( M# )1819.
Present : De Sampayo J.
AMAEIS v. AMARASINGHE.285—C. R. Oalle, 1,223.
Action by parent against schoolmaster for not issuing leaving certificateto boys—Does an action lie?—Implied contract.
The plaintiffalleged that the defendant,whowashead teacher
in an aided school, refused to grant leaving certificates to his sons,and brought this action to compel the defendant to grant suchcertificates, and to recover damages. The Code issued by theDepartment ofEducation contained a – rulethattheteacher must
fnroish a certificate to every pupil who leaves the school, and anotherrule prohibitedthe admission of a pupilto aGovernment school
or grant-in-aid.school without such certificate.TheCommissioner
held that the infringement of the rules was only a matter for theDepartment of Education, and would not form' the subject of anaction.
Held, that there was an implied contract between plaintiff anddefendant, which rendered the breach of the rule actionable.
rJ1HE facts appear from the judgment.
V. Perera, for plaintiff, appellant.
iff. Of. P. Jayatilleke, for defendant, respondent.
March 5, 1919. De Saupayo J.—
. This is an unnecessary appeal, but as it involves a point ofpractical importance I am willing to deal with it. The plaintiff isthe father of two boys, named William and David, who attendedthe Wesleyan School at Metaramba, and the defendant is the headteacher of the school. The plaintiff’s case is that, wishing to with-' draw his sons from that school and send them to another school,he applied to the defendant to grant leaving certificates for the boys,but that the defendant refused to do so, in consequence ofwhich he has been unable to send the boys to the other school. Heaccordingly has brought this action to compel the defendant togrant, such certificates, and to recover Rs. 25 as damages. Thedefendant pleads, as a matter of law, that no action lies, and states,as a matter of fact, that he did not refuse to grant the'certificates;that he was always willing to grant them, but that none were appliedfor except by the letter of demand preceding this action. At thetrial the defendant produced the certificates, and they were thenand there handed over to the plaintiff. There remained nothing
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more to be done, as the plaintiff dropped his claim for damages,apparently because no damages of an appreciable kind could beproved, or because he could not establish his allegations. Theplaintiff, however, still desired the question of law to be decided,and the parties agreed that the costs of action should follow thedecision of the Court on that point. After argument the Com-missioner held against the plaintiff on the law, and dismissed theaction, with costs.
The school in question appears to be an aided school, and in theCode issued by the Department of Education ther.e is a rule that, inthe case of vernacular schools, the teacher must furnish a certificatein the prescribed form to every pupil who leaves the school,and another rule prohibits the admission of any pupil to another Govern-ment or grant-in-aid school without such certificate. These rulesare subject to certain exceptions which are not applicable to thiscase, and need not, therefore, be mentioned. The MetarambaWesleyan School is not described in the proceedings as a vernacularschool, but I gather from the nature of the arguments at the trialthat it is. The Code, however, contains practically similar provisionsin the case of English schools, and I need only concern myself withthe question as to what bearing the rules have on the obligationsof the teacher towards the parents of the. pupils. The Commissionerconsidered that any infringement of them was only a matter for theDepartment of Education, and would not form the subject of anaction. I am not able to take the same view. It is true that therules in question are primarily intended to serve the purposes ofthe Department, and the Government grant may depend on theirregular observance. But they may also affect’ the relation betweenthe parent and the teacher. That relation is, of course, referableto a contract, but the terms of the contract may be expressed orimplied. I should say that the grant of a leaving certificate, suchas the Code provides, would in ordinary circumstances be an impliedterm of the contract. The withholding of a certificate wouldprevent the pupil from entering another and, perhaps, better school,and consequently from making further educational progress. Thegrant of a certificate is, therefore, an important matter in the pointof view of the parent, and, in the absence of any agreement to thecontrary, should naturally be presumed to be part of his contractwith the teacher. There was in this case no express agreementrelating to the certificate, and I think it only reasonable to holdthat the grant of a certificate was impliedly included in the contractbetween the plaintiff and the defendant.
This holding, however, does not materially help the plaintiff. Ineed not pause to inquire whether a mandatory injunction, such ashe asked for; could have been granted by the Court. The denialof the defendant that he refused to grant a certificate put the burdenof proving the facts on the plaintiff, but he did not call any evidence,
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and was, on the contrary, content to receive the certificates inCourt. In these circumstances, the defendant’s denial holds good,and tile plaintiff, who did not obtain, or was not in a positionto obtain, a decree for an injunction or for damages, is not entitled tocosts of the action. Although I have above expressed my opinionon the bare question of law, this appeal, which could have referenceonly to the order as to costs, practically fails. The appeal istherefore dismissed, with costs..