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<tRESSY v. PERERA.
P. 0., Colombo, 69,313.
Arrest by police coni able—Arrest outside the limits of the Colombo police?—Rightof constable belonging to the Colombo force fo arrest a person charged with,theft outside Colombo—Escape from legal custody.
Volice constables, though attached to certain police stations, havethe power to perform their duties over the whole Island.
A constable attachedto the Colombo police force may lawfullv
a-rrest a person charged with theft at a place outside the limits ofColombo, and if the person so arrested escapes from his custody, he willbe liable to be punished under section 219 of the Penal Code.
If the person arrested escapes, it is the duty of the police to pursueaud arrest him on the original charge.
He accused was charged under section 219 of the Penal Code,with having escaped from the custody of a police constable
at Grandpass, when lawfully detained on a charge of theft.
The complainant deposed tlyat he arrested the accused “ atPeliyagoda outside the police limits,” brought him to the police
( in )station at Grandpass. and was proceedin'; with him to the Kota-hena police station when the accused ran away. The complain-ant admitted that Peliyagoda is out of the jurisdiction of theColombo police and belongs to that of the Government- Agent incharge of the Western Province police.
Thereupon the Magistrate (Mr. A. S. Pagden) declined toproceed any further with the case, holding that the arrest wasunlawful, and that the constable had acted outside the limits of hisjurisdiction.
The Attorney-General appealed.
C. ,W. Fernando. C.C., for appellant.
Cur. adn. vult.
22nd May. 1901. TjAWrie. -1.—
I am not- inclined to interfere, in the ordinary case when aMagistrate after hearing evidence refuses to issue summons andto proceed further, but in this case the Magistrate, has givenre.asons which require correction.
Police Constable A 438 swears that a man accused of theft wasgiven to his charge at Grandpass to be taken to Kotahena, andthat on the way between the two police stations the man incustody ran away.
The Magistrate holds that an arrest by a police constable atPeliyagoda across the Victoria bridge, beyond the Municipallimits, was illegal. " because outside the limits of his jurisdiction. ”A police constable has no “ jurisdiction." his duty extends overthe whole Island. He is a peace officer (Criminal ProcedureCode, section 3).
By section 32 a peace officer may. without an order from aMagistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person who has beenconcerned in any cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonablecomplaint, has been made, or credible information exists of hishaving been so concerned; and by section 34 a peace officer, forthe purpose of arresting any person whom he has power to arrestwithout warrant, may pursue any such person into any part ofthe Island.
The arrest at Peliyagoda seems to have been regular, and thereis no doubt that- a man. charged with or suspected of havingcommitted theft-, and given into custody of a police constable atGrandpass to be taken to Kot-ahena. is in legal custody.
1 send the case back for further proceedings, because the reasonfor refusing to proceed is wrong, not because I think that thecase itself is of any consequence.
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If the hold of a policeman on the man in his custody is soslight that the man can, if he like, run away (as the man did inthis case), the duty of the police is to run after him and catchhim and to arrest him on the original charge, with or without awarrant. It seems to me absurd to multiply charges. It is asign of weakness in the police to bring complaints for escapefrom custody instead of catching the man themselves and keepinghim when they catch him. Constables from whose custody theyescape should, I think, be punished for feebleness and neglect ofduty.
GRESSY v. PERERA