Lambert Alwis v. Ratnayake
1953Present: Gratiaen J.LAMBERT ALWIS, Appellant, and S. D. RATNAYAKE,RespondentS. G. 1,161—M. G. Kurunegala, 7,131
Hotel Keepers Protection Ordinance (Cap. 30)—Prosecution thereunder—A necessaryingredient.
In a prosecution for failure to discharge a debt due to a hotel keeper, thecomplainant must prove, under section 3 of the Hotel Keepers ProtectionOrdinance, not only that a copy of the Ordinance was exhibited in the hotelbut also that it was exhibited in some conspicuous place therein.
When a monthly lodger at a hotel becomes liable to be sued in a civilcourt for the recovery of what is payable by him, he is not necessarily liableto conviction under the Hotel Keepers Protection Ordinance.
GRATIAEN J.—Allots v. Ratnayake-
jAlPPBAXi from a judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, Kurunegala.
17. V. Perera, Q.G., with. A. C. Gooneratne and K. Sivasubramaniam,for the accused appellant.
T. B. Disscunayake, for the complainant respondent.
July 8, 1953. Gbatiaen J.—
This is an appeal from a conviction under the Hotel Keepers ProtectionOrdinance (Cap. 30). It is clear from the facts that the appellant hadduring the relevant period been a lodger in the respondent’s hotel, theterms being that the appellant was to pay his bill at the end of each monthof residence. There is no doubt that, apart from any controversy as tothe amount payable by the appellant, he has not in fact paid what heowed for the latter period of his residence in the hotel. In the result hebecame liable to be sued in a civil court for the recovery of what waspayable by him. This does not mean that he is necessarily liable toconviction under the Hotel Keepers Protection Ordinance. It is idleto suggest that he did not “ give notice that he would require credit ”within the meaning of section 2 (1) of the Ordnance, having regardto the fact that the terms arranged between ihimself and the hotelkeeper involved the granting of credit. Apart from this objection,Mr. Perera points out that section 3 requires as a condition to liability toconviction under the Ordinance that the hotel keeper must exhibit a copyof the Ordinance “ in some conspicuous place ”. The complainantcertainly states that he did exhibit a copy of the Ordinance in his hotel,but he nowhere states where the copy was in fact exhibited. In that statecf things it is impossible for a Court to hold that the copy of the Ordinancehad been exhibited sufficiently conspicuously to attract the attention ofcustomers.
I therefore set aside the conviction and make order acquitting theaccused.