HOWARD C.J.—Ceedy Hamy v. Zoysa.
1948Present : Howard C.J.CECILY HAMY, Appellant, and, ZOYSA (P.C. 78), Respondent.58—M. M. C. Colombo, 68,088.
Prosecution of idle and disorderly person—Onus on prosecutor to proveingredients of offence—Vagrants Ordinance [Cap. 26), s. 3 (1) (c).
In a prosecution under section 3 (1) (c) of the Vagrants Ordinancethe onus is on the prosecutor to prove the ingredients of the offenceone of which is that the accused is a person without any visible means ofsubsistence.
PPEAL against a conviction from the Municipal Magistrate’s Court,Colombo.
M.M. Kumarakulasingham, for the accused, appellant.
R.A. Kannangara, C. C., for the Attorney-General.
February 18, 1946. Howard C.J.—
In this case the appellant was charged under section 3 (1) (c) of theVagrants Ordinance (Cap. 26). That section is worded as follows :—-“ Every person wandering abroad or lodging in any verandah, outhouse,shed or unoccupied building or in any cart, vehicle or other receptaclewithout leave of the owner thereof and not having any visible means ofsubsistence and not giving a good account of himself shall be deemed anidle and disorderly person within the true intent and meaning of thisOrdinance and shall be liable upon the first conviction to be imprisoned,with or without hard labour for any term not exceeding 14 days or to afine not exceeding ten rupees.”
HOWARD O.J.—OeaUy Hamy v. Zoysa.
The appellant wets found by two policemen in the early hours of themorning in Schofield place in company with a naval man and a boy.When the police came the boy whistled and ran away, but was arrested.The naval man also ran away and the appellant was arrested. TheMagistrate seems to have convicted the appellant on the ground that sheand her witnesses did not appear to be speaking the truth. He seemsto have forgotten that it was incumbent on the prosecution to prove theingredients of the offence with which the appellant was charged. Oneof the ingredients of this offence was that the appellant was a personwithout any visible means of subsistence. There was no evidencesupplied by the prosecution to prove this. In fact, so far as the appellantis concerned, the evidence was all the other way inasmuch as she calledin evidence a man called Edwin Singho who stated that she was hismistress and that he was keeping her at her parents’ house. This wasborne out by her father who gave evidence. This ingredient of theoffence not having been established,'the conviction must be set aside.
Conviction set aside.
CECILY HAMY, Appellant , and ZOYZA (P. C. 78), Respondent