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Present : The Hon. Mr. A. G. Lascelles, Acting Chief Justice,and Mr. Justice Middleton.
SURIAN PULLE et. al. t>. SILVA et al.
P. 0., Galle, 30,824.
Warrant of arrest in Sinhalese—Validity—English the language of theCourts—Civil Procedure ' Code, ss. 40, 76/ 169, 166, 874, 758, andform No. 60.
Held (by Lascelles A.C.J. and Middleton J.), that a warrantof arrest issued . against a judgment-debtor in the Sinhalese languageis valid.
Per Middleton J.—Though English is the undoubted languageof the Courts in Ceylon, yet there may be cases in which processmay be issued in the language of the person against whom it isdirected, provided that 'the Judge who issues it is acquainted withthe language of the document he signs.
Per Middleton J.—The fact that the- Code lays down thatcertain forms of process are invariably to be in the English languageseems to imply that other forms might possibly be in the languageof the person upon whom they have to be served.
^^PPEAL from a conviction.
The facts sufficiently appear in the judgment of Middleton J.
H. J. C. Pereira, lor 1st and 4th accused, appellants.
A. St. V. Jayewardene, in support of the conviction.
Cur. adv. vult.
12th April, 1906. Middleton J.—
The appellants in this case were the 1st and 4th accused. The 1staccused Arnolis has been convicted under section 484 of insult,section 183 for obstructing a Fiscal’s officer in the execution of hisduty, and under section 334 of using criminal force, and sentenced toa cumulative punishment for all three offences of one month’s rigor-ous imprisonment. The 4th accused, one Teberis Samarasinghe, hasbeen convicted under section 484 of insult and under section 314 of.causing hurt and sentenced to the cumulative punishment of a fine ofRs. 50.
It would seem that a warrant against the person of ,ihe 1st accusedin No. 3,719, C. R., Galle, had been granted to Arnolis Silva, theFiscal’s peon, who arrested the 1st accused and charged him and the4th accused and others with committing the various offences ofwhich they have been convicted upon the execution of the ^arrant.
The warrant had been granted and sighed by Mr. Baumgartner,but was couched entirely in the Sinhalese language.
It was contended before us—(1) that inasmuch as English is thelanguage of the Courts the warrant, being in Sinhalese, was bad in
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law; (2) that there was no evidence upon which the 1st accused couldhave been convicted under section 484; (3) that the 4th accused waswrongly convicted wider section 314, inasmuch as the evidenceshowed that the offence, if any, committed by him was one ofcriminal force and not of causing hurt; (4) that the sentences, beingcumulative on convictions for separate charges, were bad in lawunder section 17 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1896.
With regard to the language of the warrant the dictum of BonserC. J., was relied on in Cornelia v. Uluwitike (1) where that learnedJudge expressed the opinion that serious doubts might arise as to thelegality of an arrest upon a warrant written in the Sinhalese language,when the language of the Courts of the Colony was the Englishlanguage.
In the case before us the person to be arrested was a' Sinhalese,and it seems somewhat opposed to reason .that he should oomplainof being arrested upon a warrant written in a language which pre-sumably he was better able to understand than the English language-
Looking at the- judgment of Monoreiff A. C. J. in Thurasami v.Sellachi (2), where it was decided that a signature in Sinhalese to anaffidavit was not a mark, we find that that learned* Judge saysat page '29: “I have not been able to find it expressly providedthat no language but English can be admitted in any form in thisCourt.”
Again, on reference to sections 40, 75, 169, 186, 374, and 758 of theCivil Procedure Code, it is laid down that the documents therein res-pectively referred to are to be in the English language.
Form No. 60 of the Civil Procedure Code, which is the form inEnglish of which the impugned document is a Sinhalese copy, has areference beneath it to section 305 of the Civil Procedure Code.
On looking at that section there is no reference to the form, noris it laid down in the section that the warrant shall take the Formof No. 60 or any other form.
The fact that the Code lays down that certain forms-of processare invariably to be in the English language seems to imply thatother forms might possibly be in the language of the person uponwhom they haye to be served.
Section 55, as a matter of fact, obliges a translation of the summonsinto the language of the defendant to be attached to it.
The omission of any reference to Form No. 60 in section 305,while-* there is a distinct obligation in the same section that a war-rant of conviction shall be in the Form No. 61 in the 2nd schedulethereto annexed, seems also to imply that there .is no obligation that
(1) (1895) 1 N. L. n. 248.(2) (1902) 6 N. L. R. 25.
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a warrant of arrest of a judgment-debtor should necessarily followForm No. 60 or be in the English language.
My opinion, therefore, is upon a consideration of the sections of theCode, that though English in this Colony is the undoubted languageof the Courts, yet there may be cases in which process may be issuedin the language of the person against whom it is directed, providedthat the Judge who issues it is acquainted with the language of thedocument he signs. As. a matter of fact, gentlemen of the CivilService of this Colony are to be presumed to be acquainted with atleast one of the two principal vernacular languages, and the warrantin question Is signed by a gentleman in the Civil Service of theColony.
The signature, it is true, is not followed by any designation of theoffice he holds, but no question has been raised on this point. Itherefore sustain the warrant as not being bad in law.
As regards the second point, it is clear, and admitted there was noevidence upon which the 1st accused could be convicted under sec-tion 484; I therefore set aside his conviction under that section.
With respect to the third point, it is plain that the Magistrateshould have inflicted separate sentences upon each conviction oneach section.
We have been appealed to to alter the sentence of imprisonmenton the 1st accused to a fine, and no objection has been raised againstthis course being adopted, and the offences appear to be such as'might be adequately punished by the infliction of a fine.
As regards the conviction of the 4th accused under section 314, Ithink that the evidence would only warrant his conviction undersection 343 of using criminal force.
In my opinion, therefore, the sentence on the 1st accused of im-prisonment should be set aside, and in lieu thereof a fine of Es. 30should be inflicted upon him under- section 183, and a further fine ofEs. 30 be inflicted upon him for his conviction under section 343,and the form of conviction should be amended accordingly.
The sentence of fine on the 4th accused must stand at Rs. 25 foreach offence, but his conviction under section 314 must be set asideand the form of conviction amended by inserting that he was guiltyof criminal force under section 343 of the Ceylon Penal Code, and byinserting that a fine of Es. 25 is inflicted under each section.
Lasceixes A.C.J.—I concur.
SURIAN PULLE et al. v. SILVA et al