( 260 )
Present: Jayewardene A.J.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE, ALUTGAMA v. . PAUL SILVA.
421—P. G. Kalutara, 16,015.
Rubber Thefts Prevention Ordinance—Declaration by owner-Right la
delegate—Ordinance No. 38 of 1917, s. 8a (1).
Where a licensed rubber dealer purchased rubber on a declarationin form C signed by an agent of the owner of the rubber,—
Held, that the requirements of section 8a (1) of the RubberThefts Prevention Ordinance were not satisfied by such a decla- ,ration.
PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate ofKalutara. The facts appear from the judgment.
J. S. Jayewardene (with Gnanaparagasam), for appellant.
July 21, 1926. Jayewardene A.J.—
This appeal involves a question regarding the construction ofsection 8a of the Rubber Thefts Prevention Ordinance, 1908.The case against the accused, who is a licensed rubber dealer, is thathe purchased about 50 lb. of rubber in April, 1925, on a declarationin the form “ C ” which was signed not by the owner of the rubberbut by an agent of the owner. The owner of the rubber was oneEndoris de Silva, and the “ C ” form was signed by one Podi Singhofor the owner. On these facts the charge framed was that theaccused “ did on April 17, 1925, receive on his licensed premises50 lb. of rubber from Y. Endoris Silva of Beruwala, not the produceof lands of' the said W. Endoris Silva, in breach of section 8a (!) (b)of Ordinance No. 38 of 1917. ” This seems to be wrong. It wasnever suggested that the rubber was not the produce of the lands ofEndoris de Silva. The charge should have stated that the rubber waspurchased from Podi Singho, not the produce of lands of the said PodiSingho. However that may be, no objection was taken to the charge.The accused understood what the charge against him was and he hasnot been prejudiced. The question for decision is whether thedeclaration in the form C can be signed by an agent of the owner.Section 8a, sub-section (1), declares that it shall be unlawful for any. licensed dealer to purchase any rubber or to receive upon his licensedpremises othenvise than by purchase any rubber not the produce of
( 251 )
his own lands “ unless in the case of every such purchase or receiptthere shall be delivered with the rubber a declaration substantially inthe form ‘ C ’ in the schedule hereto or in such other form as maybe prescribed, signed by the owner of the rubber, specifying the landsof which the rubber is the produce .’And sub-section
(2) of the section says:—
Inspector ofPolice,Alutgama v.Paul Silva
“ For the purpose of this section ‘ owner ’ includes any person forthe time being in charge of the lands of which the rubber inquestion is the ' produce.’
The learned Police Magistrate has held that* reading the twosub-sections together an agent of the owner is not entitled to signa declaration in the form " C.” The correctness of this view iscontested, and it is argued that, in the absence of an expressprohibition, where a person is permitted to do a thing he is entitledto –do it through his duly authorized agent: qui facit per aliumfacit per se. That, no doubt, is the general rule, but the languageor the object of a statute might indicate that a personal act wasintended. I think section 8a itself shows that an agent of the owneris not entitled to sign declarations in the form “ C on behalf ofthe owner. For sub-section (2) extends the right to so sign topersons for the time being in charge of lands, such as superintendentsof estates, &c. If the term “ owner ” was intended to include everyagent of the owner such an extension would not have been necessaryfor a person in charge of an estate for the time being is in a sensean agent of the owner.
Further, the object of the Ordinance, as the title itself indicates,is to prevent theft of rubber, and one of the ways in which that objectis to be achieved is by seeing that estate owners do not sell morerubber than their trees are capable of producing. Thus, under-section 16a of the Ordinance the owner or the person for the timebeing in charge of any lands on which rubber shall have been pro-duced, who shall be proved to have represented himself in anydeclaration or declarations male for the purpose of section 8a ofthis Ordinance to have been in possession of rubber substantially inexcess of the capacity of lands alleged to have produced it, isdeclared guilty of an offence under the Ordinance and renderedliable to severe penalties. If an agent is permitted to make thedeclaration required by section 8a, the enforcement of the provisionsof section 16a would be rendered difficult and the object of theOrdinance would to a large extent be frustrated. Sections 8a and16a are amendments to the main Ordinance of 1908 and wereintroduced by Ordinance No. 39 of 1917 'to give the authorities astricter control over the disposal of rubber.
An argument was based on the grounds of inconvenience. Itwas urged that “ C ” forms are kept by the licensed dealers, and that
( 252 )
100ft. every time an owner wished to sell rubber he would be compelled toJavbwab- come personally to the licensed dealer's premises to sign th& form.dshb A.J* The Ordinance does not require that these forms should be kept byInspector of licensed dealers alone. Owners might keep them and send themPotfee, filled up and signed with the rubber to be delivered. One of theparticulars to be given on the form “ C " is according to the scheduleto the Ordinance, “ Person by whom brought." The declarationhas to be substantially in the form “ C," and in the form kept by theaccused, which, I believe, is a copy of a form officially sanctioned,this particular is “ Person by whom brought or how sent." Thename of the person by whom the rubber is sent can be entered underthis head by the owner. Section 8a requires the declaration to bedelivered with the rubber. The alleged inconvenience is moreimaginary than real.
In my opinion, both the language of the relevant sections and theobject of the Ordinance show that the construction placed on theword f< owner " in section 8a by the learned Police Magistrate iscorrect- The appeal is therefore .dismissed.
INSPECTOR OF POLICE, ALUTGAMA v. PAUL SILVA