WIJEYEWARDENE J.—James and Silva.
1943Present: Wijeyewardene J.
JAMES, Appellant, and SILVA, Respondent.
M. C. Balapitiya, 44,739.
Jurisdiction—Charges of robbery and causing hurt—Acquittal on charge ojrobbery—Conviction of causing hurt.
Where the accused was charged with causing hurt and with robberyand convicted only of the charge of causing hurt and where it appearedthat, the complainant had tacked on the charge of robbery to evade the'jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal,—
Held, that the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try the case.^^PPEAL from a conviction by the Magistrate of Balapitiya.
A. Rajapakse, for accused, appellant.
M.C. Abeywardene, for complainant, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
April 15, 1943. Wijeyewardene J.—'
The complainant in this case made a complaint to the Police Inspector,Ambalangoda, that he was “assaulted and robbed” by the accused.The Inspector made an investigation under .Chapter 12 of the CriminalProcedure Code and forwarded a report to the. Magistrate’s Court undersection, 131 that the Police were not “proceeding with the case” as“there seemed to have been no robbery committed”. Thereafter, thecomplainant instituted proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court chargingthe accused with committing robbery of Rs. 4, and causing hurt to him.The Magistrate after hearing evidence acquitted the accused on thecharge of robbery but found him guilty on the charge of causing hurt andsentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 30. It was contended unsuccessfullyin the lower court that the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try andconvict the accused on the second charge in view of his finding on thefirst charge, as the Village Tribunal had exclusive jurisdiction to try anoffence of hurt;
KEUNEMAN J.—Nagalingam and Sathqfivam.301
In acquitting the accused on the charge of robbery the Magistratesaid:
“Complainant states that he had the money in his waist and it isquite possible either that the accused took the money or that themoney dropped from complainant’s waist.
There is just this little doubt in my mind and I will give the benefitof such doubt to the accused. I don’t hold that the allegation of theftis untrue.
“ I give the accused the benefit of the doubt. ”
It is somewhat difficult to understand what the Magistrate meant toconvey by that statement. But the fact remains that the Magistrateacquitted the accused on the charge of robbery. Such an order ofacquittal could be entered either because the Magistrate disbelieved theevidence of the prosecution or was not satisfied beyond reasonabledoubt as to the truth of the charge against the accused^ In either caseit would mean that the prosecution has failed to satisfy the court as,to theguilt of the accused on the charge of robbery. This taken in connectionwith the fact that the Police refused to institute proceedings on theground that no robbery appears to have been committed seems to me tojustify the suggestion made by the Counsel for the accused-appellant thatthe complainant tacked on a charge of robbery to the charge of hurt inorder to oust the jurisdiction of the Village Tribunal.
Following the decisions of Nadar v. Fernando 1 and Weerakkody v. deSilva11 quash the conviction of the accused.