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QUEEN u. SUSE TISSERA el al.
D. C., Chilato (Criminal), 2,459,
Trial of criminal case—Irregular reception of evidence—Consent of parties.
In a criminal case it is irregular to import into it and consider asevidence the evidence taken and recorded in another case, though thecomplainants therein were the accused in the former case.
Consent thereto, on the part of the parties to the counter-cases, willnot avail to render irregular proceedings regular.
rpHIS was a case in which seven persons were indicted forrioting, and three of them for voluntarily causing hurt.After the evidence for the prosecution and the statements of theaccused, there followed in the record “ for defence ” the evidenceof five witnesses on oath, two of whom appeared to be persons'who were on their trial in this case.
On appeal against a conviction, his lordship the Chief Justiceinquired under what circumstances the two accused gave theirevidence for themselves on oath.
Dornhorst, for the accused, and Ramanathan, S.-G., for theCrown, agreed that a reference should be made to the District Judge.
His reply to the Registrar was as follows :—
With reference to your letter No. 299 of the 6th instant, I have the honourto inform you that the accuseds were prosecutors in counter-case No. 2,460,and that they desired to base their defence on the evidence for the prosecu-tions therein recorded. I accordingly took steps to have that evidencerecorded again for the evidence in the present proceedings, deeming it justthat the gist of the two counter-charges should be fully set out in one record.
The case was set down for argument, and the same counselappeared.
1st July, 1895. BONSBB, C.J., after stating the facts of the caseas given above, said :—
The Acting District Judge (Mr. Thorburn) says he took steps'to have the evidence of the accused again recorded for the defencein the present proceedings. As far as I understand, the stepsconsisted of having the evidence in the other record copied in thisrecord. It may be said that the accused were not prejudiced bythis proceeding, but this Court has always held that it is of thegreatest importance that the proceedings, especially criminalproceedings, should be conducted regularly and according tolaw, and that consent will not avail to render irregular proceed-ings regular.
I think that the proper order to make will be to quash theconviction and remit the case to be re-tried.
QUEEN v. SUSE TISSERA et al