ABRAHAMS CJ.—Dole v. Romanis Appu.
J.S3iPresent: Aibga hams C.J.
DOLE v. ROMANIS APPU.
821—P. C. Kegalla, 36,875.
Evidence—Charge of incest—Evidence of victim—Corroboration.
In a charge of incest it is not safe to convict on the uncorroboratedtestimony of the alleged victim.
Corroboration must be supplied by evidence from an independentand not a self-serving source.
PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate of Kegalla.
Cyril E. S. Perera (with him Mackenzie Pereira), for the accused,appellant.
D.' Jansze, C.C., for respondent.
Cur. adv. twit.
February 7, 1939. Abrahams C.J.—
The appellant was convicted of incest with his own daughter who wasat the time 15 years of age. As a result of this intimacy the girl gavebirth to a child. The learned Magistrate, sentenced the appellant to oneyear’s rigorous imprisonment.
The learned Magistrate said that “the girl is still quite a child andobviously was speaking the truth and I accept her evidence that theaccused committed incest on her. It is most improbable that a girl ofthis age would falsely charge a father, and I have no doubt that this isnot a false charge”. Now there is no objection to a Magistrate beingimpressed with the truthfulness of a partner in incest. Such a personis an accomplice and before proceeding even to consider the question ofcorroboration, when the evidence of the girl is necessary to a conviction,
1 A. I. R. (1938) Calcutta 877.
Cornells Appuhamy v. Kiri Banda.
it is obvious that the preliminary question is whether she appears to be awitness of truth. But that does not dispose of the question of corrobora-tion. The learned Magistrate said that he did not think any corrobora-tion is necessary but it is always helpful. That is not a correctstatement of the practice in these courts. It is a principle that it isdangerous to act upon the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice,which clearly means that although a conviction is not necessarily badbecause it is founded on the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplicethere must be the most potent reasons for dispensing with corroboration.Those reasons are not given in this case, nor is there any reason to supposethat they existed. In my view even if intercourse was had with this girlwithout her consent, corroboration is none the less desirable, because inrape cases, it is a principle, that it is dangerous to convict on theuncorroborated testimony of the alleged victim.
The Magistrate, however, says that there was some corroborationof the girl’s evidence, for when she was taken to hospital for her confine-ment, she told the doctor that her father was responsible for hercondition. That, of course, is not corroboration. It is merely telling thedoctor what she told the Court, otherwise if she told twenty people ontwenty different occasions, that would amount to twenty corroborations.Corroboration -must be evidence from an independent source, not a self-serving source.
Crown Counsel says very fairly that he is unable to support the convic-tion. I therefore allow the appeal and acquit the appellant.
DOLE v. ROMANIS APPU