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Present: Mr. Justice Wendt.
MESU v. KARTJNARATNE.P. C., Galle, 21,650
Intermeddling with suitors—Person drawing up plaint for a suitor-*Ordinance No. 11 of 1894, section 5.
A person who draws op a plaint for a suitor at the suitor'srequest cannot be said to meddle with the suitor without lawfulexcuse, and .cannot be punished under section 5 of OrdinanceNo. 11 of 1894.
Wendt, J.—Section 5 of Ordinance No. 11 of 1894 is so vaguethat it has practically been a dead-letter.
PPEAL from a conviction under section 5 of Ordinance No. 11of 1894.
The facts sufficiently appear in the judgment.
A. St. V. Jayewardene, for accused, appellant.
VanLangenberg A. S.-G., for the Crown.
Cut. adv. vult.
7th May, .1906. Wendt J.— .
The appellant when outside the Police Court of Galle was addressedby a woman named Caronchy, who asked him to get a petitionwritten for her—a writing she explained to be submitted to theCourt. She wished to institute a charge of assaulting her and herdaughter. Accused went first to the Court Sergeant and askedhim to help Caronchy to file a plaint that day, but was told it wastoo late. Leaving the Court and going to some other place which isnot ascertained by the evidence, the accused drew up and counter-signed, as the draftsman a plaint which Caronchy signed. IB wasproved that the Colonial Secretary had last year intimated to theaccused that no petitions drawn by him would be received, and alsothat by a rule of the Police Court no petitions drawn by petition
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drawers regarding criminal plaints were accepted. But I do not seethat these facts are material. Appellant is not charged with cheat-ing Caronchy. There is no proof of the payment to him of anymoney. The charge against him is that “ without lawful excusehe meddled with the suitor Caronchy having business in the PoliceCourt of G-alle,” and it is laid under section 5 of the Ordinance No. 11of 1894. This section is so vague that it has practically been adead-letter. The difficulties it presents were forcibly pointed outby Lawrie J. in Narayanamuamy v. Deogu (1). In the present caseall that accused did was to draw up the plaint for Caronchy at herown request, preferred without any solicitation, from accused.I cannot hold that to be meddling with the suitor without lawfulexcuse. The Ordinance could not possibly have been intended toprevent one person writing out for another a document which thelatter could not compose or write out himself.
I set the conviction and acquit the appellant..
MESU v. KARUNARATNE