The words used are
W1JESXTJf DER A, J.—Dion v. Suwaris
Where the meaning of the words of a statute is plain nothingcan be done but to obey it. Therefore section 186 (2) providesthat the verdict should be recorded within 24 hours of the'■conclusion of the evidence. To give any other meaning is toignore the words and legislate, the office of the Judge is “Jusdicere ” and not “Jus dare.” It is indeed a matter for thelegislature whether this section should be amended and in whatmanner.
Two other decisions were referred to in the course of thesubmissions. Both relate to trials in the Magistrate’s Court, wherethe provisions relating to addresses are slightly different fromthose relating to trials in the District Court. In S.C. 374/75 M.C.,Horana 9712 S.C.M. 25.7.77. a Magistrate reserved the verdict on17.12.74 but did not record it till 18.2.75 and two Judges were ofthe view that there was a violation of section 169 (2) of the law.The Judgment does not state when the evidence was concluded-as in view of the delay of the verdict it did not matter when itwas over. In the S.C. 445/76 M.C. Kilinochchi 14386 S.C.M.of 19.8.77. two Judges of this Court held that the proviso was- inapplicable. In the instant case the two Attorneys moved fordates at various stages for addresses. A hand-written copy ofthe evidence in Sinhala was forwarded to the Attorney for theaccused on his application for a copy of the proceedings. Thistook time. However the application of the proviso does not arisein this case.
The question lef.t is what is the remedy to be granted. In viewof the first reason given for setting aside this verdict therecannot be a retrial of these accused. Tn any event there can beno retrial of those acquitted. The 3rd accused is said to be inIndia and he has not moved this Court. I do not see how he canbe retried. The name of the 2nd accused who is the 2nd petitioner,it has been submitted and not contested by the State and whichI find is correct from the record, has not been mentioned to thePolice though he is known by name to the witness who implicatedhim for the first time in Court. There- is then no purpose inordering him to be retried. The only order which can be made inthis case is the acquittal of the two petitioners and ■ The 3rdaccused. In the exercise of the powers of revision given to thisCourt under sections 11 and 13 of the Administration of JusticeLaw, at the conclusion of the arguments the convictions of thetwo petitioners and the 3rd accused were quashed and they wereacquitted.
-Vythialingam, J.—I agree.
Walpita, J.—I agree.
Convictions quashed.