( 348 )
Da SahpayoJ.
Mortimerv. Singho
against gambling and oockfighting. Even assuming that “gambling,7*whioh is not defined, is the same thing as unlawful gaming in thesense oi the Gaming Ordinance, the punitjye jurisdiction of theVillage Tribunal for the breach of any rule is limited to a fine notexceeding Bs. 20, and section 28b of the Village Communities Ordi-nance, 1880, provides that where the breach of any rule is also a%offence under any other Ordinance, the Attorney-General or theGovernment Agent of the Province may direct such offence to hetried by the Police Court. This provision no doubt has in viewserious cases in which a fine of Bs. 20 may not be an adequatepunishment. It appears that systematic gambling on a. large scalewas oarried on at the place in question, and the police on thisoooasion with creditable energy raided the place. There was alarge number of people engaged in a game for money stakes, thirteenof them were arrested on the spot, and two of them, the appellants,esoaped, but subsequently surrendered. It was a case which it wasdesirable should be tried by the Police Court, and the GovernmentAgent ordered accordingly. It is further contended that this orderdoes not rectify matters, because tha search warrant, which m thecircumstances was the foundation of the proceedings, was issued bythe Police Magistrate before the order of the Government Agent,and when, therefore, the Police Magistrate had no jurisdiction toissue such a warrant. This contention is not sustainable, becauseunder section 7 (1) of the Gaming Ordinance, No. 17 of 1889, it is -the Police Magistrate alone that is vested with power to issue awarrant. Consequently, whether the Police Court had jurisdictionto try the offence or not, the issue of the warrant was regular.
The search warrant was of importance in this case, because theguilt of the accused and the fact of the place being a commongaming place depended on the presumption created by sections 9and 10 of the Ordinance. It is objected that this presumptioncannot be raised, because it is alleged the search warrant did notauthorize the police to enter the particular house in which theaccused were found gambling. The fact does not appear to be so.The police laid evidence before the Police Magistrate proving thatsystematic gambling was going on in a group of houses at theriverside at Peliyagoda occupied by various persons, one of whomwas the thirteenth accused, and they produced a sketch showing thehouses in question. In the sketch the houses were numbered, andthe warrant authorized the police to search those houses. It wasproved at the trial that the gambling took place at house No. 6,which was the house of the thirteenth accused. I, therefore, thinkthat the objection is not %ell founded.
[His Lordship then discussed other points not relevant to thisreport.]