Practice Relating to Rule 123. Recording and Notification of Personal Details of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Sri Lanka’s Prisons Ordinance (1878), as amended to 2005, states:
94. (1) The Minister may from time to time make all such rules, not inconsistent with this Ordinance or any other written law relating to prisons, as may be necessary for the administration of the prisons in Sri Lanka and for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions and principles of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, the Minister may make rules for all or any of the following purposes or matters:–
(a) … the taking of measurements, photographs, finger-prints, footprints or other records, of prisoners, including particulars of the previous history of any such prisoners;
(b) the persons, if any, to whom such measurements, photographs, finger-prints, foot-prints or other records may be sent or supplied.
This article applies to persons deprived of their liberty under Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005) pursuant to section 19 of these regulations.
Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005), as amended to 2008, states:
SUPERVISION, SEARCH, ARREST AND DETENTION
(9) Where any person is taken into custody under the provisions of this regulation it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to issue to the spouse, father, mother, or any other close relative a document in such form as is specified by the Secretary, acknowledging the fact of arrest. It shall be the duty of the holder of such document to return the same to, or produce the same before, the appropriate authority when such arrested person is released from custody:
Provided that where any person is taken into custody and it is not possible to issue a document as set out above, it shall be the duty of the arresting officer if such officer is a police officer, to make an entry in the information book, giving reasons why it is not possible to issue such documents, and if the arresting officer is a member of the armed forces, to report to the officer in charge of the police station the reasons why it is not possible to issue such documents and the officer in charge shall make an entry of such fact along with the reasons therefore in the information book.
(10) Where any person without reasonable cause fails to issue a document acknowledging the fact of arrest as required by paragraph (9) or willfully omits to make such entry as is referred to in the proviso to that paragraph or to report the fact that the document was not issued and the reasons therefore, he shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction after trial before the High Court be liable to a term of imprisonment extending to two years and a fine.
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
17. “Directions Issued by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence” on 7 July 2006 … [state] that
… any officer who makes an arrest or order of detention must, according to the above Directives, within 48 hours from the time of arrest or detention, inform the HRC [National Human Rights Council of Sri Lanka] of such arrest or detention and the place of custody or detention. …
32 The Supreme Court on 22 September 2008 issued an order to the effect that when a person is taken into police custody their relatives should be informed promptly and a receipt of arrest issued.
82. The officer in charge of the police station has to forthwith take all measures to inform the parents or guardians of such child the Probation Officer and the Co-ordinator of the National Child Protection Authority of such area.
Sri Lanka also stated:
32. The Sri Lanka Police have in place the necessary arrangements for the HRC Officers to visit the places of detention to look into the welfare of the suspects. The names and details of suspects arrested under the Emergency Regulations are provided regularly to the HRC. Accordingly the Police Legal Division coordinates and inform[s] all the details to the HRC.
33. The … [Directions Issued by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence on 7 July 2006] also [take] measures to regulate arrests:
(a) [The Directions] [require] the person making the arrest … to present a written documentation to the spouse, parent or relative acknowledging the fact of arrest;
(b) The name and rank of the arresting officer, the name and date of arrest and the place at which the person will be detained should be specified in this document;
(c) If such written documentation cannot be made, a note should be made in the Information Book of the relevant Police Station indicating why it was not possible to issue such documentation.
[footnote in original omitted]