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JACOB v. VELAIDEN KANKANI,
P. C., Kandy, 15,797.
Ordinance No, 11 of 1805, s. 11—Ordinance No. IS of 1889, ». 0, and Ordi-
nance No. 7 of1890,1.1—Indian cooly—Quitting tervice without leaveor reatonable cause—Moneys paid by superintendent to labourer forpurposes other than wages, due or anticipated—Arrtars of wages due.
An estate kankani employed on a monthly contract of hire and service,whose wages for ten consecutive months were admitted to be due and un-paid at the time of his quitting service after notice of less than one month,is not guilty of an offence under section 11 of Ordinance No. 11 of 1865,in the absence of proof that the sums of money alleged to have beenadvanced to him by his master were on aooeunt of anticipated wages.
The value of rice and clothes supplied to a labourer in the course ofservice and for his use as a servant, and money advanced to him for asimilar purpose by way of anticipated wages, may be deducted in thecomputation of an account of what wages, if any, are due and unpaidat a certain date.
HE charge against the accused was that, being a labourer on an
estate on a monthly contract of hire and service renewablefrom month to month, he did on the 27th March, 1893, before theend of his term of service, quit the complainant’s service withoutleave or-reasonable cause, or without giving a month’s previousnotice, in breach of section 11 of Ordinance No. 11 of 1865.
The superintendent of the estate slated in his evidence that theaccused was one of his kankanis, that he had no reasonable causefor quitting service, and that he was largely indebted to the estatewhen he left it, but he admitted that when the accuse® quittedhis service wages for about ten consecutive months were due tohim and his coolies.
On appeal against a conviction, the judgment of the Court belowwas set aside and defendant acquitted.
3rd August, 1893. Withers, J.—
My interpretation of the Labour Ordinance is that, as regardslabourers on estates employed otherwise than in domestic service,only advances by way of anticipated wages can be taken intoaccount in computing what, if anything, is due to a labourer byway of wages earned by him at the date of his committing theoffence of quitting service without leave, or reasonable cause, ordue notice determining the service.
Just as the value of rice and clothes supplied to a labourer inthe course of service and for his use as a servant, so may money,advanced to him for a similar purpose, be deducted in the com-putation of an account of what wages, if any, are due and unpaidat a certain date and lor a certain period
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Here, it is admitted that wages earned during ten months hadnot been paid to this accused, so that wages for a series of monthsafter the expiry of the last month of the series had not been paidhim within sixty days thereof. But it was argued that the un.settled advances to this accused so altered the state of accountsbetween employer and labourer that a sum was due by the latterto the former. It is not proved, nor is it likely, that these largesums were advanced to him for the purpose I have indicated, andI cannot see my way to support the conviction.
JACOB v. VELAIDEN KANKANI