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MATHEWS v. MUNIANDI.
P. C., Kandy, 4,575.
Bail bond—Forfeiture—Postponement of ease sine die—Liability ofsureties.'
The postponement of a case sine die, in which the accused by bailbond bound himself to attend Court on a certain day to answer acriminal charge and to continue to attend until otherwise directed,determines the bail bond,'and the mere fact of the bond containingthe words “ to continue to attend until otherwise directed ” wouldnot extend the time at which, the accused should attend until theconviction or acquittal of accused, nor render the bond liable toforfeiture on his failure to attend on notice after the postponementsine die.
HE facts of the case are shortly these. On the 10th April oneMuniandi was brought up before the Police Magistrate of
Kandy under a warrant to answer the charge of an offence againstthe Labour Ordinance, and he signed a recognizance, in which hebound himself to attend in the Police Court of Kandy on the 20thday of May to answer to the said charge, and to continue to attend
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until otherwise directed by Court, and in case of his making defaulttherein he bound himself to forfeit to Her Majesty the Queen thesum of Rs. 25.
One Rafnasamy (appellant) and another signed this recognizanceas sureties for the attendance on those terms.
On the 20th May the case was postponed till the 3rd June, 1897 >pending result of P. C., 4,572.
Muniandi, the accused, attended Court on that day and on the3rd June. The journal entry of that day was, “ Accused present.“ Postponed sine die pending result of 4,572 in appeal.”
The next entry was 3rd August: “ On motion filed in 4,574,“notice issued for 23rd instant, on surety.”
. Then appeared the following entries : “ 23rd May accused absent.“ Mr. Beven for complainant. Notice securities re-issued for 8th“ September.”
“ 8th September, 1897, parties absent.”
Then warrants were ordered for the arrest and production of thesureties. A proclamation was also ordered to be made on accountof the defendant. On the 8th October Ramasamy (appellant) wasbrought up under warrant, and he was called upon to produce thebody of Muniandi. He failed to do so, and was consequentlycalled upon by the Police Magistrate to show cause why his bondshould not be declared forfeited.
It was urged by his proctor that the order of the 3rd June, post-poning the case sine die, determined the bond.
This argument did not prevail with the Magistrate, who decidedthat the words in the bond “ until otherwise directed ” could onlymean until the principal is acquitted or convicted. He declaredthe bond forfeited, and called upon Ramasamy to pay a sum of*Rs. 25.
10th March, 1898. Withers, J.—
I am unable to agree with the Magistrate. The direction conform-ing to the bond is a direction that the defendant should attend inthe Court on a day certain. To postpone the case sine die was todirect otherwise. In my opinion such an order is too indefiniteand ought never to be made. Sureties have a right to stand uponthe very terms of their undertaking. It was a term of their under-taking that the defendant should attend at a certain time and place.They were entitled to know in this case on what day the defendantwas directed to attend at the Police Court. If they did not knowwhen they were to produce this man, how could they carryout their undertaking ? Even if I am wrong in thinking
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th&t the postponement of the case sine Me was a direction otherwise(t.e., other than a direction to attend at the Police Court on a daycertain), it was clearly incumbent on the Magistrate to name a datefor the attendance of the defendant, and to give him and hia suretiesreasonable notice of the time at which the former was required toattend at the Police Court.
They had no opportunity given them of producing the defendanton any particular day before the Court.
I hold that the appellant has not forfeited his bond, and I mustset aside the order and sentence.
MATHEWS v. MUNIANDI