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Present; Wood Renton J.
JAYESEKERE v. DISSANAYAKE.
447—P. C. Matara, 1,135.
Forest Ordinance, No. 16 of 1907—Offence under section 9—Police Courthas no jurisdiction.
A Police Court has no jurisdiction to try an offonco undersection 9 of the Forest Ordinance, No. 10 of 1907.
*JpHE facts material to this report appear from the judgment.
A. St. V. Jayewardene, for the appellant.—The Police Court hadno jurisdiction to try this case. The offence is one under section 9of Ordinance No. 16 of 1907, and it is one punishable with sixmonths', imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500.
In the case of offences created bylaws other than the Penal Code,where the Police Court is not specially given jurisdiction, it cannottry offences which are punishable with imprisonment for a termwhich may exceed six months, or with a fine which may exceedRs. 100. (See Criminal Procedure Code, section 11.)
Counsel cited Gunasekera v. Van Cuylenberg,l Ircson v. Whittle,'1Appuhamy v. Abdul Hamidu? P. C. Ratnapura, 9,025.*
Walter Pereira, K.C., S.-Gwas heard amicus curiae.
July 21,1911. Wood Renton J.—
The accused-appellant was charged in the Police Court of Matarawith having cleared a portion of Crown forest in contravention ofsection 9 (/) of “ The Forest Ordinance, 1907 ” (Ordinance No. 16 of1907). The Police Magistrate convicted him and sentenced him topay a fine of Rs. 100 or in default to undergo three months' rigorousimprisonment. The only point taken on behalf of the appellant isone hot mentioned in the petition of appeal, namely, that the PoliceCourt had no jurisdiction to try the offence. As the sentence passedon the accused-appellant, however, gives him a right of appeal,and as the point of law now taken on his behalf goes to the juris-diction of the Court, and is besides one of considerable importance,I propose to deal with it. The difficulty arises in this way. Theoffence of which the appellant has been convicted is punishable undersection 9 of Ordinance No. 16 of 1907 with imprisonment for a
1 (1894) 8 8. C. H. 59.' (1909) 2 Leader L. R. 110.
*1C.L. R. 84. *4 S. C. Min., Dec. 7, 1908.
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term which may extend to six months, or with a fine which mayextend to Rs. 500, or with both, in addition to such compensationfor damage done to the forest as the convicting Court may directto be paid. Section 11 of the Criminal Procedure Code providesthat any offence under any law other than the Penal Code shall,when any Court is mentioned in that behalf in such law, be triedby such Court. When no Court is mentioned, it may be tried by theSupreme Court or by any other Court mentioned in the secondschedule, provided that (b), “ except as hereinafter provided, noPolice Corut shall try any such offence which is punishable withimprisonment for a term which may exceed six months, or with a finewhich may exceed one hundred rupees.” The words “ except ashereinafter provided ” relate, I think, to sections 15, 16, and 17 of theCriminal Procedure Code, which respectively enable Police Courts tocombine sentences of imprisonment and fine, to sentence to imprison-ment in default of payment of fine, and to pass consecutive sentencesin case of conviction for several offences at one trial. It would seemto follow, therefore, from the provisions of section 11, that unlessthe Police Court has been “ mentioned ” in section 9 of OrdinanceNo. 16 of 1907 as a Court for the trial of offences against thatsection, it has no jurisdiction to entertain charges under section 9of Ordinance No. 16 of 1907, which may be punished with a fine ofRs. 500.
This very point was considered by His Lordship Sir JosephHutchinson C.J. in 622—P. C. Ratnapura, 9.0251. In that case theChief Justice upheld the objection to the jurisdiction, on the groundthat no Court is mentioned in section 9 of Ordinance No. 16 of 1907,and that, therefore, the provisions of section II of the CriminalProcedure Code, which I have already quoted in substance, mustapply. 1 have now had the advantage of hearing the learnedSolicitor-General as amicus curiae, and I have no doubt that thedecision of Sir Joseph Hutchinson is right. I should perhaps pointout that at the end of the schedule to Ordinance No. 1 of 1910there is an express provision that offences against other laws thanthe Penal Code are to be dealt with in accordance with section 11of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
1 set aside the conviction and sentence appealed against anddirect the acquittal of the accused.
■ 1 S. O. Min., Dee. 7,1H0S.
Wo onRenton J.
JAYESEKERE v. DISSANAYAKE