RAJARATNAM, J.—Abdul Latiff Sulaiman <b Co. v. Wijesinghe
1972Present: Rajaratnam, J.
ABDUL LATIFF SULAIMAN & CO., Appellant, and F. E.
WIJESINGHE (Price Control Inspector), Respondent
8. C. 135171—M. C. Colombo, 10460j A
Control of Prices Act—Price of satin—Gazette Notification for controlling it—Defecttherein.
The Gazette Notification of 10th August 1966, in so far as it purports tocontrol the price of satin “ other than furnishing fibres ”, contains a defectin the interpretation of it which should engage the immediate attention of theauthorities.
Appeal from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Colombo.
O.E. Chitty, with Daya Perera, for the accused-appellant.
D. P. S. Ounasekera, for the Attorney-General.
Cur. adv. vult.
June 6, 1972. Rajabatnam, J.—
The appellant in this case was convicted for contravening the Controlof Prices Act by selling 2 yards of satin for Rs. D whereas the controlledprice was Rs. 8 08. It transpired in evidence that the actual lengthsold was 7 inches more than 2 yards and this was conceded bythe prosecution and there was no extra payment asked for-in respectof the extra 7 inches. If the whole piece- is taken into considerationthe excess charge for 2 yards 7 inches will be 13 cents approximately.
The only point taken by the learned Counsel for the defence is thatthe Gazette notification, P5, produced in the case which purported tocontrol satin piece goods regulated the prices only of satin “ other than
furnishing fibres ”. P5 the Gazette Extra-Ordinary dated
10.8.66 No. 14,707/12 describes the controlled articles thus—piecegoods of artificial silk (including cellulose, synthetic fibre and spunglass and other man made fibres.) ”
crepes, satin, taffeta, haircord, muslin and sheer crepe, other thanfurnishing fibres and dyed nylon taffeta 48 inches in width anddyed nylon sheer 44-45 inches in width—maximum retailprice per yard Rs. 4‘04 cents.
The particular width of dyed nylon taffeta and dyed nylon sheer isseparately specified and the width of other furnishing fibres is not Btated.I have been referred to the meaning of satin in Webster’s 3rdNew International Unabridged Dictionary, Volume L-Z, page 2017,
Ansar v. Mirza
which., describes satin as “ a smooth sleek fabric in satin weave with avery lustrous face and dull back woven of silk and other fibres,' as rayon,nylon, natural cotton ’ and used in various weights specially for lingerie,dresses and upholstery Fabric has been defined as thread of materialmade from fibres. Learned Counsel for the appellant argued thatsatin can be used for furnishing and upholstery in as much as it can beused as wearing apparel. These two possible uses of satin seems to haveescaped the attention of the authorities responsible for the Gazettenotification and when they proposed to control satin other than furnishingfibres they made .it self-defeating as the piece of satin produced in thiscase cannot be said to be bther than furnishing fibres and certainlythere was no evidence produced by the prosecution to exclude the use ofthis satin for the purpose of furnishing. If flour which is used for bothbread and cake iB to be controlled by Gazette it cannot be controlled ifonly flour other than flour used for making cake is the description givento the commodity that is proposed to be controlled. This defect in theGazette interpretation should engage the immediate attention of theauthorities. I am reluctantly compelled to set aside the conviction andacquit the accused.
ABDUL LATIFF SULAIMAN & CO., Appellant, and F. E. WIJESINGHE (Price Control Insp