N( 114 )
SUPPIAH v. KADIBKAMEB.
P. C., Kurunegala, 4,624.
Penal Code, s. 211—Offering gratification to screen offenders from legal punish-ment—Evidence of commission of offence by person sought to be screened.
To justify a conviction under section 211 of tbe Penal Code for theoffence of offering a gratification to screen a person from legal punish'ment for an offence, it is necessary to prove that the pereon sought to bescreened did in fact commit the offence alleged.
Even though such person had been tried for and acquitted of suchoffence, it is open to the prosecution to prove that he actually committedthe offence.
HE complainant in this case was a police sergeant. He chargedthe accused under section 211 of the Penal Code with
giving him or causing to be given him a gratification of Bs. 35in cnosideration of his delivering to the accused a letter which one^,Pona Chetty had written to one Kanapathy Pillay about someojjjum, and which the complainant was intending to use in eyir;idence against Pona Chetty in a prosecution for illicit sale of opium*. •The Magistrate .sentenced the accused to pay Bs. 12.50 or toundergo one month’s rigorous imprisonment.
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Wadsworth, for appellant.—Inasmuch as the accused is chargedwith causing a bribe to be given to a police sergeant for screeningan offender from legal punishment, a conviction is not possibleunless it be proved that there was an offender and that suchoffender was guilty of an offence. Queen v. Bamalingam, 2
N.L. R. 48. No proof whatsoever exists in this case that PonaChetty ever committed any offence.
Rdmandthan, 8.-0., for respondent.
27th January, 1905. Moncreiff, J.—
In this case the appellant was charged with causing a bribe tobe given to a police sergeant for the purpose of inducing him toreturn a letter which was about to be used in evidence againstone Poona Chetty, with the object of screening Poona Chetty frompunishment in a pending case against him for illicit sale of opium.The charge is framed under section 211 of *he Penal Code, which,amongst other things, provides for the punishment of people whocause gratifications to be given to a person in consideration of thatperson’s screening any person from “ legal punishment for anyoffence.”
The Magistrate sentenced the accused to pay a fine of Bs.. 12.50,or in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a month. Itappeared that Ponna Chetty was a licensed opium' dealer inKurunegala; that he was charged with selling opium in an illegalmanner; that on that charge he was acquitted on the ground that,although he handed upium to Kathirgesar, no one saw Kathirgesarpay bim for the opium; and that therefore there had been nosale. So far, therefore, as the case against Pona Chetty went, itwas established that there was no offence, and on the authority ofThe Queen v. Bamalingam. reported in 2 N. L. R. 48 it wouldappear that, where no offence is proved, a conviction under thissection cannot take place. The judgment in that case is a FullCourt judgment. Chief Justice Bonser therein said that he agreedwith the District Judge, that before a conviction could take placeis must be proved that the man charged was guilty of an offence;and he goes on to point out that, although that person may havebeen acquitted on trial, it was open to thef prosecution, actingunder section 211 of the Penal Code, to prove, nevertheless, to thesatisfaction of the Magistrate that that person actually did committhe offence. There is no such proof in this case, and the convic-tion must be set aside.
SUPPIAH v. KADIRKAMER