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Present: Bertram C.J.
THE KING v. HAWADIYA et al.
5—P. C. Kurunegala, 5,034s.
(Second Criminal Sessions, Midland Circuit.)
Statement made by accused implicating himself and others—Inducementoffered byPoliceOfficer—CriminalProcedure Code,s. 134—
Evidence Ordinance, s. 24.
When the fourth accused was arrested before the Sub-Inspectorof Police, he addressed him andsaid:“Tell thetruthwithout
fear. One need not be afraid totellthe truth. ”Theaccused
then made a statement implicating himself and others. Hethen escaped, and was re-arrested. The Sub-Inspector asked himwhy he ran away, -and he said:“ Through fear I ran away, think-ing I wouldgoto jail," andthereupon theSub-Inspector
said:“Why should yon fear ifyouare speakingthetruth."
Subsequently accused made the statement before the Magistrate.
Held, that the statement was not admissible in evidence.
The word " voluntary ” in section 134 of the (Criminal ProcedureCode must beinterpreted as ' meaninga statement notonly made
without any fear ofmenaces, but alsoa statement notinduced by
any promise or observation in the nature of a promise proceedingfrom a person in authority.
Barber, C.C., for the Crown.
Rajaratnam (with him Ilangatileke and Rambukwelle), for defence,June 1, 1920. Bertram C.J.—
In this case a question has arisen with regard to the admissibilityof a statement made by the fourth accused. His name had beengiven by the Sub-Inspector, who inquired into the case, with severalothers, as being implicated in the crime. When he was arrested hewas brought before the Sub-Inspector. According to the evidenceof a police constable, who was present at the time, the Sub-Inspector
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The King«. Bcnva-diya
addressing the prisoner said: “ Tell the truth without fear,” and,again, “ One need not be afraid to tell the truth.” The constableputs the expression afterwards in another way: “There is noreason why you should be afraid if you are telling the truth.”The Sub-Inspector, who gave his evidence with complete frankness,said that he had no recollection of saying anything about fear tothe man, but that, as he remembers it, he simply told him to tellthe truth if he knew anything about the case. He did not dispute,however, that the constable’s recollection might be correct. Theprisoner then made a long statement implicating himself and severalothers. He was taken from the village where he made the statementto the police station at Kurunegala. Here he escaped. Afterhis recapture the Sub-Inspector asked him why he ran away.He said: “ Through fear I ran away, thinking I would go to jail.”The Sub-Inspector said: “ Why should you fear if you are speak-ing the truth.” He was, thereupon, taken before the Magistrate.He there offered to make a statement to the Magistrate. The learnedMagistrate, in order to satisfy himself that the statement wasvoluntary, said to the man: “ If any one has been frightening youtell me.” I should add that the constable when asked what heunderstood to be the meaning of what the Inspector said to theprisoner before the first statement waB made replied: “I under-stood that to mean that people who tell the truth are sometimespardoned.” The Sub-Inspector is in no way to be criticised for theobservations which he made to the prisoner. I think he madethem simply as a moral exhortation, and that they sere not aninfringement of section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Butthe question is, How would they impress the mind of the prisoner?In my opinion section 134 of the Criminal Procedure Code wasintended to give effect to the principle embodied in section 24 of theEvidence Ordinance. The word “ voluntary ” must be interpretedthere as meaning a statement not only made without any fear ofmenaces, but also a statement not induced by any promise orobservation in the nature of a promise proceeding from a person inauthority. Section 24 is intended to give effect to the Englishprinciple that confessions must be voluntary in the sense I haveexplained. It has been repeatedly held in England that if a personin authority says: ” It might be better for you to tell the truthand not to lie,” or “ You had better tell the truth, it may be betterfor you,” no statement so induced is admissible in evidence.I think the prisoner would regard the observations made by theSub-Inspector, both before his original statement and after hisrecapture, as being all connected, and that he would draw theinference that it would be better for him when he was produced•in the Court to make a statement to the Magistrate. In thesecircumstances, I feel bound to exclude that statement.
THE KING v. HAWADIYA et al