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DAWSON v. PERERA.Additional P. C., Colombo, 3,866.
Appeal where accused had pleaded guilty—Plea of guilty — Criminal Procedure
Code, ss. 220,220, and403—Judgment—Criminal Procedure Code, s. 372.
Where an accused appeared to summons, and the Police Magistrateexplained to him the particulars of the offence, and then recorded asfollows :—“ He pleads guilty. I accept the admission of the accused.“ He is fined Bs. 5 ”—
Held, that this was irregular, the proper course under section 220 ofthe Criminal Procedure Code being to record the admission of anaccused party, as nearly as possible, in the words used by him.
In the event of a conviction in the Police Court, the requirements ofsection 372 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as to specifying the offenceof which, and the section of the law under which, the accused is convicted,must be conformed to.
f I iHE accused was charged with continuing a kraal in the
Panadure lake, known as Panadure Eliya, so as to impedethe convenient navigation thereof, in breach of sab-section 12 ofsection 91 of Ordinance No. 10 of 1861. He appeared to summons,and the Police Magistrate then made the following record :—“ Particulars of the offence explained to the accused. He pleads“guilty. I accept the admission of the accused. He is fined“ Rs. 5.”
The accused appealed.
Pereira, for accused appellant. The proceedings are irregular.
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'[BONSBR, C.J.—The accused had no right to appeal as he had !**•pleaded guilty.] A plea of guilty cannot now be recorded in the BoHBsaic.J.Police Court. Section 403 of the Criminal Procedure Code, nodoubt, provides that when an accused person has pleaded guilty,and been convicted by a District or Police Court on such plea, thereshall be no appeal, but so far as Police Courts are concerned, theplea here referred to is the plea under section 229. That sectionhas, however, been repealed, and has not been re-enacted by Ordi-nance No. 22 of 1890; so that a plea of guilty is not a plea nowadmissible in summary trials before Police Courts. In a case likethis, the only section under which it is now open to a Police Magis-trate to take steps is section 220 ( Ordinance No. 22 of 1890), butunder that section when an accused person admits the commission(of an offence, such admission must be recorded, as nearly aspossible, in the words used by him, and then the Police Magis-trate might convict him. There is no provision in the Code thatagainst such a conviction there should be no appeal. In support,then, of the appeal, it is submitted that there is no record of whatthe accused said when questioned under section 229, nor of anyformal conviction. The accused gives in hiB petition of appeal theexact statement he made. If that was the statement, it is clearthat it did not amount to an admission of the offence, and hecould not be convicted thereon.
25th September, 1895. Bonseb, CJ.—
[After setting forth the charge.] The matter came up beforeMr. de Saram, the Itinerating Police Magistrate, but he did not,as he is required to do by law, examine the complainant, butissued summons forthwith. Defendant appeared, and all that isrecorded is this :—
“ Particulars of the offence explained to the accused. He pleads“ guilty.” Then the judgment: “ I accept the admission of the“ accused. He is fined Rs. 5.”
The proceedings were irregular. Section 220, which has beensubstituted by Ordinance No. 22 of 1890 for the old section 229 ofthe Criminal Procedure Code, provides that the accused is to beasked if he has any cause to show why he should not be convicted,and that if he admits that he committed the offence of which heis accused, hiB admission shall be recorded, as nearly as possible,in the words used by him. The Magistrate did not record theadmission as nearly as possible in the words used by the defen-dant, for he has merely recorded that “he pleads guilty.” Now, thedefendant in his petition of appeal says, that what really happened
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1895. was this. He said : “ I did make a kraal, but I was justified in 'BoiimioJ. doing it by long custom.” That is not a plea of guilty, and, ifhe did say that, the Magistrate ought to have duly recorded thestatement.
I notice a further irregularity : that the judgment does notconform to the requirements of section 372 of the CriminalProcedure Code. It does not specify the offence of which, orthe section of the law under which, the accused was convicted,and, therefore, it seems to me, in view of these irregularities, thatthe case should go back to be re-heard.
DAWSON v. PERERA