HOWARD C.J.—Indrasena v. Wdikada Police.
1948Present: Howard C.J.
INDRASENA, Appellant, and WELIKADAPOLICE, Respondent.
S.C. 224—M. G. Colombo, 38,069.
Sentence—Trivial offences—Previous convictions of accused—Duly of Magistrate—Penal Code, Sections 287, 314.
Where a person is convicted of offences which are trivial in character it isnot proper for the Magistrate in passing sentence to take into considerationprevious convictions of the accused even though such convictions were of aserious character.
Appeal from a judgment of the Magistrate, Colombo.
U.A. Koattegodda, for the accused, appellant.
A. C. AUes, Crown Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
April 22, 1948. Howard C.J.—
The appellant in this case was convicted (1) of using obscenelanguage in a public place to the annoyance of other people and (2) ofcausing hurt to Kaluaratchige Wijedasa by striking him with hands.The first charge was laid under section 287 and the second charge
1 (1911) 6 Criminal Appeal Reports 253.
1 (1911) 6 Criminal Appeal Reports 285s (1910) 4 Criminal Appeal Reports 225-
Kuruppu v. Hettiarachchi.
under section 314 of the Penal Code. The evidence established thatthe appellant did use filthy language but the language was not usedwithout some provocation. With regard to the charge of causing hurt,the evidence was that the appellant struck the complainant on thechest with his fist.
The Magistrate, after convicting the appellant on both chargessentenced him to 3 months’ rigorous impisonment on the first chargeand 6 months’ rigorous imprisonment on the second, the sentences torun concurrently. In imposing these sentences the Magistrate seemsto have taken into consideration the facts that the appellant admittedthree previous convictions, one for causing hurt with a katty, the otherfor theft of cattle and the third for robbery of a cart and bull. Healso may have been influenced by the fact that the appellant took avery good view of himself. I say this because the Magistrate says ingiving his reasons. “ I have watched the demeanour of the accusedin the witness-box. I have not the slightest doubt that he thinksthat he is the monarch of all he surveys. ’ ’ The offences of whichthe appellant was convicted were of a very trivial character and I donot think that in those circumstances it was right or proper for theMagistrate to take into consideration these three other convictions,although those convictions were of a very serious character.
In these circumstances I affirm the convictions but set aside thesentences and impose in place of the sentence of 3 months’ rigorousimprisonment on the first charge a fine of Rs. 20 and in place ofthe sentence of 6 months’ rigorous imprisonment on the second chargea fine of Rs. 30. In default of payment of these fines I direct thatthe accused do undergo 6 weeks’ rigorous imprisonment.