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Present : Lyall Grant J.
KING v. MARTHELIS FERNANDO.
D. C. (Crim.) Puttalam, 472
District Court—Powers of imprisonment—Preventivedetention—Indict-
ment with notice—Proof of habitual addiction to crime—OrdinanceNo. 2 of 1926, s. 9; Ordinance No. 27 of 1928, s. 8.
The sentence of imprisonment which a District Coart canimpose is restricted by section 9 of Ordinance No. 9 of 1926 to aterm of two years.
A sentence of preventive detention cannot be awarded to anaccused person, unless he is arraigned on an indictment, and unlessthere is proof that the accused was leading persistently a dishonestor criminal life or that on any previous conviction he had beenfound to be a person habitually addicted to crime and sentencedto preventive detention.
^ PPLICATION for revision made by the Solicitor-General.
Shockman, C.C., in support.
February 1, 1930. Lyall Grant J.—
This is a motion in revision on behalf of the Solicitor-General.The accused was indicted for theft of copra and after trial was foundguilty and in view of three previous convictions he was sentencedto four years’ rigorous imprisonment and to four years’ preventivedetention.
By section 9 of Ordinance No. 2 of 1926 the powers of the DistrictCourt are restricted to passing a maximum sentence of imprisonmentof two years. This section supersedes section 7 of the HabitualCriminals Ordinance, No. 12 of 1914, which allowed the DistrictCourt to pass a sentence of not exceeding four years. It is clearthat in the present case the learned District Judge has exceededhis jurisdiction and the sentence of rigorous imprisonment must bereduced to one of .two years.
The provisions as to preventive detention are contained inOrdinance No. 27 of 1928. This Ordinance provides that preventivedetention may be imposed upon a person habitually addicted tocrime, but it provides for certain procedure to be observed by theCourt before a person can be so convicted- A part of the procedure isthat an indictment shall be brought against the person and that beforehe 'is arraigned on such an indictment he shall receive not less thanseven days’ notice thereof. No such notice was given in the presentcase nor was any indictment preferred nor was any evidence led tosatisfy another provision of the Ordinance that the accused was
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persistently living a dishonest or criminal life or that on anyprevious conviction he had been found to be a person habituallyaddicted to crime and sentenced to preventive detention.
It is clear therefore that the sentence of four years' preventivedetention is unauthorized. The learned District Judge might,
however, have awarded, under section 8 of the Prevention of Crimes
Ordinance of 1926, police supervision for a period not exceedingfour years. The present case appears to be a suitable one forpolice supervision and accordingly I alter the sentence of preventivedetention to one of four years' police supervision.
KING v. MARTHELIS FERNANDO