohan Ratwatte.
It was also decided to commute the death penalty of prisoners, except those convicted for large-scale drug trafficking, under a special presidential pardon.
Prisoners are also to be rehabilitated and reintegrated under a special programme by the Department of Corrections instead of detaining them for the possession of small amount of drugs and other minor offenses.
The implementation of the recommendations outlined in the report of the committee appointed to investigate the Mahara Prison incident was approved by the Ministers.
Senior Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Justice Piyumanthi Pieris, Additional Secretary (Special Projects), Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Affairs H.M.N.C. Dhanasinghe, Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya and Prisons Commissioner and Spokesperson Chandana Ekanayake were also present at the discussion.