( 155 )
In the matter of K, a Proctor of the District Court ofBatticaloa.
Proctor—Appearing in a case, being drunk—Conduct unbecoming a proctor.
It is conduct unbecoming a proctor to appear before a Court toconduct a case while being drunk, and such conduct will render himliable to be struck off the roll of proctors or be suspended from practice.
HE District Judge of Batticaloa having reported to the SupremeCourt that Mr. K, a Proctor of his Court, appeared before
him, when sitting as Police Magistrate, on the 11th July, 1900,and was found to be drunk, the Supreme Court ordered the saidproctor to show cause why he should not be struck off the roll ofproctors for conduct unbecoming a proctor, in that being drunkhe appeared to conduct a case, &e.
Sampayo appeared for the said proctor before the CollectiveCourt (Bonseb, C.J., and Moncreiff, J., and Browne, A.J.) andread the following affidavit sworn to by the said proctor: —
“1. I am a Proctor of the District Court of Batticaloa, havingbeen admitted as such in the month of November, 1892.
“ 2. On the morning of the 14th August, 1900, I w»® served bythe Fiscal of the Eastern Province with a notice directing me toappear in person or by counsel on the 24th August, 1900, before
( 156 )
1900. the Hon. the Judges of the Supreme Court and show cause whySept. 32. j should not be struck off the roll of proctors for unprofessionalconduct unbecoming a proctor, in that being drunk I appeared toconduct a case in the Police Court of Batticaloa on the 11th day ofJuly, 1900.
“3. I have been for the past several months suffering so badlyfrom dvspepsia and insomnia, that I am now very weak and inpoor heulth and spirits. I placed myself under both native andEuropean medical treatment, about which, if required, referencecould be made to Dr. Chinniah, resident surgeon of the Govern-ment hospital, and Dr. Chellappah, a private practitioner, bothresiding in Batticaloa. I also tried English patent medicineswith no tangible relief, under medical advice. I have been forsome time past taking a glass of brandy shortly before mymeals.
“ 4. On the 11th July, 1900,1 was so weak, nervous and prostratethat I had no intention of attending Court that day. About 10o’clock that morning I received a message from my brother-in-law,Advocate N., who had been ill and staying about three miles awayfrom the town, requesting me to appear on his behalf for thecomplainant in case No. 14,711, Police Court, Batticaloa, andeither apply for a postponement or, if that was not granted, toexamine any witnesses for the defence which set up an alibi, theprosecution having, prior to that date, been closed and charge oftheft framed against the accused.
“ 5. As it was too late to make any other suitable arrangementto watch the interest of the complainant in the said case No. 14,711,Police Court, I made up my mind to gc to Court. Being nervousand weak, as stated above, I took two glasses of brandy instead ofone, which I have been in the habit of taking, in order, as I thought,to steady my nerves, and having had r.o appetite whatever I wentto Court without my breakfast.
“ 6. While in Court, a woman to my knowledge very poor,begged of me to appear for her in a maintenance case No. 14,743,Police Court, which she had instituted against her husband forobtaining an order for maintenance for herself and her five children,saying that her husband had threatened to get the case dismissedon certain points of law.
“7. As I was in sympathy with her and her children, who wereproduced before me, I consented to appear for her in the said casewithout payment of any fee out of mere charity.
” 8. This latter case No. 14,743 was the one first taken up, and Iappeared for the applicant and obtained an order of maintenancefor the payment of the sum of Rs. 4 per mensem.
( J57 )
” 9. During the progress of the above case No. 14,743, it is truethat I fell down from the chair, but I think I did so from exhaus-tion and nervous debility. I recovered myself at once and got anorder of payment for the sum of Rs. 4 per mensem as statedabove.
“ 10. Thereafter case No. 14,711 was taken up, and I said that1 appeared for the complainant, but the Magistrate said that hefound from the report of the secretary that I had been drunk,and asked me to leave, the Court.
“ 11. I at once complied with the order of the Magistrate, andfrom the proceedings of the above two cases it would be seen thatI did not misconduct myself.
“ 12. I deeply regret that the incident should have occurred. Ihave apologized to the Magistrate, Mr. Vaughan, personally, andfully explained the circumstances hereinbefore set out. I beg torepeat my apology to him for the seemingly unbecoming conduct(which, without any intention on my part, would appear to havegiven offence), and to your Hon. Court; and I hereby undertakeand promise that I shall not give occasion for any similar occur-rence in the future.”
The Supreme Court, having heard counsel, directed that Mr.Proctor K be suspended from the practice of his profession for aperiod of three months.