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Dr Shafi gets bail in highly charged Magistrate’s court

Dr Shafi Shahabdeen/Facebook.com

Dr Siyabdeen Shafi the Kurunegala doctor once accused of rendering hundreds of women infertile has been released on bail.

The case against Dr Shafi was called before the Kurunegala Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam in a highly charged atmosphere.

After two months in detention, Shafi was released on Rs 250,000 cash bail and four Rs. 2.5 million sureties.  

Shafi also has to report to the CID every Sunday between 9 am and 2 pm.

Dr Shafi’s attorney former Deputy Solicitor General Vasantha Navaratne Bandara PC made a 3 hour submission.

Five lawyers including Mohan Weerakoon PC submitted for the aggrieved parties and there were several counter submissions.

The State Counsel Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige informed court that the only charge against Dr Shafi is under 316 of the Penal Code (Grievous Hurt) and there are no other charges.

DSG further said this is a bailable offence and the state had no objection for bail for Dr Shafi.

Assistant Superintendent of Police B S Tissera represented the Criminal Investigation Department.

Protestors lined the street to the Magistrate’s Court before the bail hearing/Sandun Arosha for RepublicNext

Before the case began protest was held along the route to the Magistrate’s Court which included a group of Buddhist Monks.

Reporters at the scene said that the demonstration was organized by local Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna leaders and that some of the protestors were employees of the Kurunegala Municipal Council.

Security was tightened around the court as the verdict was given.

Hundreds of women have come forward and lodged complaints at the Kurunegala Hospital saying they were subjected to surgical operations – most often cesarean sections – by Dr. Shafi and have not had children since.

However, when they were called for examinations, the number went down to 71. When Doctors wanted to examine the husbands of the complainants to ensure they are fertile, the number of women has reduced further.

The CID has obtained a court order forcing hospital director Dr. A.M.S. Weera Bandara to cooperate with their investigation.

Bandara is known to be an activist for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. He is being accused of trying to scuttle the probe.

Dr. Shafi is a Senior House Officer at the hospital. He has performed thousands of caesarian sections on women in Kurunegala and Dambulla where he served for some time.

The Magistrate is also under a cloud. The CID has sent a complaint against Magistrate Hewawasam to the acting Inspector General of Police C D Wickremaratne to be lodged before the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Police Media Spokesman Ruwan Gunesekara told RepublicNext today July 25.

Gunesekara confirmed that the complaint had reached the IGP and further action is expected shortly.

The CID becomes the third complainant against Magistrate Hewawasam, who is hearing the case against Dr Shafi who is embroiled in charges that he rendered hundreds of women infertile against their will while performing caesarian sections.

The other complainants are Dr Shafi’s wife, Dr Imara Shafi and the Sri Lanka Young Journalists’ Association.