NEW LAW REPORTS OF CEYLON.VOLUME III.
WAAS v. PERERA.
P. C„ Chilaw, 11,461.
Police Court—Jurisdiction—Obstruction of public way—Penal Code,s. 276—Jurisdiction of village tribunal—Ruleby village community.
The existence of a rule duly made by a village community to theeffect that “ it shall not be lawful for any person to obstruct any“ village path, road, or river, water-course, lake, or ela, or other“ village property,” does not deprive the Police Court, which hastorrito ial jurisdiction over the place where the rule is in operat ion,of the power to try the offence of obstruction of a public way undersection 276 of the Penal Code.
Hr HE complaint was that the accused had blocked up a publiccartway which went past the complainant’s house from a"high road, and hath so committed an oifenee under section 276of the Penal Code.
At the close of the complainant’s examination, the proctor forthe accused contended that, as the complainant had admitted thathe had brought a case against the accused before the GansabhawaCourt, he should not be allowed to go on with the case before thePolice Court, in that the Gansabhawa Court had exclusivejurisdiction in such cases.
The Police Magistrate (Mr. Allan Beven) upheld the objectionin these terms :—
I see that under section 9 of the Criminal Procedure Code“ the jurisdiction of village tribunals is specially saved. I presume“ this rule extends to village committees as well. Anyhow I
think the intention of that section is that a Police Court
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“ is not to exercise any jurisdiction in respect of any offence over“ which any village court has been given exclusive jurisdiction“ under any special law.
“ In this case, the Village Communities’ Ordinance of 1889,
“ published in Government Gazette No. 5,338 of 22nd February,
“ 1895, by rule 8 gives jurisdiction to the village committee to“ try the offence of blocking up a road. Hence I do not think I“ have any right to interfere.”
On appeal by the complainant against the order of discharge ofthe accused—
Sampayo, for appellant.
28th June, 1897. Lawrie, A.C.J.—
I am unable to understand why the Police Magistrate held thathis jurisdiction to try a complaint under section ,276 of the PenalCode had been ousted by the rules made by the village communitiesof Pitigal korale south.
It may be that village communities have exclusive jurisdictionto try breaches of the rules made by them and approved by theGovernor, but the present complaint is not that a village communityrule was broken, but that the accused committed an offencepunishable under the Penal Code. The question is, Did he committhat offence, or did he notI should not be surprised to hear thatafter investigation the accused was acquitted and the complainantreferred to proceedings under chapter X. of the Criminal ProcedureCode, but I think it is clear that he is not liable under the villagerules.' Rule 8 of the village community referred to is : “ It shall
not be lawful for any person to obstruct any village path, road,
“ or river, water course, lake, or ela. or other village property.”
That rule seems to me to refer to village property, to roads, &c.,maintained by the village. The road referred to in the plaint <is not a village road.
I remit the case to the Police Court to be proceeded with indue course.
WAAS v. PERERA