යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter IV

 CHAPTER IV

 

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (FR)

 

10.       Every person shall have an inherent right to life; and a person shall not be arbitrarily deprived of life; and no court shall pronounce death sentence. No restriction shall be placed on this right.

 

11.       Every person shall be entitled to clean air and clean water.

 

12.       Every person shall be entitled to at least three well-balanced staple food meals.

 

13.       A person shall not be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. No restriction shall be placed on this right.

 

14.       (1) A person shall not be arrested, imprisoned or otherwise physically restrained, save in accordance with procedure prescribed by law.

(2) Save as otherwise provided by law, a person shall not be arrested except under a warrant issued by a judicial officer causing such person to be apprehended and brought before a competent court in accordance with procedure prescribed by law.

(3) Any person so arrested shall be informed, in a National Language which the person understands, of the reason for the arrest and of the person’s rights under paragraphs (4) and (5) of this Article.

(4) Any person so arrested shall have the right to communicate with any relative or friend of the person’s choice, and if the person so requests, such person shall be afforded means of communicating with such relative or friend.

(5) Any person so arrested shall have the right to consult and retain an attorney-at-law, and such attorney-at-law shall be afforded all reasonable facilities by the State.

(6) Any person so arrested shall not be detained in custody or confined for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and shall in any case be brought before the judge of a competent court within twenty four hours since the arrest, exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of the arrest to such judge; and a person shall not be detained in custody beyond such period except upon and in terms of the order of such judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(7) Any person detained in custody or confined who is entitled under the provisions of any law to be released on bail or on the person executing a bond, shall be so released.

(8) Any person suspected of committing an offence shall be charged or indicted or released without unreasonable delay having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case; and a person shall be released if he is not charged or indicted within six months of arrest.

(9) Any person charged with or indicted for an offence shall be entitled to be heard in person or by an attorney-at-law of that person’s own choosing, and shall be so informed by the judge.

(10) (a) Any person charged with or indicted for any offence shall be entitled to be tried:

 

(i)                  without undue delay;

(ii)                at a fair trial;

(iii)               by a competent court;

(iv)              subject to subparagraph (b) of this paragraph, at a public hearing; and

(v)                in a National Language whichever he can communicate with.

(b) A judge may, in the judge’s discretion, with or without a request from the accused party or the aggrieved party, whenever the judge considers it necessary in proceedings relating to sexual matters or where the interests of juveniles so require or in the interests of national security necessary in a democratic society, exclude therefrom persons who are not necessary for the purposes of those proceedings.

(11) (a) Every person shall be presumed innocent until such person is proved guilty.

(b) Anything contained in any law shall not be held to be inconsistent with subparagraph (a) of this paragraph to the extent that such law imposes upon an accused the burden of proving particular facts.

(12) A person shall not be compelled to testify against oneself or to confess guilt.
(13) (a) A person shall not be held guilty of, or punished for an offence on account of any act or omission which did not at the time of such act or omission constitute an offence, except for any act or omission which at the time of it was committed, was criminal according to the principles of public international law.

(b) Any penalty more severe than the penalty in force at the time when an offence was committed shall not be imposed for such offence.

(14) Any person who has been convicted or acquitted for an offence in accordance with law by a competent court shall not be liable to be tried for the same offence save on the order of a court exercising appellate or revisionary jurisdiction;

Provided that any person who has been sentenced for not less than a year shall have Civic Disability automatically be applied on him, during the period of the pronounced sentence, and such Civic Disability shall continue to be applied on him after the release from prison, such that is in proportion of one week  for each month of such sentence.

(15) (a) No person shall not be punished with imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(b) The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty by law:

(i) pending investigation or trial shall, if not unreasonable having regard to the circumstance, not constitute punishment; and

(ii) by reason of a removal order or a deportation order made under the provisions of Immigrants and Emigrants Act or other such law as may be enacted in substitution therefor shall not be a contravention of this paragraph.

15.       (1) All persons shall be equal before the law and shall be entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3) of this Article, a Citizen shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, language, caste, gender, sex, political opinion, place of birth, marital status, mode of acquisition of Citizenship, parental status, or such grounds; and a Citizen shall not be subject to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition with regard to access to shops or public places to be visited or enjoyed by the general public, on such grounds mentioned in this paragraph.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or the protection of public health, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others including the right of communication with any National Language of his choice.

(4) Anything in this Article shall not prevent special measures being taken by law, subordinate legislation or executive actions where necessary for the sole purpose of the protection or advancement of disabled, disadvantaged or underprivileged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged or underprivileged because of ethnicity, gender, sex, age, or mental or physical disability.

16.       (1) Every person lawfully resident within Sri Lanka shall be entitled to the freedom of movement within Sri Lanka and of choosing such person’s residence within Sri Lanka.

(2) Every person shall be free to leave Sri Lanka.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, national economy, or the protection of public health or morality, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or for the extradition of persons from Sri Lanka.

(4) Every Citizen shall be entitled to return to Sri Lanka.

 

17.       (1) Every person shall have the right to be respected for such person’s private and family life, home, correspondence and communications; and shall not be subjected to unlawful attacks on such person’s honor and reputation.

(2) Every person shall have the right not to be kept tracking physically or electronically without such person’s prior consent.

(3) Every person shall have the right to have his details be removed from a public database if such person is no longer an active client or member for whose behalf bio data of such person may have been included or retained in such database.

(4) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, national economy, or the protection of public health,  morality, or for the purpose of essential administration of services, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or for the enforcement of a judgment or order of a competent court, or for the purpose of prevention of corruption by requiring asset declaration by candidates in election and their Close Family Members as per the provisions of paragraph 136(2).

 

18.       (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion including the freedom to hold opinions and have or adopt a religion or belief of the person’s choice; and no restrictions shall be placed on the rights declared and recognized in this paragraph.

(2) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom either alone or in association with others, and either in public or private, to manifest the person’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognized by the paragraph (2) of this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

 

19.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom of speech and expression including publication and this right shall include the freedom to express opinions and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or the protection of public health, morality, racial and religious harmony or contempt of court, defamation or incitement of an offence, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

 

20.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom of peaceful assembly.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, the protection of public health, morality, racial and religious harmony, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

 

21.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom of association.

(2) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom to form and join a trade union.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or for the protection of public health, morality, racial and religious harmony, national economy, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

 

22.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled alone or in association with others to enjoy and promote such Citizen’s own culture and to use such Citizen’s own language.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or for the protection of public health, morality, racial and religious harmony, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

 

23.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled to the freedom to engage alone or in association with others in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business, or enterprise.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national economy, national security, public order, or for the protection of public health, morality, environment, racial and religious harmony, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or in relation to:

 

(a)    professional, technical, academic, financial or other qualifications necessary for practicing any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade, business, or enterprise, and the licensing and disciplinary control of the person entitled to such Fundamental Right; and

(b)   carrying on by the State, a State agency or a public corporation of any trade, business, industry, service or enterprise, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of Citizens or otherwise.

 

24.   (1) Every Citizen shall be entitled to own property alone or in association with others, subject to the preservation and protection of the environment and the rights of the community, and subject to the provisions of Sections 17 and 19 of Appendix B of Article 47.

(2) Any person shall not be deprived of the person’s property except as permitted by law.

(3) Any property shall not be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for a clearly described public purpose or for reasons of public utility or public order, and save by authority of law which provides for the payment of fair compensation.

(4) Any object falling from the sky onto, or any object found from, the ground in one’s private land shall be a private property of that person who owns the land; and if such object is required for studies or research or such other important purpose, such person shall be entitled to get a fair monetary value in exchange of such object.

(5) A person shall not be evicted from such person’s home or have his home be demolished, except as permitted by law.

25.   (1) Every Child shall have the right:

 

(a)    to a name from birth;

(b)   to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, both physical and mental abuse, or degradation;

(c)    to have an attorney-at-law assigned to the Child by the State, and at State expense, in criminal proceedings affecting the Child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result;

(d)   to family care or parental care or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment;

(e)   to well-balanced nutrition, shelter, proper free health care services, and proper free social services;

 

(f)     to free school education;

 

(g)    to grow up in an environment protected from the negative consequences of the consumption of addictive substances harmful to the health of the Child, and to the extent possible, from the promotion of such substances; and

 

(h)   to be free from being bullied at school and in the society.

 

(2) In all matters concerning Children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the Child shall be of paramount importance.

(3) Any Child shall not be employed in employment, forced labor, or any hazardous activity:

Provided that any labor reasonably required as a part of normal civil obligations shall not be deemed as forced labor.

(4) Any Child shall not be ordained in any religious establishment.

(5) The rights recognized by this Article shall be in addition to any other right to which a Child is entitled as a Citizen or person under this Chapter.

(6) In this Constitution and as general law definition, “Child” shall mean a person under the age of sixteen years.

26.   Every person shall have the right to safe conditions of work, and it shall be the responsibility of the employer to provide for all the necessary safety gears required for the work, and to provide for sufficient training at work including training about safety.

27.   Every person shall be entitled to free health care services including emergency medical treatment, and appropriate social assistance.

 

28.   The exercise and operation of the Fundamental Rights declared and recognized by Articles in this Chapter shall, in their application to the armed forces, the police force, and other forces charged with the maintenance of public order, be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by or under any law in the interests of the proper discharge of their duties and maintenance of discipline among them.

 

29.   (1) Every Citizen shall have the right of access to any information as provided for by law, being information that is required for the exercise or protection of a Citizen’s right held by:

 

(a)    President and his office;

(b)   Cabinet, Prime Minister and his office;

(c)    State Assembly;

(d)   Parliament;

(e)   Speaker and his office ;

(f)     Cabinet Ministers, and cabinet ministries;

(g)    Constitutional Council;

(h)   independent Commissions;

 

(i)      Chief Ministers;

 

(j)     Provincial Councils;

(k)    Local Chairmen;

(l)      Local Councils;

(m) any public corporation;

(n)   any legal entities established by Provincial Councils or Local Councils;

(o)   universities, schools, and other public educational institutions established by both the State and private entities;

(p)   any private institution funded by foreign grants in the interests of environment, wild life, animal welfare, community empowerment, and such charity based projects; and

(q)   any other person, who is in possession of such information relating to any institution listed in this paragraph.

(2) No restrictions shall be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article, other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, or for the prevention of disorder or crime, or for the protection of health or morals and of the reputation or the rights and privacy of others, for preventing the disclosure of information communicated in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

30.   (1) The National Languages of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala, Tamil, and English.

(2) All the communication amongst the State entities,  and all the communication between the State and the people, including the proceedings in courts, proceedings in National Assembly, Parliament, Provincial Councils, and Local Councils shall be carried on in any National Language:

Provided that the person who is the recipient of the message or communication shall have the right to choose which of the three National Languages he prefers to be communicated with;

Further provided that the communication shall be carried on at least in both Sinhala and Tamil if the intended recipient is not a single person and instead a group of people who appears to be speaking different National Languages.

(3) To ensure the right to communicate with one’s preferred National Language the government shall constitute a central State organization (hereinafter known as “National Language Office”) under Prime Minister with enough staff adept in all three National Languages to assist, through toll-free real-time telecommunication facilities, in communication between State entities and the people:

Provided that this same language coordination facility may be utilized by private sector on such terms and conditions stipulated by the government.

(4) The written or pre-recorded audio communication towards the People from the State, private, or non-government institutions and establishments shall be carried on at least both in Sinhala and Tamil, or in one language opted in by the recipient person of the communication.

(5) The provisions in this Article shall not be applicable to programs and presentations of mass media, chosen teaching medium of educational institutes and universities, shops, community-based programs and ventures, services provided on individual level, and social media.

 

31.   A person shall have the right to engage in the protection of the environment, wild life, and to keep the surrounding free from sound pollution, light pollution, air pollution, water pollution, and other types pollution as recognized or provided by law.

32.   A person shall have the right to live in an environment free from red-tape of public service, corruption, bribery, wastage, and intimidation.

33.   (1) Every State entity shall provide for the necessary access facilities like ramps, special features in elevators, and such other facilities required for providing for efficient and effective service to physically handicapped people, adhering to the specification proclaimed by the commission established as per the paragraph (4) of this Article.

(2) Banks, supermarkets, railway stations, bus stations, educational institutions, and any other entity regardless of private or public ownership, providing services to the general public shall be responsible to provide for the same facilities as Stated in paragraph (1) of this Article.

(3) Telecasting on TV of news, current affairs programs, and health programs shall be simultaneously carried on with visual sign language.

(4) (a) The State shall constitute a permanent commission under Prime Minister to identify the jobs in the government sector that can be filled in by people with different disabilities (handicapped), to recommend to State entities to give priority to such people with disabilities in recruitment, and to oversee the process.

(b) This commission shall be named as “Commission for the Advancement of the Differently-abled People”; and this Commission shall prepare the specification and the national policy for the welfare of the handicapped people.

 

34.   (1) Where a Proclamation has been duly made pursuant to the provisions of Chapter XXXVII , and subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, measures may be prescribed by law derogating from the exercise and operation of the Fundamental Rights declared and recognized in this Chapter to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation and necessary in a democratic society:

Provided that such measures do not involve discrimination solely on the grounds of ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sex, language, caste, or political opinion;

Further provided that for the purpose of this Article “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being in force relating to public security.

(2) In prescribing measures under paragraph (1) of this Article, there shall be no derogation from any of the rights declared and recognized by Articles 10, 13, 14(1), 14(2), 14(9), 14(10)(a)(ii), 14(10)(a)(iii), 14(13), 14(15), 16(4), and 25.

 

35.   (1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of this Article, every person shall be entitled to apply to the Court of Appeal as provided by Article 164, in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by State action including executive or administrative action, and again including acts of Provincial Councils and Local Councils, but not including legislative or judicial actions, of a Fundamental Right to which such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) Where the person aggrieved is unable or incapable of making an application under Article 164 by reason of physical, social or economic disability or other reasonable cause, an application may be made on behalf of such person by any relative or friend of such person, if the person aggrieved raises no objection to such application.

(3) Any person aggrieved, for any Fundamental Right under this Chapter except the right declared in Article 29 to which paragraph (4) of this Article shall apply, shall be entitled to submit the petition to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, as per the provisions of Chapter XXXIII, prior to apply to the Court of Appeal; and he may apply to the Court of Appeal if he is not satisfied with the redress or determination given by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. The time taken for such proceeding with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka shall be discounted in considering the time period allowed for application to the Court of Appeal as per the provisions of paragraph 164(2).

(4) Any person aggrieved by breach of the right declared in Article 29 shall be entitled to apply to the Information and Mass Communication Commission to obtain redress as per the provisions of Chapter XXXV; and he may apply to the Court of Appeal if he is not satisfied with the redress or determination given by the Information and Mass Communication Commission. The time taken for such proceeding with the Information and Mass Communication Commission shall be discounted in considering the time period allowed for application to the Court of Appeal as per the provisions of paragraph 164(2).

(5) Any application under this Article may be made in respect of any group or class of persons affected, or in the public interest, by any person in that group or class or by any incorporated or unincorporated body of persons, acting bona fide.

 

36.      A Resident or a foreigner shall be entitled to apply to a High Court as provided by Article 179(3) in respect of infringement by a State entity, of a Fundamental Right in this Chapter, in case protection by Article 35 shall not be applicable to them.


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