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Present .: Drieberg J.
In re Lunacy of Gabus Sumo.
536—D. C. Kalutara, 1,280.
Lunacy—Proceedings initiated on inadequate material—Regularity ofadjudication—Ordinance No. 1 of 1873, es. 5 and 6.
The failure to observe the requirements of section 6 of theLunacy Ordinance does not render invalid an adjudication undersection 6, which is otherwise regular.
PPLICATION by the Solicitor-General for revision of an orderof the District Judge of Kalutara.
Dias, C.C., in support.
October 26,1928. Drieberg J.—
This is an application by the Solicitor-General that the order ofthe District Judge of Kalutara adjudicating M. Garlis Sinno of. Warakagoda to be of unsound mind be set aside and the case sentback for fresh proceedings in due course.
The Solicitor-General complains that the learned District Judgeentered upon this inquiry under circumstances not authorized bythe Lunacy Ordinance, No. 1 of 1873. This undoubtedly is so, andit is, a matter for comment that the very clear provisions of theOrdinance should not have been observed.
Section 6 provides for proceedings being initiated by an applica-tion in writing that the state of mind of a person be inquired into,made to the District Court by an officer of the police force or aheadman or any private person who has reason to believe that aperson is of unsound mind. An application by a private personhas to be accompanied by a certificate by a medical practitioner thatthe person suspected has been under his observation and that hebelieved him to be of unsound mind.
In this case Nonohamy, whose husband was a cousin of the suspectGarlis Sinno, brought Garlis before the Court and produced a reportfrom the Police Vidane of Warakagoda in which he mentions matterswhich he was aware of and which would certainly have justified theCourt in remanding the suspected person for observation. Afterexamining Nonohamy the learned District Judge remanded thesuspect for observation.
Now these proceedings were undoubtedly irregular. The Head-man’s report, though it mentions facts of importance regarding theman’s condition, contains no request that his state of mind be
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inquired into, and it cannot therefore he said that the Court acted 1228.upon any application by the Police Vidane. So far as the pro- numamm j.
ceeding can be regarded as initiated on the statements in evidence
of Nonohamy, they are defective because Nonohamy’s application, In0Pa%tfa6Vif any, should have been supported by the certificate of a medical Sinnopractitioner.
The District Judge, however, remanded the suspeot for observa-tion, and the evidence of the Medical Officer of the Asylum, Angoda,was recorded on commission in Colombo, and on August 13, 1928,<the District Judge adjudicated Garlis to be of unsound mind andcommitted him to the custody of the Fiscal pending- directions fromHis Excellency the Governor.
The adjudications states that it proceeded upon the applicationof the Police Vidane. As I have pointed out, this is incorrect.
I am not prepared to say that the failure which occurred in thiscase to observe the requirements of section 5 of the Ordinancerendered the adjudication invalid and unlawful. It must beremembered that this is an adjudication by a Court of competentjurisdiction; the jurisdiction does not arise on the observance ofthe requirements of section 5, which merely indicate the manner inwhich the Court should be moved to take action. The jurisdictionis inherent in the Court.
The Court has had before it evidence which it has accepted andwhich justified the adjudication and the subsequent order made,and I cannot set the adjudication aside for the reason that theCourt began this inquiry upon what is under section 5 inadequatematerial.
I am informed by Mr. Dias that it is by no means unusual forDistrict Judges not to follow strictly the requirements of section 5.As I have observed, the provisions are very clear and there is noreason why they should not be strictly followed. Though in myopinion no harm has been done in this case for the reason‘that there.was a valid adjudication upon sufficient material, cases may arisewhere the legality of a remand made upon an irregular applicationmay be questioned. It is necessary, therefore, that there should bestrict compliance with the requirements of the law on this point.
I disallow the motion of the. Solicitor-General.
In re Lunacy of GARLIS SINNO