■J8G SRI SKANDA RAJAH, J.—Manickam v. Inspector of Police (C. I. D.)
Present: Sri Skanda Rajah, J.
MANICKAM, Appellant, and INSPECTOR OP POLICE (C. I. D.),
S. C. 50/62—Joint M. C. Colombo, 21312
Cheating—Meaning of term “ properly ”—Penal Code, as. 398, dOO.
In a prosecution for choating, it was proved that the accused, by producinganother person’s birth certificate as his own, obtained on Emergency Certificatefrom the Government to enable him to travel to India.
Held, that the Emergency Certificate was “ property ” as contemplated bysection 398 of the Penal Codo.
Appeal from a judgment of the Joint Magistrate’s Court, Colombo.
Colvin R. de Silva, with K. Jayasekere, for accused-appellant.
T.D. Bandaranayake, Crown Counsel, for Attorney-General.
July 16, 1962. Sni Skanda Rajah, J.—
The accused is charged under Section 400 of the Penal Code. Thecharge itself reads as follows :—
" You are hereby charged that you did within the jurisdiction of thisCourt at Port cheat K. Murugesu, Assistant Controller of Immigrationand Emigration, Colombo, by deceiving him into the belief that youwere Manickam s/o Carpan described in the birth certificate No. 4254issued by the Additional District Registrar of Births, Marriages, andDeaths, Nuwara Eliya, on 8th July, 1959, and thereby intentionallyinduce the said K. Murugesu to do an act, to wit, issue EmergencyCertificate No. A70410 to you to enable you to proceed to India, whichact he would not have done if he was not so deceived, and which actcaused loss to the Government, and you have thereby committedan offence punishable under Section 400 of the Penal Code .”
This charge would have been complete even without the words “ whichact caused loss to the Government”.
It was argued that the birth certificate in question, which is markedP3, related to this accused. P3 gives the date of birth of one Manickamson of Carpan and Poovai as 17th November, 1934. P5 is the birthcertificate of witness Manickam son of Poovai and Carpan. It wouldseem very strange that two sons named Manickam were born to twodifferent couples on the same day and at Nanu-oya, the couples bearingidentical names as Carpan and Poovai. But the matter is concluded by
SRI SKANDA RAJAH, J.—Manic/cam v. Inspector of Police (C. 1. D.)287
reference to P13, a document which has been kept in the ordinary courseof business and is, therefore, admissible in evidence without the personwho kept it being called. That is the register of admissions, progressand withdrawal of Government and Assisted English and VernacularSchools kept by the head-master of St. Andrew’s College, which thisaccused attended. His name is given in P13 (v. P13A) as KannikanManickam. The date of his admission is given as 30.1.50. The certi-ficate issued by the then principal on 14th October, 1959, to this accusedhas been produced as P14 and that runs thus :—
** This is to certify that Kannikan Manickam was a student of thisschool from 30.1..50 to 30.1.55. His admission No. was 3438 .”
This register P13 also gives the same admission number as well as thesame date of admission into the school and the date 30.1.55 as the dateon which he left the school. Everybody seems to have lost sight of theentry in PI3A giving the date of birth of this accused as 1.6.1936.Therefore, this document P3 could not have been this accused’s certificateof birth. This fact was discovered when I examined this documentP13 in the course of argument. When I drew the ettention of appellant’scounsel this argument was abandoned.
The other matter that has been urged is a matter of law, viz., thatthere was no loss to the Government. The second limb of the charge,viz., the allegation that there was loss to the Government, is not necessaryfor this charge. The earlier part of the charge indicates that it wasbecause this accused deceived Murugesu by tendering this birth certi-i-ficate P3, that he delivered to him or issued to him the Emergency"Certificate No. A70410.
i' ^ . « •
In the case of Kanagaratnam v. Bartholomeusz1 it was held that apermit for foreign exchange for travel could be regarded as propertywithin the meaning of Section 403 of the Penal Code. In the course ofthe judgment Swan, J., quoted this passage :—
“ Whether an article is or not property does not depend on itspossessing a money or market value. If it has same special valuefor the person or persons concerned it is property, even though itsvalue cannot be measured in money. ”
“ Among the cases referred by the learned authors are (1) In rePachianathan (21 Criminal Law Journal 478), where a person whohad fraudulently induced a health officer to give a health certificatewas convicted under Section 419, (2) Local Government v. Gangaram(23 Criminal Law Journal 443) where a certificate of having passed acertain examination was held to be property within the meaning of theSection .”
1 (1954) 66 N. L. li. 71.
288 SRI SKANDA RAJAH, J.—ManicJcam v. Inspector of Police (G. I. D.)
I would, therefore, hold that the Emergency Certificate issued to himwas “ property ” as contemplated by Section 398 of the Penal Code.
Besides, even the second limb would apply because this certificate hassome value. There is the evidence of the Assistant Controller Murugesuthat this certificate would have cost the Government about Its. 2 to 5and it is printed on special paper.
For these reasons, I would dismiss the appeal and affirm the convictionand sentence.
MANICKAM, Appellant, and INSPECTOR OF POLICE (C. I. D. ), Respondent