Careem v. Wicieremeralne (Price Control Inspector.)
1946Present: Canekeratne J.CAREEM, Appellant, and WICKREMERATNE (PRICE CONTROLINSPECTOR), Respondent.M. C. Kurunegala, 26,724.
Food Control—Charge of unlawful possession of rice ration books—Innocentcustody on behalf of other persons—No offence—Defence Food Control(Special Provisions) (No. 3) Regulations, 1943, s. 15 (2).
Some persons brought rice ration books to the boutique of a trader,under whom the accused was employed, to buy chilly and sugar. As thetrader had gone to Kurunegala to bring these articles they left the booksat the boutique and went to a place nearby—
Held, that the accused had not acted in contravention of section 15 (2)of the Defence Food Control (Special Provisions) (No. 3) Regulations,1943.
1 (1931) 23 Cr. App. R. 32.* (1911) 6 Or. App. R. 253.
* (1911) 6 Cr. App. R. 285.
CAXEKEBATNE J.—Careetn v. Wickremeratne.
PPEAL against a conviction from, the Magistrate’s Court, Kurune-gala.
M.M. Kumarakulasingham, for the accused, appellant.
A. G. Allea, G.C., for the Attorney-General.
August 19, 1946. Canekebatne J.—
The accused was charged with having in his possession seven rice rationbooks belonging to persons other than the members of his household,an offence under the Defence Regulations, and was convicted and finedRs. 500. The appellant’s case is that the seven books had been broughtto the boutique of one Ismail by or on behalf of the seven persons towhom they had been issued on August 2, 1945, for the purpose of obtain-ing chilly and sugar. When they found that these articles were notavailable at that time as the owner of the boutique, Ismail, had gone toKurunegala to bring these articles, they left the books and went tosome other place. Four of the books have been issued to the membersof the family of one Puncha, one to one Abeysinghe. At the trial thesetwo persons have been called as witnesses and they substantially boreout the version deposed to by the accused. The evidence also showsthat Ismail had gone to Kurunegala and purchased sugar and chilliesto the value of about Rs. 57*23 on this day. Apparently he returnedlater to the boutique when he found the boutique closed. There isnothing to show that the accused would have obtained any advantageby the custody of the books belonging to these persons. The probabilitiesare strongly in favour of the view advanced by the accused that thebooks were left there by the persons as they awaited the bringing of thesugar and chillies. The conviction of the accused is not justified andthe accused is acquitted.