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FERNANDO v. PEDRU APPU et al.
P. G., Pussellawa, 24,151.
Toll—Ordinance No. 3 of 1896, a. 21—Exemption of carta carrying tealeaf to factory on estate—Proviso 4 of a. 4 of Toll Ordinance—Factory standing on land outside the limits of estate, but servingestate as an adjunct—Liability of carts, laden with tea, passingfrom estate to factory through toll station.
Carts carrying green tea leaf from an estate to its factory standingfar beyond the limits of that estate cannot, under proviso 4 of-section 4 of the Ordinance No. 3 of 1896, claim exemption from tollleviable at a station duly established between the estate and thefactory.
'PHE complainant, who described himself as the toll-keeper ofPussellawa, charged the accused with evading payment oftoll due by them in respect of their carts loaded with green tealeaf and forcibly passing through the Pussellawa toll station,in breach of section 21 of the Ordinance No. 3 of 1896.
It appeared that the accused were carters bf Rothschild estatedriving carts with green leaf from that estate to a factorywhich, though lying 3£ miles away from it, was built for it, andthat the toll station in question lay between the Rothschild estateand that factory.
The Police Magistrate refused to issue process because, in aprevious case brought by the same complainant against theSuperintendent of Rothschild estate for evasion of toll, he heldthat the land on which the factory stood was part of the Rothschildestate, and was covered by the proviso 4 of section 4 of the Ordi-nance No.- 3 of 1896, which exempted from toll vehicles " when“loaded with green tea leaf to be manufactured in any factory“ standing upon the estate where such leaf has been plucked“ and gathered.”
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On the complainant applying to the Supreme Court for a ruleon the Police Magistrate for a writ of mandamus to compelhim to isqne process, Mr. Justice Lawbte directed him to issuesummons and hear and determine the case, on the strength ofan affidavit read by complainant’s counsel that the carts werebeing taken from an estate to a factory not standing on the estatewhereon the leaf carried had been plucked or gathered.
The Police Magistrate heard the case and framed the followingcharged against the accused :—That they 'being liable to paymentof toll fraudulently took vehicles’, to wit, carts, through a place,to wit, the Pussellawa toll station, duly appointed for the collectionto tolls, &c.
For the defence Mr. Crow, the Superintendent of the Rothschildestate, was called as a witness and deposed as follows :—
“ It is a straggling estate, three miles and more along the road.“ The estate ends about the 23rd milepost from Kandy. The“ factory stands between the 20th and 21st miles, and the toll“bar between the 21st and 22nd’miles. The factory is called“ Pu88ella Factory. The site was purchased by me to build a“ factory for Rothschild tea. It was once called Rothschild
“Factory. It manufactures Sogama estate leaf too The
“ factory stands on a plot of land of about three acres
“ This plot is on the Rothschild acreage, and in making a“ valuation of the Rothschild property, it would be taken into‘ ‘ account. The gentleman in charge of the factory is my“ assistant.”
The Police Magistrate acquitted the accused, holding that theland on which the factory stood was part of Rothschild estate.
The Attorney-General appealed against the acquittal.
Pieris appeared for the appellant.
Domhorst, for respondent.
16th July, 1898. Lawbie, J.—
The order of acquittal is set aside.
The tea leaf in question was plucked on Rothschild estate;it was being taken along the cart road to Pussella Factory. Theowner of the tea leaf claimed exemption from toll, alleging thatthe factory stands upon Rothschild estate.
It is proved beyond question that the factory does not stand onRothschild.
Rothschild is an old and well-known estate. There was on itno suitable site for a tea factory, mid to supply that want aboutthree acres were purchased at a distance of three miles fromRothschild.
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" No doubt this purchase is a valuable adjunct, and if theRothschild estate were sold, probably the factory would beincluded in the sale, but it is clear that the land on whichthe factory stands is a new acquisition; that it is held on adifferent title from Rothschild.
The factory does not stand on an estate at all. It stands on abit of land purchased, not for growing tea, but for the purpose ofbuilding a factory.
The Police Magistrate was not entitled to frame a chargeof fraudulently taking vehicles through the toll.
The accused were entitled to an acquittal on that charge. Thecomplaint was of “ forcibly taking ” the carts through a toll.
It is proved that the accused resisted the demand for toll.Mr. Crow says :—“ I told my cartmen not to pay toll this year.“ I instructed them to go through the toll forcibly, if necessary.”
I alter the charge to one of passing through a toll “ forcibly.”The accused are found guilty, and are sentenced to pay a fine of25 cents each. This small penalty is exacted because the menwere acting in conformity with the judgment of the Police Court.If forcible passage through this toll be again made by theRothschild people, the full penalty should be enforced.
FERNANDO v. PEDRU APPU et al