MALCOLM PERERA, J. —SuJJiyan v. Itatnayahe
1978 Present: Malcolm Perera, J. and Wanasundera, J.
M.S. M. SUFFIYAN, Petitionerand
N.B. RATNAYAKE, INSPECTOR OF POLICE, CHILAW andANOTHER, Respondents ,
S. C. Application No. 121/76—M. C. Chilaw No. 48667
Administration of Justice Law, No. 44 of 1973, section 262—Disposal ofproperty regarding lofefch offence committed—Meaning of term“ property
Section 262 of the Administration of Justice Law, which inter alia,deals with the disposal of property regarding which an offenceappears to have been committed, gives in sub-section 3 of thissection an extended meaning to the term “ property ” in that itincludes also any property into or for which the original propertymay have been converted or exchanged and anything acquired bysuch conversion or exchange.
APPLICATION to revise an order of the Magistrate’s Court,Chilaw.
M. S. M. Nazeem, for the petitioner.
Miss S. Burhan, State Counsel, for the Attorney-General.
Cur. adv. vult.
August 18,1978. Malcolm Perera, J.
The petitioner, who is a jeweller carrying on the business of thesale and purchase of gold and jewellery in Kurunegala, at abusiness house called “ Modern Jewellers ”, moves this Court torevise an order made on the 28th January 1976, by the learnedMagistrate.
MALCOLM PEKEKA, J.—Suffiyan v. Ratnayake
The learned Magistrate’s order was made in connexion witha prosecution that the Police had launched against three persons,namely, K. Don Benedict, aged 25 years, Richard Perera, aged20 years, and Lorreta Perera, a school girl aged 15 years. Theywere accused of theft, of retention of cash in a sum of Rs. 900and a gold bracelet valued at Rs. 850 from the possession ofCollin Perera, the respondent to the present application.
It would appear that Collin Perera was the father of the 3rdaccused and was also the employer of the 2nd accused. The 1staccused appears to be a friend of the other two accused. There hadbeen some friendship and association between the 3rd and the2nd accused and the 3rd accused is alleged to have takenproperty from the custody of her father and given it to the 1staccused to be handtu ~ver to the 2nd accused.
The statements made in the proceedings show that ultimatelythe gold article which was said to contain 3 sovereigns of goldcame into the hands of the petitioner. The petitioner states thathe purchased this article, bona fide, and paid a sum of Rs. 1,100 tothe 1st accused after he had established its identity, and he alsoobtained a receipt from the 1st accused. The petitioner states thataftpr a period of fourteen days he had melted down this article,and along with other gold whicli he possessed he had made somejewellery. When the Police came to him in the course of theinvestigations, he made a statement to the Police and also handedover a sum of Rs. 1,100 to Inspector Ratnayake.
At the trial the 1st accused pleaded guilty to the charge oftheft, and the 2nd and 3rd accused to the charge of retention.Mr. Nazeem drew our attention to the fact that there is nospecific record as to whether a plea was taken in respect ofCount TNo. 3 of the charge. It seems to clear to us from theproceedings that the Police had not proposed to go on with thatcharge once the other pleas had been recorded.
The proceedings also show that on that day the peti tioner whowas a witness for the prosecution, had made an application forthe return of this Rs. 1,100 which he had given to InspectorRatnayake. The learned Magistrate had refused this applicationand had directed that this sum be given to Collin Perera from■ whom the money and the gold bracelet had been removed. Theapplication for revision is in respect of this order.
One of the main points raised by counsel for the petitioner isthat it was not competent for the learned Magistrate to havemade this order in respect of the amount handed over to InspectorRatnayake as this was not property “ regarding which any
288MALCOLM PERERA, J.—Sujfiyan v. RcUnuyake
offence appears to have been committed or which has been usedfor the commission of any offence ” as stated in section 262(1) ofthe Administration of Justice Law.
Mr. Nazeem submitted that the sunvof Rs. 1,100 recovered fromthe petitioner by the Police should be returned to him, as thatsum of money was not the property “ regarding which anyoffence appears to have been committed.”
However the word “ property ” as contemplated in thissection has been given an extended meaning, and under 262 (3)it should include : —
“ not only such property as has been originally in thepossession or under the control of any party but also anyproperty into or for which the same may have beenconverted or exchanged and anything acquired by suchconversion or exchange whether immediately or otherwise.”
The petitioner in his petition and affidavit has not franklystated as to what he had done with this gold and whether or notit is still with him, and also whether the money he handed overto Inspector Ratnayake was the proceeds or had any connectionwith the offence. Considering the upward price of gold duringthis period it is doubtful whether’ the petitioner had suffered anyloss in this transaction, and it may well be that he probably hasbenefited by it. In all the circumstances of this case we are notdisposed to exercise our powers of revision in favour of thepetitioner.
We would accordingly refuse this application,y
Wanasundera, J.—I agree.