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ATTYGALLE v. MOHIDEEN MADAB.
P. C., Colombo, 88J51.
Ordinance No. 8 ofl893—Meaning of “ pawnbroker "—Boutique-keeper takingpawns as security for goods sold.
To constitute one a pawnbroker under Ordinance No. 8 of 1893 it isinter alia necessary that the security of the pawn should be in respect ofactual money paid by him to the pawnor; and so a boutique-keeper whowithout having obtained a license under that Ordinance takes pawnsfrom his customers as securities for goods sold by him to them cannotbe convicted under the Ordinance of having acted as a pawnbrokerwithout a license.
HE aooused in this case was a boutique-keeper, who used tosell to his poorer customers, goods on credit and take articles
of dress and jewellery from them as security for the payment ofthe debt. He was charged under section 24 of Ordinance No. 8of 1893 with acting as a pawnbroker without a licence.
The police magistrate found as follows ; —
“ The accused is a boutique-keeper, and his defence is that heha6 not lent actual money on the pledges seized and produced bythe police, but that he has supplied provisions on them, the pledgesbeing afterwards redeemed on money; or, rather, that was. theintention with regard to the particular pledges seized in hispossession.
“I cannot hold it proved on the evidence of one witness thatactual money was lent. Of all the persons whose pledges thepolice seized, only one is prepared to say this, and I think it istrue that accused supplied provisions on these pledges. But thisdoes not seem to me a good defence. The essence of pawnbrokingis the taking of a pledge, and whether money or its equivalents asprovisions is lent seems to me to matter nothing.”
' Being convicted, the accused appealed.
. The. case came up for argument before Wendt, J., on 5th Sep-tember, 1904.
Bawa, for appellant.—The appellant received pledges only toaccommodate his customers, and not as a business. The Pawn-brokers’ Ordinance clearly states that money should be borrowedon the pledges. Therefore the giving of provisions takes the caseout of the Ordinance. Counsel referred to sections 3, 8, andschedule II. of the Pawnbrokers’s Ordinance, and to 35 and 36■Viet., c. 93.
RAmandthan, S. G., contra.
Cur. adv. vult.
8th September, 1904. Wendt, J.—r
The appellant has been convicted of acting as a pawnbrokerwithout having first obtained a licence, in breach of section 24 of
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Ordinance No. 8 of 1893. He keeps a *' rice boutique/* f.e., as I 1904.understand it, a boutique in which, he sells raw rice, dry fish, SeP****bw8.condiments* &c. From customers unable to pay for their pur- Wramr,ohases in cash he took pledges of goods, suoh as articles ofclothing and jewellery, and these the pledgers were afterwardspermitted to redeem.
The question is whether in so doing the appellant *' acted as apawnbroker ” within the meaning of section 24 of the Pawnbrokers’
Ordinance of 1893. The Magistrate held that he did, because" the essence of pawnbroking is the taking of a pledge, andwhether money or its" equivalent in provisions is lent on the pledgeseems to matter nothing.”
Pawnbroker " is defined as “ including * every person whocarries on the businness of taking goods in pawn. This form ofdefinition implies that, in addition to its ordinary meaning, theterm includes every person, &c. Now the accused cannot, I think,be said to have “ carried on .the business of taking goods in pawn.
He carried on the business of a boutique-keeper, and to accom-modate his customers who were not able to pay in cash for theirpurchases gave them credit, taking security by means of pledges.
He does hot come within the ordinary meaning of the termil pawnbroker, ” which is usually understood to describe a personwho lends money on the security of a pledge. Nor does he comewithin the category specified in section 3, of a person who keepsa shop for the Sale of goods and who receives or takes in goodsand pays or advances or lends thereon any sum of money. Thevarious sections of the Ordinance support the contention thatactual money of the pawnee must be paid to the pawnor. Sections3 and 4 speak of the sum lent; section 8 and the schedule II.prescribe a scale of profit regulated by the amount of the “ loan ”in money; sections 10, 11, and 12 speak of a pledge pawned forfive rupees or less or more. Had it been intended to bring aperson like the accused within the Ordinance, it would have beeneasy to add to section 3 words including .those who sell goods andtake a pawn as security for the price. But while that sectionprovides for the purchase or receipt of goods and the transferof money thereon upon the understanding ’that they mightafterwards be redeemed, nothing is said as to the absolutesale of goods and the giving of credit for the price. Nodecision under the English Pawnbrokers’ Act, 1872, on which,our Ordinance is modelled, has been cited to show the appellant'sguilt, *-
I think appellant is not shown to have “ acted as a pawnbroker/’and I therefore set .aside the conviction and acquit him.
ATTYGALLE v. MOHIDEEN MADAR