Human rights lawyers called for certain terms and provisions of the Bail Act, No. 13 of 1997 which curtailed individual liberty to be relaxed and for the law to be developed in view of granting relief to those who should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka, Attorney-at-Law G.S. Lakhshan J.S. Dias said that some relief should be provided by developing the said Act, adding also that there should be an alternate process of and for bail subject to certain rules and regulations with regard to children, noting that juvenile delinquents were being kept in the Mirihana detention camp where foreigners taken in under the Immigrants and Emigrants Act were also kept.
Bail should be granted if the suspect, who should be deemed innocent until proven guilty in a Court of law, is deemed by the judges of the judiciary, to not abscond on the bail conditions, not pressurize by attempting to interfere and influence the ongoing investigations and threaten the witnesses, and not cause public pandemonium, he noted.
Sometimes suspects become victimized in the process owing to the agendas of the State and the law enforcement authorities based on personal revenge, he observed, adding that prolonged detention would only breed a new social enemy.
There could be instances where judges have not properly understood the Act, he observed.