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Present: The Hon. Mr. A. G. Lascelles, Acting Chief Justice.
IBRAHIM v. JAMALDEEN BAI.
P.C., Puttalam, 11,395.
Exposing for sale beef unfit for food—Criminal liability of master for theact of his servant—Penal Code, s. 266.
The master is criminally liable for the act of his servant in ex-posing for sale any article which has become unfit for food, knowingor having reason to believe that the same is noxious as food, whichis an offence punishable under section 266 of the Penal Code, iThe principle laid down in Coppen v. Moore (1) followed.
^ PPEAL from a conviction under section 266 of the Penal Code.
Eltiott, for the accused, appellant.
Cur. dv. vult.
4th October, 1906. Lascelles A.C.J.—
The appellanti who is a butcher, was convicted under section 266of the Penal Code for exposing for sale beef unfit for food, knowing orhaving reason to believe that the same was noxious as food. Theappeal is urged on the grounds (1) that the beef was sold not by theappellant but by his servant; and (2) that the appellant did notknow, and had no reason to believe, that the meat was unsound.
Having regard to the decision in Coppen v. Moore (1), I do not thinkthat the first ground of appeal can be sustained. In this case aspecial Court consisting of six Judges sustained the conviction of amaste.r under section 2 of the Merchandise Marks Acts for the act ofhis salesman in selling an American ham under a false descriptionas a scotch ham. The principle to be applied to such cases wasthus laid down by Lord Russell:“ The question then in this case
comes to be narrowed down to the simple point, whether upon thetrue construction of the statute here in question the master wasintended to be made criminally responsible for acts done by hisservant in contravention of the Act.
I cannot doubt that upon a true construction of section 266,having regard to the scope and intention of the section,' the masteris criminally responsible for sales carried out by his salesman. Insuch cases as Lord Russell pointed out the master is the seller,though not ttfe actual salesman.
The other ground of appeal seems to me to be well-founded. Itwas not a case of selling diseased meat; the beef had merely beenkept too. long, and according to the Doctor,, showed signs of startingdecomposition. Decomposition was quite recent., and in theDoctor’s opinion had only set in about half an hour before lie
(1) (1898) 2 Q. B. 306.
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examined the meat. Taking into consideration the absenceof the appellant from the market, it cannot be assumed that heknew or had reason to believe that the meat was in a bad condition.The conviction is quashed.
IBRAHIM v. JAMALDEEN BAI