HOSE O. T.—Seemon Singho v. Paddawala Police
Present : Rose C.J.
SEEMON SINGHO, Appellant, and PADD AW ALA POLICE,
8. C. 1,317—M. C. Gampaha, 8,452
Excise—Charge of possession of pot arrack—Evidence of type of liquor.
In. a prosecution for possession of unlawfully manufactured pot arrack theremust be some reliable evidence that the liquid in question was in fact pot arrack.
ApPKAT, from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Gampaha.
It. L. Pereira, Q.C., -with S. W. Jayasuriya, for the accused appellant.
A. Mdhendrarajah, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
February 25, 1953. Rose C.J.—(
In this case the appellant is charged with being in possession of twobottles alleged to contain pot arrack. Now, it is quite true that one doesnot wish to set aside convictions in Excise matters on grounds of puretechnicality, but it seems to me that when the prosecution allege that anaccused is in possession of unlawfully manufactured arrack there mustbe some reliable evidence as to the contents of the bottles which arefound in his possession. In this case the only witness for the prosecution
SWAN J.—Per era v. Veloe
was a police constable, T. B. Sarap, who states that he discovered theaccused with a mat bag containing two bottles containing pot arrack andanother three-quarters filled with toddy. He gives no details of his ownexperience in detecting various types of liquor, nor does he state thereasons for coming to the conclusion that the liquid in question in thesebottles was in fact pot arrack. It is true that the learned Magistratein his judgment adverts to this matter and says that the evidence was notchallenged and therefore that evidence should be accepted. Withgreat respect to him, I feel that the evidence of this Police officer onthis matter should have been supplemented and that as it stands it isnot sufficient to justify a conviction. That being so, the appeal must beallowed and the conviction quashed.
SEEMON SINGHO, Appellant, and PADDAWALA POLICE , Respondent