( 345 )
Present: Lascelles C.J.Sept. 7,1911
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL v. WILLIAM.
536—P. C. Gallet 1,106.
Order by Magistrate referring parties to Village Tribunal—Magistrateshould not discharge accused—Government Agent has power tore-transfer a case from Village Tribunal to Police Courtr—OrdinanceNo. 24 of J889, ss. 28 and 84—Criminal Procedure Code, s. 191.
A Magistrate who refers the trial of a case to a Village Tribunalshould not discharge the accused under section 191 of the CriminalProcedure Code..
A Government Agent has the power to order a re-transfer of thecase to the Police Court.
HE accused in this case was originally charged before the PoliceCourt with keeping a common gaming place under section 5
of Ordinance No. 17 of 1889. The Magistrate referred the parties
1 (1907) 3 B<d, 230.
( 546 )
Sept. 7, 1911The
to the Village Tribunal, and discharged the accused under section191 of the Criminal Procedure Code. After proceedings had beeninstituted in the Village Tribunal the Government Agent directedthe trial of the offence by the Police Court. The Magistrate heldthat the discharge under section 191 was a bar to his re-opening thecase (Eliatamby v. Sinnatamby1), and that the Government Agenthad no power to re-transfer the case to the Police Court, and declinedto resume proceedings.
The Attorney-General appealed.
Walter Pereira, K.C., S'.-C., for the Attorney-General, appellant.—Once the parties have been sent to the Village Tribunal it becomesa Village Tribunal case. The Government Agent may then transferthe case to the Police Court. There is no reopening of the caseunder the circumstances.
No appearance for the respondent.
September 7, 1911. Lascelles C.J.—
I am clearly of opinion that the decision of the learned Magistrateis erroneous. The learned Magistrate referred the trial of this caseto the Village Tribunal, and he states in his decision that his orderof discharge was made under section 191 of the Criminal ProcedureCode, and refers to certain authorities under that section. Now,I have not before me the exact terms of the order made by theMagistrate when he referred the case to the Village Tribunal ; butif he did discharge the accused, he acted under a misapprehension.He should have acted under section 34 of Ordinance No. 24 of 1889,which simply empowers him to stop further progress of the case,and to refer the parties to the Village Tribunal. The GovernmentAgent, who apparently considers the case of some importance, hasnow ordered the case to be tried in the Police Court under section28 (b) of Ordinance No. 3 of 1908. There is, in my opinion, nofoundation for the construction which the Police Magistrate hasplaced on that section. The section empowers the GovernmentAgent or the Attorney-General in the most general terms to directcases which are triable in the Gansabhawa to be tried in the PoliceCourt. There is absolutely nothing in the section to excludecases which have been referred to a Gansabhawa by a Magistrateunder section 34 of the Ordinance. The case must be remittedto the Magistrate with a direction to proceed with the trial in theordinary course.
1 (1905) 2 BaL 20.
TYHE ATTONEY-GENERAL v. WILLIAM