PIERIS v. LIYERA.P. C., Colombo, 83,867.
Deember 13and 20.
Arrack flavoured by drugs and spices—Ordinance No.' 10 of 1844, s. 37, andOrdinance No. 13 1801, t. 10—Removal without permit.
The removal, without permit, of arrack which has been so highlyimpregnated or flavoured by drugs or spices that a distillation did notdeprive the compound of their taste and flavour, and which was notproved as useful for medicinal purposes only, is punishable under Ordi-nance No. 13 of 1891, section 10, and Ordinance No. 10 of 1844,section 37.
rpHE acoused in this case was convicted of the offence ofremoving gallons of arrack from one place to anotherwithout a permit, in breach of section 10 of Ordinance No. 13 of1891 and section 37 of Ordinance No. 10 of 1844.
The defence Bet np was that no permit was required formedicated arrack.
The Police Magistrate’s jadgment was as follows:—
“ In the present case the analysis proves that the compound in“ question was strong arrack in which various bitter and aromatic“ drugs had been steeped. There was no chemical change in the“ arrack, and Dr. Fernando says the mixture is perfectly fit to“ drink. It would apparently fall more under the description of
December 13and 20.
( 338 )
“ liquor mentioned in P. C., Kalutara, 62,334 (3 S. C. C. 44, 45),“ which was held to require a permit …. To allow such a“ compound to escape the provisions of the Ordinance regulating“ the removal of arrack would have the effect of spreading“ drunkenness widely among the people.”
He sentenced the accused to a fine of Rs. 50, and ordered theconfiscation of the arrack seized.
On appeal, Wendt appeared for the accused, and Dornhorst forthe complainant (the peon of the arrack farm of Colombo).
Cur. adv. vult.
The conviction and sentence were affirmed in the following,judgment of the Supreme Court:—
20th December, 1894. BROWNE, A.J.—
Accepting as true the evidence of the compounder of the liquorseized in this case, I find it is prepared by putting ordinary arrackdistilled from the produce of the cocoanut palm, and purchasedfrom the renter’s godown, into a pot, steeping therein sixty kindsof herb for fifteen days, then distilling off the contents ; and nextinfusing in the re-distilled product certain powders, as gallnut,forseven days, and then straining them off. The result thereof,accord-ing to the compounder, is that the original quantity in the pot isreduced by one-half, and is much stronger ; and according to thepublic analyst that it was stronger than the best arrack, thepercentages being, pure spirit 44-5 per cent., water 54'5 per cent.,drugs about 1 per cent., the drugs being held in solution. Nochemical change or change of alcoholic power was effected in thearrack by the introduction of the drugs, which could be separatedonly by distillation.
The liquor, however, did not taste or smell like arrack, but likea bitter alcoholic preparation. He re-distilled it, and it then smeltdistinctly of arrack, and tasted of arrack flavoured with aromaticdrugs, which were volatile, and were distilled with the liquor andnot separated by this re-distillation, but could have been separatedby repeated distillation.
This evidence has failed to show me that this compound wasnew, and substantially different from arrack. It is not shownthat in its preparation there were other substances, the solutionwhereof or the distillation wherefrom would add to the originalarrack consisting of so much spirit and so much water, such otheringredients as would make a new compound so essentiallydifferent.
( 339 )
The result was only arrack so highly impregnated or flavouredby the drugs or spices, which in the inception of this process hadbeen steeped in it, and blent with it by distillation of the arrackafter their infusion, that one re-distillation thereafter did notdeprive the compound of their taste and flavour.
There is no proof that the compound was noxious, or evenunpalatable, or could be used for medicinal purposes only, and thecase therefore does not fall within such possible exceptions aswere made in 3 S. C. C. 78.
December 13and 20.
PIERIS v. LIVERA