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i921.Present: Ennis J.
THE KING v. JAMES APPU et al.
767-768—P. C. TangaUa, 11,087.
Contempt of Court-—Complainant absent—False report that he was iU—Report produced by police officer*—Charge of contempt againstcomplainant and police officer.
' On the day fixed for inquiry the complainant (first accused)failed to appear, and the second accused, who was a police officer,produced a report to the effect that complainant was ill. Itappeared to the Magistrate that complainant was not ill, and heproceeded against the complainant and police officer under section59 of the Court# Ordinance, and convicted them of contempt ofCourt*
Held, that tn^^onviction was bad. “Itis questionable whetherthe offence, if any (of the complainant), was committed in thepresence of the Court itself.**
rjiiut facte appear from the judgment.
*Keuneman, for the appellants.
3f. W. H. de Silva, C£K, fpr the Drown.
September 5,1921. Ennis J.—
These are two appeals bom convictions and sentences forcontempt of Court.
The first accused was a complainant in a criminal action, and thesecond accused was a police officer. The action was postponedmany times until one day the complainant failed to appear, and areport was produced by the second accused to the effect that thecomplainant was ill and unable to attend Court. The Judgethereupon sent a medical officer to see the first accused, and themedical officer said that he was then fit and able to attend Court, butthat he might have had fever that morning. A vedatala gaveevidence that he had been called in to attend on the first accused,and had prescribed for him for fever.•
aJEhe learned Judge proceeded to deal with this case under section .j^Qjj^^fcCourts Ordinance. . Section 69 of the Courts Ordinance^BHHHsdiction on a Police Court to deal with cases of contempt,by the procedure and with the penalties in that behalf
ill for offences qf contempt of Court committed in
of-the Court itself.J * –
^P^ffij^ffinnable whether the offence, if any, in this case has beentfre presence of the Court itself, and the Crown Counsel,wild appears for the respondent to this appeal, has not been able tosuggest either the procedure or the penalties provided by law for acase of this kind..' ■'
Section 381 of the Criminal Procedure Code iB the main law whichprovides for contempt committed in the presence of the PoliceCourt, and that section, clearly does not apply in the present case.
In convicting the police officer, the learned Judge appears to haveconsidered that he has committed an offence by negleoting the dntyof verifying the facts before submitting a report. I -fail to under*standi what offence the learned Judge refers to. The police officerapparently was asked for his own opinion, and having seen the firstaccused, he expressed an opinion, but he could not. be convicted!for contempt if that opinion happened to be wrong or in conflictwith the medical officer’s. The medical officer, however, is not:prepared to say that the first accused was not.suSeTiilg from feveri at the time he alleged he was.~
In the circumstances, the conviction is ba^SFboth cases, an4 Iset it aside, and acquit the accused.
THE KING v. JAMES APPU et al