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Valachenai Magistrate Court
Key words
Section 140; Section 292; Section 332 of the Penal Code Sri Lanka
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Valachenai Magistrate Court


Facts of the case

Ganapathy Pillai Maheswaran, a 73 – year – old Christian, died due to his illness and the family decided to bury his body in the public cemetery. While the funeral of a deceased Christian was taking place, at approximately 3 p.m., a mob of around 500 people disrupted the proceedings, stating that Christians cannot be buried in that cemetery. The mob then violently assaulted the Christians who had gathered for the funeral, with rods and footwear. 


The police, the village officer, and the assistant village officer were informed of the incident and arrived at the scene. The assistant village officer suggested that the burial take place on land adjacent to the cemetery, but the mob opposed that as well. The mob then began to assault the police. At approximately 6:30 p.m., due to the pressure exerted by the villagers, the Christians were compelled to conduct the funeral in an area 15 km away under police protection.

Findings related to FoRB

FoRB related issue – Violence: non-physical


In this Circumstances Police charged the accused under 3 offences;


  1. Knowingly to part of the member of an unlawful assembly under Section 140 of Penal Code of Sri Lanka.  


  1. Causes disturbance to assemble for the performance of funeral ceremonies under section 292 of Penal Code of Sri Lanka 


  1. Wrongfully restrained the persons who attempted to the funeral under section 332 of the Penal Code of Sri Lanka.  Accused were willing to plead guilty for the 1st change. And the Court ordered the fine 1500/= per person and ordered the discharge of the other chargers.