ABEYESUNDERE, J.—Perera v. The Queen
1967 Present: Abeyesundere, J., and Siva Supramaniam, J.GREGORY PERERA, Appellant, and THE QUEEN, RespondentS. 0. 1/67—D.C. (Bri.) Colombo, 20
Bribery Act, as amended by Act No. 40 of 1958—Section 19 (c)—Charge thereunder—Burden of proof.
Where a person is charged untlor Soction 19 (c) of the Bribery Act with havingsolicited or received a gratification which he was not authorised by law or theterms of his employment to receive, the prosocution must lead some evidenceto show that the accused was not authorised by law to solicit or accepta gratification of tho kind mentioned in the charge.
.A.PPEAL from a judgment of the District Court, Colombo.
S. Kanagaratnam, for Accused-Appellant.
Kenneth Senevimtne, Crown Counsel, for the Crown.
April 15, 1967. Abeyesundere, J.—
In this case the appellant was indicted under Section 19 (c) of theBribery Act, as amended by Act No. 40 of 1958, with having solicited agratification of Rs. 100 which he was not authorised by law or the termsof his employment to receive and with having accepted a gratification ofRs. 100 which he was not authorised by law or the terms of his employ-ment to receive. He was convicted on both counts of the indictmentand sentenced to a term of 3 years’ rigorous imprisonment on each countand to pay a fine of Rs. 100 on each count.
ABEYESUKDERE, J.—Perera v. The Queen
Counsel for the appellant submits that there is no evidence led by theprosecution to establish that the appellant was not authorised by law orthe terms of his employment to solicit or receive the aforesaid gratification.P6 is the letter of appointment of the appellant. That letter cont ains theterms of the appellant’s employment. In that letter the appellant isnot authorised to solicit or accept any gratification. The production ofPC is not sufficient to establish the ingredients of the offence alleged underparagraph (c) of Section 19 of the Bribery Act. There must also be someevidence to show that the. appellant is not authorised by law to solicit- oraccept a gratification of the kind referred to above.
Crown Counsel who appears for the Attorney-General submits that theCourt can take judicial notice of any law. In establishing a charge underSection 1!) (r) of the Bribery Act what the prosecution has to prove is.inter alia, that there is no law authorising the accused to solicit or acceptthe gratification mentioned in the charge. It is not possible for anyCourt to take judicial notice of the absence of such a law. We are satisfiedthat the prosecution has failed to lead evidence necessary to establishone ingredient of the offence alleged in the indictment. Therefore we setaside the conviction of the appellant and the sentence passed on him andacquit him.
Siva Suframaniam, J.—I agree.
GREGORY PERERA, Appellant, and THE QUEEN, Respondent