ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 01

Where policemen are a law unto themselves

Have you noticed small people acting big? At Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court this is vividly apparent. The lawyers and magistrate are cordial but the policeman of the lowest rung go around ordering the people “Put your hands down”, “Don’t lean against the wall”, “Don’t hang your handbag over your shoulders” etc.

People have to stand for hours in the dirty, crowded hall, in the sweltering heat, and the policeman do not like you to lean against a door or window. Why? God only knows. No one dares to question them or stand up to them. Everyone is treated like a criminal.

They will just unseat some people for no reason at all, for no reason other than to show their power. It is almost comical if not sad to watch everyone obeying them instantly. I wonder why no one objects. May be each of them are worried about their own case or in awe of the place. But there is no dignity for human beings here.

Will some judge or lawyers please take the initiative to: –

1. Take in those involved in the first few cases so that all concerned can sit comfortably
2. Make separate seating arrangements for women
3. Check that only those who are involved in the cases, may be with one single person accompanying are allowed into the court room
4. Let people know the list of cases which will be heard on a particular day so they need not wait from 9 a.m. till 1 pm.
5. Make some seating arrangements in the corridor, one side for men and another for women.
6. Make sure there is some privacy for the cases heard

This is one of the highest echelons in a civilized society. Surely, this does not need millions or year-long plans? All it needs is a little concern and a bit of discipline.

By Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.