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Present: Hutchinson C.J. and Middleton J.9, ma-
in the Matter of a Rule served on D. J. Wuevesinghkfor contempt of Court.
Contempt of Court—Pleadings drawn by petition drawer for reward.
It is an offence for any one who is not duly authorized as a proctorI o draw for another person, for reward, plead jnys which are intendedt-o be i|:*'d in any Court.
fjpHK facts appear in the judgment.
H. A. Jayewardene (with him Siriwardene), for defendant.Van Langenberg, Acting S.-G., for the Attorney*General.
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Dec. 9, mo December 9,1910. Hutchinson C.J.—
rnJfo BuHT ^r" Wijeyesinghe *s called upon to show cause why he should notterved on be dealt with for contempt of Court in drawing the plaint in anD- J- Wy*y*- action in the Court of Requests of Colombo.nmtemptoj The plaint was signed by the plaintiff with a mark, and isCourt endorsed “ Drawn by me, D. J. Wijeyesinghc, Petition Drawer ” ;it was accepted by the Commissioner, although the plaintiff'ssignature was not verified by the signature of any officer of theCourt as required by section 46 of the Civil Procedure Code ; theCommissioner has explained that this irregularity was the fault ofthe recordkeeper.
Ordinance No. 12 of 1848 enacts in section 1 that no person notduly authorized to act as a proctor shall be entitled to act as suchin any Court; and in section 5 that any person who as a proctorshall carry on any proceeding in any Court without having obtaineda certificate shall be liable to a fine. There is no proof that thispetition drawer has not obtained a certificate, but as I do notpropose to impose any penalty I do not think it necessary to ask forformal proof, but will assume that he has not obtained a certificate.
Section 151 of the Courts Ordinance empowers this Court to tryin a summary manner any offence of contempt of any Court whichhas not jurisdiction itself to deal with the offence.
A “ proctor ” or “ procurator ” is one who acts as agent foranother person. A man who draws plaints or other pleadings foranother acts as his proctor. And while there may be no objectionto a man drawing such a document for a friend, the drawing ofthem for use in a Court for reward or as a regular practice is theproper business of an authorized proctor, and any one who does sowithout being authorized does that which is forbidden by theOrdinance, and renders himself liable to be dealt with either forcontempt of Court or under section 5 of the Ordinance. This is thefirst case of the kind which has been brought to our notice, and thepetition drawer who signed the plaint does not seem to have thoughtthat he was doing anything wrong, nor is it shown that he is guiltyof a breach of section 5 of Ordinance No. 11 of 1894 (“ meddling witha suitor”); and we, therefore, think it right merely to warn him thatit is an offence for any one who is not duly authorized as a proctorto draw for another person for reward pleadings which are intendedto be used in any Court.
Middleton J.—I agree.
In the Matter of a Rule served on D.J.WIJEYSINGHE for contempt of Court