Abraham Singho v. Mias
1956Present; T. S. Fernando, J.H. V. ABRAHAM SINGHO, Appellant, and G. F. S. ELIAS(Inspector of Police), Respondent
S. C. 844—M. G. Gampaha, 30,487
Criminal Procedure Code—Section 418—“ Criminal force
Threats of violence and murder which cause people to go away from theirlands may constitute “ criminal force ” within the meaning of section 418 of the-Criminal Procedure Code.
T. S. FERNANDO, J.—Abraham Singho v. Elias
.A.PPEAL from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Gampaha.Charles Jayawichrama, with Daya Vitanage, for the accused-appellant.
E. de Silva, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
Cur. adv. vult.
November 15, 1956. T. S. Fernando, J.—
The appellant was convicted in the Magistrate’s Court of the offencesof criminal trespass and criminal intimidation and was sentenced toundergo a term of six months’ rigorous imprisonment in respect of eachoffence, the two sentences to run consecutively. The offences were clearlyestablished on the evidence, but learned counsel for the appellantcomplains that the punishment is unduly severe. Although the learnedMagistrate has taken great pains to explain that the appellant’s conducton the day in question has been very high-handed, I fail to see the neces-sity of imposing in this case the maximum term of imprisonment inrespect of each of the two offences and directing that they do run conse-cutively. The aot of criminal trespass was aggravated by the act ofintimidation which aooompanied it and a term of six months’ rigorousimprisonment on the conviction for criminal trespass was thereforemerited. To order that the appellant should undergo a further termof six months’ rigorous imprisonment at the end of that period on aocountof the conviotion for intimidation is to treat the appellant with undueharshness. I would therefore, while affirming the terms of imprisonment,direct that the two sentences do run concurrently.
Counsel for the appellant has also argued that the order purportingto be made under section 418 of the Criminal Procedure Code directingTillekeratne to be restored to the possession of the land of which he wasdispossessed by the appellant is illegal as the offences of which the appel-lant was convicted were not “attended by criminal force”. Whileit is correct that the appellant did not lay hands upon any person on theland, the evidence clearly established that he brandished a knife and threa-tened to kill any one attempting to prevent him from entering the landor putting up a hut thereon. The answer to counsel’s argument is to befound in the decision of this court in the case of John v. Richard Pieris1which followed an earlier unreported decision where Dalton J. emphasizedthat threats of violence and murder which cause people to go away fromtheir lands could rightly be said to amount to a show of criminal force.
Subject to the variation of the sentence indicated in the first paragraphof this judgment, the appeal is dismissed.
1 (1939) 4 Ceylon Law Journal 95.
H. V. ABRAHAM SINGHO, Appellant, and G. F. S. ELIAS (Inspector of Police) Resp