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Present : Wood Renton J.
ANGOHAMY v. KIRINELIS APPU.
769—P. C. Negombo, 15,889.
made .to third parties by the mother as to paternity—OrdinanceNo. 19 of 1889, s. 7.
Previousstatementsas topaternity made by themotherofan
illegitimatechild tothird persons,proved ' by suchpersonsatthe
inquiry inthe Police Court,wouldbe sufficient corroborationforthe
purpose ofsatisfyingsection7 ofOrdinance No. 19of 1889.
fJlHE facts are set out in the judgment.
Bawa, for the appellant.
Aserappa, for the respondent.
November 23, 1911. Wood Renton -J.—
The defendant-appellant has been ordered to pay to the applicant-respondent Rs. 3 a month for the maintenance of her illegitimatechild. The only question in the case is whether or not the evidenceof the mother as to the paternity of the child has been corroborated.’The learned Police Magistrate in his judgment places considerableemphasis on certain physical resemblances which he thought that hesaw between the appellant and the child. But I see no reason todoubt that he accepted the other evidence in the case as true, and inmy opinion that evidence affords in law sufficient corroboration ofthe respondent’s story. It is proved that within a few monthsafter conception her parents discovered her condition, and thatshe then gave to them the appellant’s name as that of the fatherof her child. The parents spoke to the police vidane, who placedhimself in communication with the appellant on the matter and toldhim what the respondent’s parents alleged- The appellant deniedthat he was the father of the child, but at the same time expressedhis willingness to marry the respondent if a certain dowry was givenalong with her. The negotiations for the marriage broke down in adispute over the dowry. The respondent in her evidence distinctlystates that the appellant had promised to marry her if the dowrywas satisfactory. It appears to me that the circumstances justmentioned disclose corroboration of a two-fold character. In caseNo. 251—P. C. Colombo, 9,187,1 „ I had before me the questionwhether previous statements made by the mother of an illegitimate
S. C. Mins., May 11, 1911.
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child to third persons, end proved by such persons at the inquiry inthe Police Court, would not be sufficient, for the purpose of satisfyingsection 7 of Ordinance No. 19 of 1889. In that case it was unnecessaryto decide the point expressly. But I indicated a strong opinion that,in view of the provisions of section 157 of the Evidence Ordinance,the question ought to be answered in the affirmative. On full recon-sideration I adhere to that opinion for the following reasons. Section157 provides, in effect, that the former statement of a witnessrelating to a fact which is the subject of subsequent judicial inquiry,if made at or about the time when the fact took place, may be provedfor the purpose of corroborating later statements by that witness inthe same sense. It appears to me that, although the MaintenanceOrdinance is prior in date to the Evidence Ordinance, when thesection speaks of the corroboratipn of the evidence of the mother,it must be taken to include any kind of corroboration which isrecognized by law at the time that her evidence is given. If thatview is correct, then the only further point arising under section157 is whether or not the previous statement which it is sought toprove was made at or about the time when the fact under judicialinvestigation took place. The words “ at or about ” are, I think,relative terms.
In the present case the evidence shows that within a fewmonths after conception, and when her condition was discovered,the respondent made a statement to her parents, who on their partcomplained to the police vidane. Under these cirumstances, I thinkit may fairly be said that the previous statement was made at apoint of time sufficiently near to the fact which the Court had toascertain to make it admissible under section 157. I am indebted toMr. Bawa, the appellant’s counsel, for having called my attentionin the course of the delivery of this judgment to the point thatsection 7 of Ordinance No. 19 of 1889 requires the evidence of themother of the child to be corroborated in some material particularby “ other evidence ” to the satisfaction of the Police Magistrate.I quite see the force of the argument that Mr. Bawa suggests. Butit seems to me that when the Legislature speaks in section 7 of theevidence of the mother of the child, it means her evidence as givenat the actual hearing of the application, and that proof that she hadmade previous statements to the same effect would, in view of theprovisions of section 157 of the Evidence Ordinance, be corrobora-tion in law of the evidence that she gives in the maintenance inquiry.
The facts of the present case disclose, however, independentcorroboration of another kind. It is clearly settled that, while thecorroboration contemplated by the section is corroboration as to thepaternity of the child, it will be sufficient if the evidence of themother is corroborated on that point indirectly. Here we haveevidence from the mother herself that the appellant, although awareof her condition, was prepared to marry her. The police vidane
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has corroborated therespondent onthat point, for hetells us that
Wooj>when -he spoke tothe appellant,the latter, whiledenying the
Renton J. paternity of the child, was prepared to negotiate with a view toAngohamy v marryin8 the mother. The fact that a man who knows that aKirineliswoman is pregnantis prepared tomarry her, evenif he denies
Apputjje paternity Gf thechild that she has conceived, andstipulates for
a dowry as the price of the marriage) is, in my opinion, relevantevidence corroborating the mother of the child in regard to thequestion of paternity. The only other point to which it is necessaryto refer is Mr- Bawa’s contention that section 7 of Ordinance No. 19of 1889 requires' an express finding by the Magistrate that he issatisfied with the corroborative evidence. I have taken a differentview of that question in the case .of Mangohamy v. Abraham.,* and 1adhere to the view therein expressed. On the grounds stated, Idismiss the appeal with costs.
ANGOHAMY v. KIRINELIS APPU