444 SANSONI, J.—Arunasalam Dhanuskodi v. Commissioner for Registration of
Indian and Pakistani Residents
1959Present: Sansoni, J., and Sinnetamby, J.ARUNASALAM DHANUSKODI, Petitioner, and COMMISSIONERFOR REGISTRATION OF INDIAN AND PAKISTANI RESIDENTS,Respondent■8. C. 392—In the matter of an Application under Rule 2 of the Rules inSchedule to the Appeals (Privy Council) Ordinance. S. C, No. 252
Privy Council—Conditional leave to appeal—Grounds of appeal need not bespecified in petition—Citizenship—Application under Indian and PakistaniResidents (Citizenship) Act. No. 3 of 1949—Right of appeal to PrivyCouncil—Appeals (Privy Council) Ordinance (Cap. 85), Schedule, Rules 1 (a) (6), 2.
In an application for conditional leave to appeal to the Privy Council it is notnecessary that the applicant should specify in his petition the particular groundwhich he is invoking in Rule 1 of the Schedule to the Appeals (Privy Counoil)‘Ordinance.
Citizenship, though a civil right, cannot be pecuniarily assessed. Accordingly,-a judgment of the Supreme Court refusing an application for citizenship does notfall under Rule 1 (o) of the Schedule to the Appeals (Privy Council) Ordinance.Nor does an appeal lie therefrom under Rule 1 (b) unless a question of greatgeneral or public importance is involved.
^APPLICATION for conditional leave to appeal to the Privy Council.Walter Jayawardene, for the Petitioner.
A. O. AUes, Deputy Solicitor-General, with R. 8. Wanasundera, CrownCounsel, for the respondent.
Gur. adv. wit.
April 7, 1959. Sansoni, J.—
This is an application for conditional leave to appeal to the Privy•Council.
The applicant applied to be registered as a citizen of Ceylon. Hisapplication was dismissed, and on appeal this Court affirmed that decision.
The application was first made on the basis that an appeal lay as of rightunder Rule 1 (a) of the Rules in the Schedule to the Appeals (Privy Coun-cil) Ordinance, Cap. 85, as the appeal involved a civil right of the valueof Rs. 5,000 or upwards. An amendment was subsequently made to thepetition, by which it was claimed that the question involved in the appealis one which, by reason of its great general or public importance or other-wise, ought to be submitted to Her Majesty in Council for decision; theappellant thereby invited this Court to exercise the discretionary power'.vested in it under Rule 1 (b) in his favour.
SANS ONI, J.—Arunasalam Dkanuskodi v. Commissioner for Registration of 445
Indian and Pakistani Residents
The Deputy Solicitor-General objected to the amendment being con-sidered, on the ground that it was made after thirty days had elapsedsince the date of the judgment. I think this objection is unsound, be-cause there is no requirement in any Buie that the applicant for leaveto appeal should specify the particular grounds mentioned in Buie 1 whichhe is invoking. The matter is concluded by the judgments in de Silva v.Hirdaramani Ltd. 1. Though that case dealt with the contents of thenotice to be given under Buie 2, the reasoning would applyto the application for leave made under that Buie.
Mr. Jayawardene has argued that the case falls within both Buie 1 (a)and Buie 1 (b). Now the difficulty I have with regard to bringing thecase within Buie 1 (a) is that it is not clear that the civil right involvedis of the value of Bs. 5000 or more. Buie 1 (a) contemplates, I think,cases in which it is possible to put a definite monetary value on the civilright in dispute. But citizenship, though a civil right, is one whichcannot be pecuniarily assessed. The applicant will, in all probability, befinancially affected to his detriment by the judgment given against him,but the loss he will thereby suffer is not the equivalent of the value of thecivil right he is claiming.
As to the application of Buie 1 (b), we have been referred to the judg-ment of this Court in Lucy Nona v. Bandara 8 where an applicationfor leave to appeal against a decree nisi for divorce was allowed underBuie 1 (6). It is urged that by analogy the application for leave to appealshould be allowed in this case. In that case Schneider J. referred toD’Orliac v. D’Orliac 3 where the Privy Council allowed leave to appealin an action for divorce, but it must be noted that Lord Broughamobserved that the Cour D’ Appel of the Island of Mauritius was wrong ingranting leave to appeal, because the Charter of Justice of Mauritius didnot give a right of appeal in oases of divorce, and he also said that thereshould have been a special application to the Privy Council for leave toappeal. Subsequently, in Shire v. Shire 4 the Privy Council againgranted leave to appeal in an action for restitution of conjugal rightsfollowing the case of D’Orliac v. D’Orliac (supra). Lord Brougham theresaid : “ Every marriage involves the liabilities insisted on by the appel-lant ; the status of the issue of the marriage ; and that is a right whichmay be said to be beyond pecuniary value ”. These cases were, of course,decided before any provision similar to Buie 1 (6) was enacted.
Even if we give full effect to the decision of this Court in Lucy Nona v.Bandara (supra), I do not see that it helps the applicant. It was heldin that case that no special merit need be shown where the question con-cerns the validity of a marriage, but this is not a case where the validityof a marriage is in question. It seems to me that we would be going beyondthe terms of Buie I (b) if we were to say that in every case where a civilright of an important nature is in dispute, leave may be granted underBuie 1 (b). The very terms of Buie 1 (b) would seem to be against such a 1 2
1(1953) 55 N. L.R. 73.
2(1923) 5 Ceylon Law Recorder 17.
4 Moore P. C. 374.
5 Moore P.C. 81.
William Appuhamy v. S. I. Police, Wattegama
contention, for the discretion of this Court is controlled and limited: itcan be exercised in favour of an applicant only in certain specified cases.As Wood Benton C.J. said in Pitchi Tamby v. Oassirn Marikar1“ We are required by the terms of Rule 1 (6) itself, before granting specialleave to appeal in any case, to be satisfied that the issue is one of greatgeneral or public importance. The words ‘ or otherwise ’ in the rulemust clearly receive an ejusdem generis interpretation
In two recent decisions of this Court regarding applications for citizen-ship—Kodakam PiUai v. Mudanayake 2 and Tewaelfcone v. Duraiswamy *■—applications of this nature were allowed only because the questionsinvolved were such that, by reason of their great general or publicimportance, they ought to be submitted to Her Majesty in Council fordecision. It is not suggested that any such question arises in this case,and Buie 1 (6) therefore does not avail the applicant.
I would therefore dismiss this application with costs.
Sinnetamby, J.—I agree.
A pplication dismissed.
ARNUASALAM DHANUSKODI, Petitioner, and COMMISSIONER FOR REGISTRATION OF INDIAN