ABRAHAMS C.J.—Sivasampu v. Carolis Appu.
1939.Present: Abrahams C.J.
SIVASAMPU v. CAROLIS APPU.
’ 60S—P. C. Dandagamuwa, 3,652.
Prevention of Crimes Ordinance, No. 2 of 1926—Failure of convict to reportdeparture from division—Meaning of word “ move ”—Breach of rule 38.Where a convict was charged with that he, being a person subject topolice supervision and as such bound to report himself to the Inspectorof Police, within whose division he resided, failed to report hisdeparture to another division in breach of rule 38 of the rules madeUEider section 4(1) of the Prevention of Crimes Ordinance, No. 2 of 1926.—Held, that the word “ move ” in the rule meant change of one’sposition whether for a permanent or indefinite period and was notequivalent to change of residence.
PPEAL from an order of the Police Magistrate of Dandagamuwa.
D. Jansze, C.C., for complainant, appellant.
No appearance for accused, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
January 27, 1939. Abrahams C.J.—
This is an appeal under section 337 of the Criminal Procedure Codeagainst the refusal of the Police Magistrate of Dandagamuwa to issueprocess against Ranasinghe Mudiyanselage Carolis Appu to answer thecharge that he, being a person subject to police supervision and, as such,bound to report himself to the Inspector of Police, Kuliyapitiya, withinwhose division he resided, whenever he left his division, failed to reporthis departure to Unaliya in Narammala division, in breach of rule 38of the rules made ' under section 4 (1) of the Prevention of Crimes
ABRAHAMS C.J.—Sivasampu v. Carolis Appu.
Ordinance, No. 2 of 1926. The accused is a convict’ and has not appearednor is he represented but as this question is entirely one of law there is noreason why he should be brought before this Court.
Section 8 (1) of the above quoted Ordinance provides for policesupervision and section 4 (1) (a) enables rules to be made regulating thesupervision of persons subject to police supervision under the abovequoted section. The relevant rule under which these proceedings weresought to be taken is rule 38 of the rules made on January 8, 1929. Therelevant portion runs as follows:—
“Whenever he (the person sentenced to police supervision) shallchange his residence from one division to another or move for anyperiod whatsoever beyond the jurisdiction of the officer to whom he isliable to report himself within such first mentioned division, he shallat least 48 hours before changing his residence or so moving personallynotify such change or such moving to the officer in charge of thePolice Station, or in his absence to the officer acting for him or wherethere is no Police Station, to the Chief Headman of the division whichhe is leaving and shall within 48 hours of his arrival at his new residenceor the place to which he has so moved report himself to the officer incharge of the Police Station or in his absence to the officer acting forthim or where there is no Police Station to the Chief Headman of thedivision to which he has changed his residence or so moved.”
There is a further provision requiring him whenever he changes hisresidence or moves for any period whatsoever from one district to anotherat least 48 hours before changing his residence or so moving topersonally notify such change or such moving to the Superintendent orAssistant Superintendent of Police of the district which he is leavingand shall report himself within 48 hours of his arrival and in the case of achange of residence thereafter once a month to. the Police.
The accused in this case had to report himself at Kuliyapitiya PoliceStation on the 2nd of every month. He reported himself on July 2, 1938,and again on August 2, 1938. On July 6, 1938, he was caught at Unaliyawhich is outside that police area.
The learned Magistrate does not agree that the accused was requiredby rule 38 to notify the Kuliyapitiya Police Station before leaving thearea. He contended that the word “ move ” does not have theconnotation of the wordleave ”. He says the fact that it is employedin the rule after the expression “ change of residence ”, gives to it thesame meaning as the.words “ change of residence” because as it is ageneral expression following after a specific expression it should on theejusdem generis rule have a limiting meaning. He also quotes his diction-ary which informs him that one of the meanings of the word “ move ”in its intransitive sense is “ change one’s residenceNow before considering the application of the ejusdem generis rule inthe construction of statutes one has to consider whether there is anythingto interpret. In other words, is there any reason why the plain ordinarymeaning of the word “ move", that is to say, change one’s position,whether for a permanent or an indefinite period," should not be accepted.If in the construction of any particular word the employment of it in its40/31
Weerasekera v. Municipal Council, Colombo.
plain ordinary' meaning violates one of the rules of construction andwhen it cannot be given its plain ordinary meaning, because that wouldcreate an ambiguity, then no doubt it is necessary to give it a suitablemeaning and in that event, of course, the ejusdem generis "principle ofconstruction can be followed. But I can see no reason why the plainordinary meaning which contrasts actual change of position, no matterfor what period^with change of residence, which is movement in fact fora definite purpose should not be accepted. I do not know what theMagistrate’s notion of the genus which includes both change of residenceand movement can be, but it would appear to me that “.to move ” is thegenus of which “ change of residence ” is the species. To change one’sresidence would be to move from one place to another for the purpose ofresiding, that is to say, taking up one’s habitation. If “ to move ” wereto be used in the sense of changing one’s residence it would seem hardlynecessary that the rule should be drafted in the way that it is. Butmanifestly on a reading of the rule itself they are intended to be con-trasted because it appears that on a change of residence notificationis to be made once a month, whereas in the case of moving for any period,the person concerned must merely report himself within 48 hours of hisarrival.
The Magistrate seeks to interpret the word “ move ” as equivalentto a “ change of residence ” temporarily or permanently by a reductio adabsurdum. For instance, if a man under police supervision were walkingalong the boundary and were driven over the limits of that area byforce majeure'he would have committed that offence. The simple answerto that is that it is Very difficult to see a police officer placing such anabsurd charge before a Magistrate or a Magistrate taking such a chargeseriously. The obvious intention of the rule is that persons of criminaltendencies who are placed under police supervision should not deliberatelymove outside the area where that supervision is exercised without,notifying the police of both areas, otherwise crime is facilitated. It doesnot require residence to enable the commission of crime.
The appeal is allowed and the proceedings must continue.
SIVASAMPU v. CAROLIS APPU