HOWARD C.J.—Moosin v. OaUe Police.
Present: Howard C.J.
MOOSIN, Appellant, and GALLE POLICE,
676—M. C. Galle, 47,941.
Dishonest receipt of stolen property—Accused's explanation false—Inference ofguilt—Penal Code, s. 394.
In a prosecution for dishonest receipt of stolen property, under section394 of the Penal Code, if there are circumstances which entitle the Courtto say that the accused’s explanation is false, then such explanationcannot be considered reasonable.
^ PPEAL against a conviction from the Magistrate’s Gourt, Galle.
C. E. S. Perera (with him S. W. Jayasuriya), for the accused, appellant.
H. A. Wijemanne, C.C., for the Attorney-General.
March 6, 1946. Howard C.J.—
I agree with Mr. Perera that if an accused person offers an explanationwhich may reasonably be true, although the Court is not convinced thatit is true, he is entitled to be acquitted. The accused in this case hasgiven an explanation, but at the same time, if there are circumstanceswhich entitle the Court to say that the accused’s explanation is false,then such explanation cannot be considered reasonable. There is nodoubt that the property found in the possession of the accused was stolenproperty. As I have already said, the accused has offered anexplanation ; but are there any circumstances which entitle the Court tosay that that explanation is false ?
80ERT8Z S.P.J.—Kalhiravelu v. Thiagarajah.
The accused bought the articles from the 3rd officer of a ship. It wasnot a matter of buying a few articles. He bought altogether two casesof Nestle’s Condensed Milk, one case of Vermouth, one case of cheese andthree cases of Horlick’s Malted Milk. These articles altogether had avalue of Its. 409. The articles were collected by the accused in the earlyhours of the morning and were in fact found by the Police in a cart. Itseems to me that the fact that so many articles were bought, that theywere bought from the officer of a ship and that they were delivered in theearly hours of the morning are circumstances which show that theaccused’s explanation was false. In other words, he knew that the goodswere stolen. In these circumstances the appeal against the conviction isdismissed. In view of the fact that the chief offender, the 3rd officer ofthe ship, was fined Rs. 500, I vary the sentence which has been passedon the accused and direct that instead of undergoing a term of 4 months’rigorous imprisonment he should pay a fine of Rs. 300, in default 2 months’rigorous imprisonment.
MOOSIN , Appellant, and GALLE POLICE , Respondent