Sri Lanka Law Reports
 1 SriL.R.
COURT OF APPEAL
A. S. WIJETUNGE, J. AND H. W.SENANAYAKE, J.
C.A. No. 181/86—D. C. MATARA 7192 F.
NOVEMBER 29, 1989.
Delay in delivery or judgment – Findings of fact on oral testimony.
A judgment delivered two years and (our months 2?!9r the tender or w'fiuSn submissionscannot, stand. The case depended on the oral testimonies of witnesses. The impression
Kulathunga v. Samarasinghe
created by the witnesses on the judge is bound to have faded away after such a long delay.The learned judge was bound to have lost the advantage of the impressions created by thewitnesses whom he saw and heard and his recollections of the fine points in the case wouldhave faded from his memory by the time he comes to write the judgment.
Casa referred to:
Mohota v. Sarana 67 CLW 3
APPEAL from judgment of the District Court of Matara.
H. Soza for 11th defendant-appellant.
R. P. Goonetillake for plaintiff – respondent.
H. W. SENANAYAKE, J.
The plaintiff-respondent instituted the action for a partition of a land calledBorelessehunnegehna described in the schedule to the plaint anddepicted in plan 1318 filed of record mailed 'X'.
The learned Counsel for the defendant-appellant submitted to courtthat the learned District Judge afterthe conclusion had taken a considerabletime to deliver judgment in this case and he submitted that the decisionof the case depended on the oral testimony and that such a long delay inpronouncing judgment is prejudicial to the parties.
In examining the case record I find that the evidence was concludedon 17.6.83 and the documents were filed on 27.7.83 and a date was givenfor judgment on 22.09.83 and after number of days of postponement thejudgment was delivered only on 26.11.85. It appears to be that thejudgment was delivered after a lapse of two years and 4 months.
There is force in the submission of counsel that the impression createdby the witnesses on the judge is bound to have faded after such a longdelay.
I am of the view that the appellate court cannot place the same relianceon findings of fact made after such a long delay. The learned judge wasbound to have lost the advantage of the impressions created by thewitnesses whom he saw and heard and his recollection of the fine pointsin the case would have faded from his memory by the time he comes towrite the judgment.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
11990<1 1 SriL.R.
Basnayake, C. J. stated in Mohalo v. Sarana(t). “The appellate courtcannot place the same reliance on findings of fact made after such a longdelay as they would on such findings in a judgment delivered promptlyafter the hearing. We deplore the fact that there should be such a longdelay in delivering judgment."
I respectfully agree with the view expressed by the Lord Chief JusticeBasnayake. It is my view that the importance of making a decision whenthe facts and the impressions on the mind of the Judge are fresh and clearcannot be strongly stressed. In this case the long delay alone called forthe interference by the Appellate court.
In these circumstance we have no other alternative except to direct thecase to be sent for retrial de novo. We allow the appeal without costs.
A. S. WIJETUNGA, J. — I agree.
Case sent back for re-trial.
KULATUNGA v. SAMARASINGHE