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MENDIS v. CARL1NAHAMY.
P. G., Kandy, 13,767.
Criminal Procedure Code, s. 107—Oruer to pay compensation to accused—
Legality of order—Information by police to Magistrate of complaint made
to police—Procedure Code, s. 148 (a )
M having informed the police that one C had caused hurt to J byburning him with fire, the police sergeant without vouching for the truthof the ease informed the Magistrate by means of a departmental formthat M had made such a statement, and requested M to attend theCourt. After the Magistrate had examined M and his witnesses hefound the information to be frivolous or vexatious, and ordered him topay Rs. 10 as compensation to C.
Held, that the Magistrate had jurisdict'on to make this order, andthat the proceeding was founded on section 148 (1 a), and not onsection 148 (1 6).
Per Bonser, C.J.,—The reason of the distinction between the casesunder section 148 ( a and b) is obvious. In the first case the com-plainant is solely responsible for the case being brought before theMagistrate ; in the latter case the police, after due inquiry, have takenthe responsibility on their own shoulders, and it would be unjust wherethe police, after due investigation, came to the conclusion that it was aproper case to bring before the Court, to fine the informant on theground that his conduct had been frivolous or vexatious.
If it should turn out that his information given t^ the police wasuntrue and he had deceived the police, he could be punished under thePenal Code forgiving false information to a public ofiner.
HE facts of this case are fully set forth in the followingjudgment of his lordship the Chief Justice.
La Broor appeared for the appellant.
In this case one Mendis has been fined five rupees for Crowncosts, and ordered to pay ten rupees by way of compensation,under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code. As regardsthe Crown costs there is no appeal, but the order for compensationis an appealable order. Mendis did not appeal till too late. Hisappeal, however, was sent up, and on reading it I thought therewas a question as to whether the order had been rightly made,and so I directed the case to be heard in revision.
Mr. Labrooy appeared for Mendis, and contended that the orderwas wrongly made, on the ground that this was. not a case insti-tuted on a complaint under section 148 (1 a), which is the onlycase in which a Magistrate has power to make such an order aswas made in the present case. Mr. Labrooy contended thatMendis was not the complainant, but that the case was institutedby the police.
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1900. . It seems that on ths 21st December Mendis went to the KandyJanuary 27.police station and informed the sergeant on duty that one
Bonser, C.J. Carlinahamy had two days before caused hurt to a boy named Johnby burning him with fire. On such a report as that being madeit was the duty of the police sergeant to make inquiry into the■truth of thg statement, and if the result of the inquiry was tosatisfy him that there was something in the complaint and that itwas one which ought to be further investigated, his duty was tosend a written report to the Court stating that he had reason tobelieve that an offence had been committed, and further statingthe grounds which led him to form that opinion. It would thenhave been the duty of the Magistrate to entertain the case and toissue process as provided by the Code. That would have beenthe written report contemplated by section 148 (1 b) But if thepolice sergeant, after making inquiry, did not think that it was acase in which he ought to take the responsibility of informingthe Magistrate and launching the case, his duty was to refer hisinformant to the Police Magistrate, and to tell him that he couldmake his complaint, if he so wished, under section 148 (1 a), andthat is what in effect appears to have been done in the present case.The police sergeant did not take upon himself the responsibilityof vouching for the truth of the case, but he filled up a form,which apparently is required departmentally, informing the Courtthat Mendis had made the statement to which I have referred,and he seems at the same time to have told Mendis to attendCourt. Accordingly, on the next day Mendis appeared before theCourt, and the woman against whom he had informed was alsopresent, and Mendis then told his story to the Magistrate, and theMagistrate also examined other persons who had apparently beenbrought for that purpose before the Magistrate by Mendis. Inthe result, the Magistrate disbelieved the -“story told by Mendisand his witnesses, and, being of opinion that the complaint wasfrivolous or vexatious, he made the order which is now appealedagainst. In my opinion he had jurisdiction to make that order.
I decline to go into the merits of the order because this is notan appeal. The only question which I have before me is that ofthe Magistrate’s jurisdiction to make the order.
It seems to me that this was a complaint made to a Magistrateby Mendis under section 148 (1 o), and that it was not a proceedinginstituted on a written report of a police officer under section 148(1 b), and that being so I decline to interfere.
The reason of the distinction between the cases under section148 (1 a and b) is obvious. In the first case the complainantis solely responsible for the case being brought before the
Magistrate; iu the latter case the police, after due inquiry, havetaken the responsibility on their own shoulders, and it would beunjust where the police, after due investigation, came to theconclusion that it was a proper case to bring before the Court, tofine the informant, on the ground that his conduct had beenfrivolous or vexatious. If it should turn out that his informationgiven to the police was untrue, and he had deceived the police, hecould be punished under the Penal Code for giving false infor-mation to a public officer.
January SI.Bokser, C.J.
MENDIS v. CARLINAHAMY