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Using as genuine a forged valuable security—District Court—Jurisdiction–Ceylon Penal Code, ss. 456, 459, and 392—Ordinance 1 of 1888,s. 11.
Under section 11 of Ordinance No. 1 of 1888, District Cpurts havejurisdiction to try the offence of uttering all forged documents inthe nature of valuable securities knowing the same to be forged,although the offence of forging such documents is triable only bythe Supreme Court.
/ I lHK accused, who was clerk and interpreter of the ItineratingPolice Magistrate, Western Province, was charged (1) withfraudulently and dishonestly using as genuine a forged docu-ment purporting to be a valuable security, knowing the same tobe forged, an offence punishable under sections 456 and 459 ofthe Ceylon Penal Code; and (2) with criminal breach of trust as apublic servant, an offence under section 392 of the Penal Code.
At the trial the accused’s counsel took objection to the jurisdic-tion of the District Court on the ground that the offence laid inthe indictment was abetment under section 459 of forgery of adocument of the class mentioned in section 456, and that as themaximum punishment for that offence may extend to twenty yearsthe District Court had no jurisdiction to try it. He quoted insupport of his objection the case of Beg. v. Rangaram Malji.
THE QUEEN v. PERERA.
D. C. (Grim.), Colombo, 1,488/44,279.
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It was contended on behalf of the Crown that the indictmentbeing under section 459 the Distriot Court had jurisdiction; andthe Additional District Judge (Mr. Pagden) overruled the objec-tion in the following terms :—
“ The case quoted from the Indian Courts, Beg. v. Bangaram“ Malji (Bombay High Court Reports) seems hardly in point.
“ There it was held that the Sessions Court had no right to punish“ with the severer punishment or try. by a jury a man who has“ only been indicted for the lesser offence, which is punishable“ in India with only two years, and therefore should have been“ tried by a First Class Magistrate.
“ There is no question of course that a charge of forging a“ document such as is mentioned in section 456 is beyond the“ jurisdiction of this Court. There is equally no doubt that a“ charge of using a forged document under 459 is punishable by“ this Court. The present question is, whether using a document“ under sections 459 and 456 is beyond the jurisdiction of this“ Court. It is section 459 which prescribes the punishment, and“if it is said what that punishment was the offence would“ certainly be triable by this Court. Section 459, however, Joes“ not say this. It says, 1 shall be punished in the same manner as“ ‘ if he had forged such document.’, We must therefore consider“ where the punishment is to be found. It is to be found by“ referring to section 456, but, be it noted, that section 456 does not“ deal with uttering or using documents, but only with forging“ them. Then we come to section 11 of the Procedure Code. Any“ offence under the Penal Code may be tried by any Court by“ which such offence is shown in the 7th column of the 2nd“ schedule to be triable. Now, the offence in this case is under“ section 459 and not section 456, for the latter section is only“ referred to for ascertaining what punishment can be given under ■“ section 459. It is the latter section and not the former which“ really prescribes the punishment. The District Court has“ therefore jurisdiction, and I overrule the objection and call on“ accused to plead.”
After hearing evidence the District Judge found the accusedguilty, and the accused appealed.
Dornhorst, with H. Jayctwwrdene and H. J. C. Pereira, foraccused.
Drieberg, Acting C. C., for the Crown.
7th March, 1898, Lawrie, J.—
The accused was indicted for committing the offences punish-able under sections 456, 459, and 392, viz., dishonestly using a
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forged dooument, being a valuable security, knowing the same tobe forged, and criminal misappropriation by a public servant.The Penal Code treats forgery and uttering forged documents asworthy of the same punishment. Forging of a valuable seouritycan be tried only by the Supreme Court with a jury. It ispuzzling to find that the legislature, by the Ordinance 1 of 1888,section 11, gave jurisdiction to District Courts to try the offenceof uttering all forged documents, both those the forgery of whiohcan and those the forgery of which cannot be tried by the DistrictCourts. It may be that it was intended to give District Courtsonly the power to try uttering of ordinary forged' documentspunishable under sections 454 and 458, but the words of theOrdinance are dear and extend to the uttering of all forgeddocuments.
It is impossible to hold that the District Court had no jurisdic-tion to try the accused on this indictment.
On the merits, I have given the best attention to the evidence.After careful consideration I affirm.
THE QUEEN v. PERERA