( 415 )
Present ; Ennis J. and Jayewardene A.J.
DE KRETSER v. PERERA.709—P. G, Panadure, 82,877.
Excise licence—Delegation of authority—Licence signed by Office Assistantto Government Agent—Ordinance No, 8 Of 1912, 8. 7 (A) and 8. 57.
An Assistant Government Agent has power to delegate to" anOffice Assistant his authority to sign licences under the ExciseOrdinance.
ASE referred to a Bench of two Judges on the question whethera licence to sell liquor issued under the Excise Ordinance
and signed by the Office Assistant to the Government Agent is valid.
H. T Perera, for accused, appellant.
Obeyesekere, G.C., for respondent.
February 5, 1925. Ennis J.—
In- this case a point under the Excise Ordinance has been referredto a Court of two Judges. The point is whether a licence signed bythe Office Assistant to the Government Agent is good. Section 18of the Excise Ordinance, No. 8 of 1912, provides that the Governormay grant the privilege of selling liquor, and it says that no granteeof any privilege shall • exercise the privilege* until he has received alicence in that behalf from the Government Agent. Section 24says that every licence shall be in the form and contain suchparticulars as the Governor may direct. No direction has beengiven as to the form of the licence. Section 57 provides thatexcept when it is otherwise expressly provided by the Ordinance,the Assistant Government Agent of the district shall exercisewithin his district all the powers of a Government Agent, subject tothe direction and control of the Government Agent; and section 7 (h)provides -that the Governor may by a notification permit thedelegation by Government Agents of any powers conferred by thisOrdinance. In the Gazette of November 5, 1920, there was anotification by the Governor giving permission to GovernmentAgents to delegate to their Office Assistants their powers of signinglicences under the Excise Ordinance. That notification seems toanswer fully the point reserved for two Judges. The licence in thepresent case has been signed by an Office Assistant for the" AssistantGovernment Agent. The Assistant Government Agent has thepowers of the Government Agent under section 57, and that will
Dt Kresterv. Perera
( 416 )
include the power to delegate specified in section 7 (h) and notifiedin the Gazette of November 5, 1920. A certified copy of the delega-tion under the hand of the Assistant Government Agent has beenshown to us under which the Office Assistant, Mr. Goonewardena,who signed the condition as to the amount of liquor to be kept bythe tavern keeper, was authorized to act.
I would answer the question referred that the licence is good.
Jayewardene A. J.— .
I agree that the questions referred to a Bench of tw;o Judgesshould be answered in the sense in which my brother has answered-them. At the same time it is unfortunate that the Gazette nowproduced, and the delegation by the Assistant Government Agent ofthe right to sign licences to his Office Assistant, were not producedin the lower Court, because the question was raised with regard tothe authority of the Office Assistant to sign Excise licences. I thinkExcise Inspectors and Officers should be fully acquainted with thenotifications issued under the Excise Ordinance, and if that is donea great deal of time will be saved in the argument of appeals arisingout of the Excise Ordinance. For the final disposal of .the appeal,there is one other matter to be dealt with. It was contended for theappellant that the order requiring him to keep a certain quantity ofarrack under condition 14 of the general conditions is also invalid,as that order too was signed not by the Government Agent orAssistant Government Agent, but by an Office *^ssisiant. Thispoint was not raised in the lower Court, and I am, therefore, unableto allow it to be discussed. It may be that as we have discoveredin this case, there may be notifications and delegations which mightcover the point.
The appeal must, therefore, be dismissed.
DE KRETSER v. PERERA