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Present: Akbar J.GOVINDAN v. SILVA890—M. C. Colombo, 14,513
A crorti.ig passengers—Evidence of persons annoi/ed—Ordinance No. 7 of1889, s.
In a charge of accosting passengers against their will and to theirannoyance, the fact that, the persons accosted were annoyed mustbe established by their own evidence.
y^PPEAL from a conviction by the Municipal Court of Colombo.
R. C. Fonseka, for accused, appellant.
January 18,1929. Akbak J.—
The accused was charged with persistently and without anjlawful excuse following and accosting some passengers against theiiwill and to their annoyance, in breach of section 1 of Ordinanc<No. 7 of 1889 and section 3 of Ordinance No. 4 of 1841.
It will be noticed that it is incumbent on the prosecution to provethat the accosting was against the will of the passengers and thatit caused annoyance to them. Now, these are matters peculiarly •within the knowledge of the passengers. Strange to say only twoPolice Constables gave* evidence for the prosecution, and thepassengers have not been called. How they can claim to speak onbehalf of people who are not present to give evidence I fail tounderstand.
In my opinion, much as I regret to hold it, such a charge cannotsucceed, unless the persons who are annoyed are called, and theydefinitely state they were annoyed..
Apart from the intrinsic danger of allowing strangers, especiallyPolice Constables, to testify to signs of emotion on the part of theabsent passengers, it may well be that the so-calledsigns of annoyance,,such as looks of displeasure on the faces of the passengers, &c., arereally methods of indicating pleasure and endearment on their part.
. I feel obliged reluctantly to set aside the conviction and acquitthe accused.
GOVINDAN v. SILVA