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cocoanuts. On the 4th March, 1895, one Segu Mohideeu, who 1900.was judgment-creditor of one ' Joseph Batnayake, caused the November 29.Fiscal to seize this . property in execution. The plaintiff at BoN8Eft,C.J •once put in a claim which was referred to the Court by theFiscal in the ordinary way, but in spite of this claim theFiscal proceeded to sell, and sold the property on the 12thMarch, 1895. I do not understand how it w&s that the Fiscalproceeded with the sale, having received a claim which he hadreferred to the Court. It seems to me quite clear that his dutywas to stay his hand until it had been decided by the Courtwhether the seizure was legal or not.
If the property is not sold, there can be no objection in going onwith the claim investigation: the only object of such an investi-gation is to determine whether the Fiscal is to release or to sell it.
If the property has been sold, the claim, investigation can lead tonothing, because- the Fiscal cannot, if the claim is decided in theclaimant’s favour, release the property from seizure. The head-note to the case of James & Go. v. Natohiappen (3 N. L. R. 257)appears to me to be incorrect, in its statement of what was decidedin that case;* it seems to imply that it is the duty of a claimantto make special application to the Court to postpone .the sale.
In the present case the claim investigation, which is requiredby section 241 to be conducted in a summary manner, was notconcluded until November, 1898, having taken three years and ahalf. In the result the claim was upheld, the Court being ofopinion that the property was the property of the claimant andnot of Joseph Batnayake, the judgment-debtor. Immediatelyafter the conclusion of the investigation the plaintiff commencedhis action against the administratrix of the judgment-creditor,who had died in the meantime, claiming damages for the illegalseizure and sale of his property. The District Judge held that theaction was barred by Ordinance No. 22 of 1871, for that, being aclaim for damages, it ought to have been brought within twoyears of the cause of action, that is the seizure of the 4th, or at allevents the sale of the 12th March, 1895. It seems to me that theDistrict Judge was right, and the appeal must therefore be dis-missed. It is a hard case on the plaintiff, for he may havethought, though wrongly, that he ought to wait till the conclusionof the investigation before bringing his action.
Browne, A.J., agreed.
* The words of the h^ad-note kre not ‘the words of the reporter', but of Mr.Justice Lawrie, as found in his judgment in tjjie case in question.—Ed.
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January 29,and 30.
SENANAYAKE v. DON JOHN.
P. C., Negombo, 27,626.
Insult—Penal Code, s. 484.
Per Liaviob, J.—Section 484 of the Penal Code limits' ther characterof the offence thereby enacted to snch insults as are provocations, andonly to such provocations’ as are intended to cause the person provoked■ to break the public peace or to commit an offence, or which the insulteror provoker knew would be likely to cause the person provoked to break,the public peace.
The section is intended to prevent breaches of the peace by preventingwhat is likely to cause them.
HIS was a prosecution under section 484 of the Penal Code.
It appeared that for the purpose of recovering the rates due
to the Local Board of Minuwangoda, the Mudaliyar of the District,who was also the Chairman of the Board, attended by the VidaueArachchi, went to the house of one Punchappuhamy, when theaccused (his son). used abusive language and rushed towards' theChairman..saying, “.no taxes would be paid.” The Vidane Arachchiintercepted his progress, when he pushed him against a wall,which caused him to bleed in the face. Both the officers feltinsulted, and so provoked that they had a mind to thrash him.
The .Police Magistrate found the accused guilty and sentencedhim to six months’ rigorous imprisonment.
H. J. C. Pereira, for appellant.
Bawa, for respondent.
Cut. adv. vult.
30th January, 1901. Lawrie, J.—
Section 484 seems to me to be one of the most- difficult in thePenal Code.
It does not declare that all insults are an offence. The sectionlimits the character of an offence to such insults as are provoca-tions, and only to such provocations as are intended to cause theperson provoked to break the public peace or to commit an offence,or which the insulter or provoker knew would be likely to causethe person provoked to break the public peace, &c. It is, I think,intended to prevent breaches of the peace by preventing what islikely to cause them. . Whether the accused had the intention or.knowledge which the section requires, I doubt much. He wasdrunk, he psed indecent vulgar words—words so commonly usedthat they have almost lost their original meaning, as manyEnglish oaths and curses have. The word ased had no special
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reference to the persons addressed- But the counsel for the . 1901.accused limited his appeai to urging this Court to reduce the Januttru 29,sentence.andJO.
The sentence of six months’ rigorous imprisonment seems to me Lawbib, J.excessive. I reduce the sentence to a fine of Rs. 60, and if the finebe not paid the aooused shall undergo one month’s rigorousimprisonment.
SENANAYAKE v. DON JOHN