( 844 )
The following are the judgments cited by Pereira J.
BY AN v. WEEBAFPAN.
September 12, 1906. Middleton J.—
This is an appeal, with the sanction of the Attorney-General, against theacquittal of a kangany on an estate on a charge, of neglecting to attend atand during the time or 'hours for commencing' or carrying on the work of aDagricultural labourer. The facts of the case are that the kangany was onthe check roll,and apparently hadreceived riceadvances in1904; that he
was gent to India, and returned to the estate with some coolies about May 17or 20 this year; that 'apparently there was then some dispute about thecoolies which he had brought; and that apparently as the result of thedispute the accused gavenotice toquit servicefor himselfandthe other
coolies. ■ Upon receipt of 'this notice, the superintendent of the estate sent forthe accused and asked him to go to cooly work. The superintendent, in hiscross-examination, says:“ Iaskedaccusedforthe .first timeto do cooly
work on May26.AfterI receivednotice accused did notcometo work.
Accused did not ask for kangany work. I asked accused to do cooly work.”It is' difficult not to draw the inference that this man was ordered to do coolywork because he hadsentnoticeto theSuperintendent towithdraw his
labourers. Thequestion,however, really is, tomy mind,whatwas the
contract between the parties—was this man bound to act and work as a cooly?It is clear that he had never worked ag a cooly before on the estate, and hadnever been asked to doso.In myopinion,thejudgment of Bonser C.J.' in
Maclean v. Appau Kangany (2 N. L. R. 54) is exactly in point. The OrdinanceNo. ,11 of 1865 is a special Ordinance passed for the control of labourers inthis Colony, and it makes acts offences which in Western countries are notoffences; and therefore," although ” (adoptingthe words ofChief Justice
Bonser) "I do not wish to say anything which would encourage agriculturallabourers to disobey the orders of the superintendent, yet, at the game time,whenever a man is prosecuted for a criminal offence, it must be shown thathe had a criminal intent—that his disobedience was wilful, and npt due to an> (1896) 2 N. L. R. 54.* (Ufi91—P. C. BaduUa-HaldwmmuUa)
8. 0. Afin., Aug. 7, 190S.
( 346 )
erroneous view of his rights and duties. It seems to me, he're. that the accused 1912.
might have been justified in believing, from the previous course of business on
the estate, that it was not part of his duty to perform manual labour" Ponniak
Taking this view of the case, I am unable to accede to the application ofthe complainant in this case to set aside the order of acquittal which hasbeen entered by the Magistrate. I therefore dismiss the appeal.
RYAN v. WEERAPPAN