Poulier v. Ahamed Bari.
1940Present: Moseley J.
POULIER v. AHAMED BARI.
851—M. C. Gdlle, 23,870.
Decoy—Corroboration of evidence—Material particular connecting the accttsed—Corroboration need not be by direct evidence.
A decoy is an accomplice and, as such, his evidence requires corrobo-ration in some material particular connecting the accused with thecommission of the offence. Corroboration need not be by direct evidence.
PPEAL from a conviction of the Magistrate of Galle.
P. Thiagarajah, for accused, appellant.
JHhal Gunasekera, C.C., for complainant, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
MOSELEY J.—Poulier v. Ahamed Bari.
February 21, 1940. Moseley J.—
The appellant was charged with two others on four counts of havingreceived bets on horse races, other than taxable bets, in contravention ofsection 3 (3) of Chapter 36 of the laws of Ceylon. The two other accusedwere acquitted; the appellant was convicted on the first two counts and1fined on each count Rs. 150 in default one month’s rigorous imprisonment,that is to say, Rs. 300 in default two months’ rigorous imprisonment in all!
On the day in question Inspector Poulier sent two decoys, Abeyratneand Abeytunga, each armed with a betting slip in duplicate and a markedone-rupee note, to a shop at the Dye Works, Lighthouse street. Thedecoys were instructed to place bets, as indicated on the slips on races tobe run in India.
The decoy Ariyaratne deposed that he went to the premises as instructedwhere he saw the appellants seated at a table. He gave the two slips(P 7 and P 7a), that is, original and duplicate, and the rupee note to theappellant who scribbled something, retained one slip, and returned theother to the witness. The latter appears to have spent some minutes inthe shop and then left to give a prearranged signal to the raiding party.He returned with the party and pointed out the appellant as the personwho had accepted his bet.
Inspector Poulier says that when he entered the shop with the raidingparty he saw the appellant writing on betting slips with a purple pencil.As the Police entered the appellant gathered up some mony which was onthe table and threw some slips behind him. Eighty-nine slips werefound of which about 60 were on the table and were marked with numbers.These were produced in one bundle P 4 and are marked in most caseswith purple pencil. Amongst these was P 7 which bears the mark 290/9in purple pencil. P 7 (a) which also bears the number 290 and 9 inpurple pencil was handed to the Inspector by Abeyratne who told himthat he had received it back from the appellant. Neither of the markedrupee notes was found. This may be accounted for by the statement ofAbeyratne that after he had handed the appellant the note with whichhe had been provided, the latter gave change of a Rs. 5 note to each oftwo people.
The learned Magistrate regarded the decoy Abeytunga as an unsatis-factory witness and in consequence acquitted all the accused on counts'(3) and (4) and the second and third accused on counts (1) and (2).Abeyratne, however, impressed him favourably. Counsel for theappellant argued that, since the two decoys contradicted each other,the evidence of neither should be accepted. That contention does notseem to me to be particularly sound and, in my view, the Magistrate wasentitled, if he saw fit, to accept his evidence. Nevertheless, he was in theposition of an accomplice and as such his evidence requires corroborationin some material particular connecting the appellant with the commissionof the offence. That corroboration need not however be by directevidence.
Counsel for the appellant brought to my notice the case of Peitis v.Seniviratne in which the facts are remarkably similar to those of thecase before me. There is one marked difference. In that case the
11 C.L. W.p. lis
WIJEYEWARDENE J.—Peter Singho v. Appuhamy.
marked money was found, but the duplicate slips were not. That wasregarded by Akbar J. as “a very significant fact Indeed the failureto find the duplicate slips became particularly * significant when theaccused gave evidence that the marked money was given in payment forgoods to be supplied. Akbar J. held that there was insufficient corro-boration on material' particulars of the evidence given by the accomplicesand quashect the conviction.
In the present case Counsel for the appellant has urged that the failureto find the marked money is fatal to the case for the prosecution. Withthat view I am unable to agree. In the first place a reasonable expla-nation for its disappearance has been given. Secondly, assuming thatthe money did not in fact pass from the decoy to the appellant the finding-of the slip P 7, with similar markings to those on P 7 (a) is amplecorroboration of the evidence of the decoy that he placed a bet with theappellant.
In my view the prosecution proved its case against the appellant beyondall doubt.
I dismiss the appeal.'
POULIER v. AHAMED BARI