2021 Feb 16
A fundamental rights petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, calling for the dismissal of DIG Bimshani Jasin Arachchi’s title as Sri Lanka’s First Female Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).
The petition has been filed by 32 senior police officers, just three months after her appointment in October, claiming that her appointment violates their fundamental rights. Amongst the officers is former Police Spokesman and Senior Police Superintendent (SSP), Ruwan Gunasekera.
Her appointment was approved by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the National Police Commission. However, the petition alleges that a female officer cannot be appointed as the DIG of Police given that the word ‘women’ is not mentioned in the regulations pertaining to promotions.
The petition was presented to a panel of judges, namely Justices Murdu Fernando, Shiran Gunaratne and Achala Vengappuli on the 16th of February 2021.
The interim injunction is being pursued by President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena, restraining the promotion of DIG Bimshani.
DIG Bimshani Jasin Arachchi is a graduate of the University of Ruhuna, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Economics, Sinhala and Statistics. She went on to receive a Masters in Human Rights from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
She joined Sri Lanka Police in 1997, joining as an Inspector of Police. She was later promoted to SSP in 2017.
In addition, she has been serving as Director at the Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Children and Women of Sri Lanka Police, before her appointment as DIG.
Appearing on behalf of the DIG, Attorney-at-Law Krishmal Warnasuriya stated that although the first petitioner was the head of the Police Legal Division, he was yet to receive the documents regarding the case. He has also requested the court for time to file the objections. The request was granted by the Supreme Court, and objections are to be filed three weeks from today (16).
The petitioners have been instructed to file counter-objections within a week of the objection submission.
The hearing of the petition is scheduled for the 18th of May, 2021.