BASNAYAKE, C.J.—Wijeainghe v. Kulowardene
Present: Gunasekara, J.THE QUEEN v. JINADASA and another
Application foe Bail
S. G. 1st Southern Sessions 1958) 22—M. C. GaUe, 24,000
Sail—Committal for trial before Supreme Court—Accused not brought to trial at thefirst criminal sessions thereafter—Sight of accused to be admitted to bail-r-Courts Ordinance (Cap, 6), s, 31.
After the certified copy of the Magistrate’s record in. a non-summary inquirywas received, the Attorney-General’s Department took four months to decideto order a supplemental inquiry of a formal nature. The indictment too wasnot signed until six weeks had elapsed after the case was received back fromthe Magistrate. In consequence of the unreasonable delay in the preparation' ofthe indictment the accused could not be brought to trial at the first criminalsessions after the date of his commitment., .
Held, that the fKteused was entitled to be admitted to bail in’ terms ofsection 31 of the Coprts Ordinance.
2«—J. N. B 9468 (11/58)'
GUNASEKARA, J.—The Queen v. Jinadasa
Application for bail under Section 31 of the Courts Ordinance.
D. Wijeratne, for the 1st accused.
8. D. Jayasundera (assigned) for the 2nd accused.
Ananda de Silva, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
Cur adv. vult.
August 11,1958. Gunasekara, J.—
: This is an application for bail made on behalf of two prisoners awaitingtrial on charges of conspiracy to voluntarily cause a woman with childto miscarry and of murder of the woman. They were arrested on the 13thNovember 1956 and were committed on the 17th June 1957 for trialbefore this court. The application for bail -was filed on the 6th August,1958 and the accused had been in custody for nearly a year and 9 monthswhen it was heard last Friday.
The offences are alleged to have been committed within the judicialdivision of Galle, which is in the Southern Circuit. The accused couldtherefore “ properly be tried ” at a criminal session of this court held forthat circuit. The first new sessions for the Southern Circuit held afterthe 17th June 1957 began on the 16th September 1957 and closed on the23rd April 1958. As more than 20 days had elapsed between the dateof the commitment of the accused and the first day of the new sessionsthey were entitled, under section 31 of the Courts Ordinance, to beadmitted to bail at the close of the sessions unless good cause was shownto the contrary or unless the trial had been postponed on their application.
The certified copy of the magistrate’s record was received by theAttorney-General on the 8th July 1957. Four months later it wasreturned to the magistrate with instructions to hold a supplementalinquiry. The instructions, which were dated the 8th November 1957,were complied with, and the further inquiry was concluded on the 16thDecember 1957. The copy of the record was sent back to the Attorney-General under cover of a memorandum dated the 1st February 1958and was received by the Attorney-General on the 13th February. Theindictment was signed by crown counsel 6 weeks later, on the 28th March1958, which was a Friday. The fiscal served it on the accused withoutahy delay, on the following Wednesday, the 2nd April, but it was notpracticable to arrange for a trial by the 23rd April.
It does not appear that there was any good reason why the indictmentcould not have been prepared early enough to make it possible for the■accused to be brought to trial at the last sessions. I have read the copyof the magistrate’s court record and the relevant extracts from thepolice information book and it seems to me to be extraordinary that theAttorney-General’s Department needed 4 months to decide to order asupplemental inquiry. That inquiry was directed mainly to the recordingof some formal evidence that was considered to be necessary to render
SANSONI, J.—Serianayatce v. Urban Council, Gcmpaha
admissible certain evidence that was already on record and to the record-ing of evidence of an alleged admission by the 1st accused to a policeofficer to the effect that he had known the deceased for four years and sheused to buy provisions at his boutique on credit as well as for cash.Clearly, a decision had already been taken to present an indictment,and ail that remained to be done in the Attorney-General’s Departmentwhen the copy of the record was returned by the magistrate was that theindictment should be drawn up and signed and sent to this court andcopies of it sent to the fiscal for service on the accused. Yet the indict-ment was not signed until 6 weeks had elapsed after the case was receivedback from the magistrate.
The learned crown counsel, quite properly, did not oppose the applica-tion for bail. I allowed the application, directing that each accused shouldenter into a recognizance in the sum of Its. 7,500 with two sureties.
THE QUEEN v. JINADASA and another