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Present : Drieberg J.
ABEYGUNESEKERE v. SURIYADASA.
612—M, C. Kandy, 224.
Housing and Town Improvement Ordinance—Reconstruction of woodenpartition—Alteration ofbuilding—Ordinance No. 19 of 191-5,
Where the wooden partition of a room was altered by fixingasbestos sheets to the existing framework,—
Held, there was an alteration of a building within the meaningof section 6 (1) of the Housing and Town Improvement Ordinance.
PPEAL, from a conviction by the Municipal Magistrate ofKandy.
Navaratnam, for accused, appellant.
Garvin, for complainant, respondent.
October 18, 1929. Drieberg J.—
It has been clearly proved that the wall on the ground floor,in what is called the staircase hall, was constructed at some timebetween February and the end of June, 1929; there was no wallthere previously but only a partition made of jute hessian.
The case regarding the partition in the room on the first floor* presents some difficulty. Inspector Abeygoonewardene says thathe went to the house when Mr. ochokman was living there andthat there was then no wooden partition. He must be mistaken,for Mr. Schokman, whose evidence has been accepted, says therewas a wooden partition. The appellant says that he removedthe wood, planks of this partition and fixed sheets of asbestoson the existing framework. He did so without the sanction of theChairman,
Is this an alteration in a building within the meaning of section 6
of the Housing and Town Improvement Ordinance, No. 19 oif1915? It would be such an alteration if it could be describedas a “ construction of an inner wall or partition,” section 6 (2) (c).
The work cannot be regarded as the repair of an existing structure.Though the framework of wood remained and was utilized, thework of replacing the wood planks with asbestos -sheets can rightlybe described as a reconstruction' of the partition. Similarly, if awall were to be removed and another built on the" same foundation,or, to render the analogy closer, with the central pillars whichremained being utilized, this could be described a6 a reconstruction.Such a reconstruction or "re-erection” of a wall would be, an
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alteration unless done in the circumstances stated in section 6 (a)*i.e.t if it was'a wall of a thatched and mud and wattle buildingrendered unfit for habitation by stress of weather or similar cause.
It appears to one that a reconstruction of a partition wall is aconstruction within the meaning of section 6 (2) (c), there beingnothing to limit it to an entirely new construction. Further,this meaning of the word is in keeping with the purpose and intentof the Ordinance.
I was referred to the case of Silva v. Thabrew.1 The circumstancesin that case were exceptional, the accused having replaced roofingmaterial which had been temporarily removed by the authoritieson an outbreak of plague; no new material was used in there-roofing.
The appeal is dismissed.