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Present: De Sampayo J.MURPHY * PUNCHAPPU.
078—P. C. Regatta, 32,010.
Penal Code, s. ISO—False information to Assistant Government Agentabout a headman—Knowledge that public servant “ will use hislawful power to the injury ” of such person.
False information given to an Assistant Government Agentabout a headman (Gan*Araehchi) was held to be an offence undersection 180 of the Penal Code, though it is the Government Agentand not the Assistant Government Agent who can dismiss theheadman, as the Assistant Government Agent may suspend theheadman, fine him, or report him to the Government Agent fordismissal.
rj^HE facts appear from the judgment.
H. <7. <7. Pereira, K.C± (with him Swan), for accused, appellant.
M, W. H. de Silva, C.G., for respondent.
December 20,1921. De Samfayo J.—
In this case I have only to consider one or two legal objectionstaken on behalf of the accused appellant. The chaige against theaccused was that on April 26,1921, he had by a petition of that dategiven false information to the Assistant Government Agent of Kegallaagainst the Gan-Araehchi of Galpola, an offence punishable undersection 180 of the Penal Code. The complaint to the Court wasmade by Mr. Murphy, who has been Assistant Government Agentsince May 17,1921, so that he was not the public servant to whom
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the false information was given. His predecessor was Mr. Seymour,who, in fact, received the petition, and referred it to the Police forinquiry. Section 147 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Codeprovides that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence undersections 170 to 185 of the Penal Code, except with the previoussanction of the Attorney-General, or on the complaint of the publicservant concerned, or of some public servant to whom he is subordi-nate. It is objected that “the public servant concerned” wasMr. Seymour, and not Mr. Murphy. The Police Magistrate disposedof the objection by saying that in this connection it is the servantholding the office of the Assistant Government Agent for the timebeing that is concerned, and not the individual. There is someforce in this view of the matter. But it is more satisfactory to dealwith the objection in another way. The above section authorizesthe recognition of the complaint of any person, provided the previoussanction of the Attorney-General is obtained. Now, Mr. Murphydid not obtain the sanction of the Attorney-General, but section425provides that no judgment of a competent Court shall be reversedor altered on account merely of the want of any sanction, unless suchwant has occasioned a failure of justice. In this case no failureof justice has been occasioned by the want of the Attorney-General’ssanction, and I think the objection is not fatal to the conviction.
Again, the gist of the offence is that false information is givento a public servant with the intention of causing, or with the know-ledge that the information is likely to cause, such public servant touse his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of any person.Now, it appears that an Assistant Government Agent cannot dis-miss a headman like the Gan-Arachchi, and that these things canonly be done by the Government Agent, and it is therefore contendedthat an offence under section 180 of the Penal Code has not beencommitted. But it appears at the same time that an AssistantGovernment Agent may suspend a headman, fine him, or reporthim to the Government Agent for dismissal. It is obvious that bydoing any of these acts, the Assistant Government Agent would usehis lawful power to the injury and annoyance of the headman. I* therefore think that this objection also cannot be sustained.
The appeal is dismissed.
MURPHY v. PUNCHAPPU