SIMMA2STE, J.—Dinoria Silva v. Inspector of Police, Negombo
1964-Present: Sirimane, J.
DIN OR IS SILVA et al, Appellants, and INSPECTOR OF POLICE,
S. G. 222-223j64—M. G. Negombo, 3,625
Accused brought before Magistrate in custody without process—Examination ofinformants" forthwith "—Meaning of word * ‘ forthwith ”—Criminal ProcedureCode, ss. 148 (7) (d), 151 (2), 187 (1).
Section 161 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code reads as follows :—
“ Where proceedings have been instituted under paragraph (d) of section148 (1), the Magistrate shall forthwith examine on oath the person whohas brought the accused before the court and any other person who maybe present in Court able to speak to the facts of the case.”
Held, that the word “ forthwith ” in the Section does not mean that theperson who brings the accused before court should be examined on the sameday. He can be examined within a reasonable time.
./-PPEAL from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Negombo.
E. H. G. JayetHeke, for the Accused-Appellants.
K.Abhanayake, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
June 2, 1964. Sirimane, J.—
The accused were charged with causing simple hurt under Section 314of the Penal Code. Mr. Jayetileke for them argued that the Magistratehad failed to comply with section 1S7 (1) of the Criminal ProcedureCode as he did not forthwith examine on oath the person who producedthe accused before Court as required by section 151 (2). I am of theview that the word “ forthwith ” in section 151 (2) does not mean that theperson who brings the accused before court should be examined on thesame day. He can be examined within a i easonable time. One cannotfail to observe, however, that there has been some inordinate delay inthis particular case. The accused were produced in court on 20.5.63 andand after several dates the examination took place only on 9.7.63. Thedelay, however, has not in my opinion occasioned any failure of justiceand I do not wish to interfere with the conviction on this ground.
Mr. Jayetileke has also urged that the sentence is excessive. Theaccused are close relatives and there is some substance in the submissionthat it is obvious that they had acted impulsively. The virtual complai-nant had some very slight injuries, these being some scratches on theface and a contusion above the eye-brow. The learned Magistrateimposed a sentence of 6 months’ simple imprisonment on each accused.One serious circumstance is the fact that the virtual complainant hadbeen assaulted when he had come to court to give evidence, but accordingto the Police Sergeant who gave evidence the incident did not take placeclose to the Court-house. Mr. Jayetileke has also urged that the accusedare persons of good character.
Taking all the circumstances into consideration, I would reduce thesentence to one of 6 weeks’ simple imprisonment.
Sentence red uced.
DINORIS SILVA et al., Appellants and INSPECTOR OF POLICE, NEGOMBO, Respondent