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ASSARY v. PERERAP. G.t Avissawella, 14,181.
Prohibition against sale of stamps without license*—Exemption—Petition•
drawer—Ordinance No. 3 of 1890, section 43.
Ordinance No. 3 of 1890, section 43, enacts—
“ No person, other thantheCommissioneror a ' Government
Agent, shallvend or dealinstamps in anypart – of this Island with-
out having first obtained from the Commissioner a license for – thatpurpose, which shall be in' force and unrevoked at the time of suchvendingor dealing; and ifanyperson,otherthan such Commis-
sioner or Government Agent, shall sell or offer for sale any stampdenoting orpurporting todenote any stampduty, orshallexchange
any such stamp for any other stamp or for any other article or thing,withoutholding such licenseasaforesaid,andin accordance with*
the terms of such license, he shall for every such offence be liableto a fine not exceedingone hundred rupees. Providedthatit shall
be lawful for any person employed to prepare or write any instru-ment liable to stamp duty to charge his employer with the amountof the stamp or stamps affixed to or impressed on the paper or othermaterial upon which such instrument shall be written, withouthaving obtained any such license as aforesaid to vend or deal instamps."
Held, that a petition-drawer employed by a person to preparean affidavitcame withinthe above proviso,and. thatsuchpetition-
drawermight lawfully chargehisemployerwiththe amount of the.
stamp affixed by him to the affidavit which he had prepared.
fjp HE facts sufficiently appear in the judgment.
H. A. Jayewardene, for accused, appellant.
Van Langenberg, A.S.-G., for complainant, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
21st November, 1905. Grenier, J.—
The appellant was convicted of a breach of section 43 of OrdinanceNo. 8 of 1890, in that he sold a rupee stamp to the complainantwithout having a license to do so. It appears that the appellant isa petition-drawer, and on the 11th October, 1905, he prepared anaffidavit for the complainant,, to which he affixed a stamp of onerupee. The appellant explains that the complainant came to him tohave thi6 affidavit drawn out, and that he 6ent him tor the stamp
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vendor for a stamp of one rupee. The stamp vendor had no stamps, 1905.and looking through his papers, the appellant says, he found a rupee November 21.stamp which had been given him by one Francis Perera. This Gbbnier, J.stamp he sold to the complainant for one rupee, which was the fullface value of it.
The Magistrate convicted the appellant on his own admissionand sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 50. It was argued for theappellant, that the proviso to section 43 protects him, and that theconviction was therefore bad in law. As the matter was one whichaffected the revenue, the Solicitor-General, at my request, appearedfor the respondent and conceded the soundness of the position takenup by the appellant’s counsel. I was also strongly of opinion,when the case was first argued before me, that the proviso tosection 43 applied to the facts of the case. The words of the' .proviso are as follows:—“ Provided that it shall be lawful‘for anyperson employed to prepare or write any instrument liable to stampduty to charge his employer with the amount of the stamp orstamps affixed to or impressed on the paper or other materialupon which such instrument shall be written, without havingobtained any such license as aforesaid to vend or deal in stamps.”
It is a well-known practice for proctors who have to prepare plead-ings and other documents for their clients to have in their possessionstamps purchased from licensed stamp vendors to be made useof as occasion required. The clients are of course charged with thevalue of the stamps, and the revenue is in no way affectedor defrauded. The proviso I have already referred to makesno distinction in regard to the persons who are entitled totake advantage of it, and is clearly applicable to every personwho is employed to prepare or write any instrument liable to stampduty. Every such person is not required to obtain any license tovend or deal in stamps, but is at liberty, if he has a stamp, tocharge his employer with the amount of the stamp affixedto the document which he has prepared for him. The words“ any person employed to prepare or write any* instrument liable tostamp duty ” must, be taken to include even a person in the posi- .tion of the appellant -in this case, although he may be only apetition-drawer. I find that the word * * person ’ ’ is defined in theOrdinance, and includes a company, corporation, and society.
It is clear, therefore, that the word must be construed veryliberally, and that the appellant committed no breach of section43 when he charged his employer with the amount of the stampwhich he affixed to the affidavit which he had prepared for him. Theappellant must be acquitted and discharged.
ASSARY v. PERERA