Motor Trawler “ Mecgamutia ” v. Thilagaratnam
[In the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka]
Present: Fernando, P., Samerawickrame, J.,
and Siva Supramaniam, J.
MOTOR TRAWLER “ MEEGAilUWA ”, Applicant, andE. THILAGARATNAM, Respondent
Appilcation No. 5 of 1971
Action in rem No. 1 of 1971 in the Colonial Court of Admiraltyof Ceylon— M. T. “ Meegamuwa ”
Admiralty Court—Judgment delivered by 'it—Whether appeal lies therefrom to theCourt of Appeal—Ceylon Courts of Admiralty Ordinance (Cap. 9), s. 2—Court of Appeal Act, No. 44 of 197 J, s. S (1).
An application does not lie to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal froma judgment delivered by the Colonial Court of Admiralty of Ceylon. Thejurisdiction exercised by the Colonial Court of Admiralty in the present casewas original and at no time appellate.
A.PPLICATION for leave to appeal from a judgment delivered by theColonial Court of Admiralty of Ceylon.
E. R. S. R. Coomaraswamy, with Sinha Basnayake, H. Devanayagamand S'. C. B. Walgampaya, for the applicant.
M. Kanagasunderam, for the respondent.
Cur. adv. trull.
FERNANDO, P.— Motor Trawler “ Meegamuwa " «. Thilagaratncm440
July 24, 1972. Febnando, P.—
The defendant sought leave to appeal to this Court from a judgmentdelivered by the Colonial Court of Admiralty of Ceylon on 23rd November,1971 ordering the applicant to pay to the plaintiff-respondent a sum ofRs. 25,000 by way of reward for salvage services rendered together withcertain costs of suit.
Section 8 (1) of the Court of Appeal Act, No. 44 of 1971, enables aperson aggrieved to apply to this Court for leave to appeal from anyjudgment of the Supreme Court given in the exercise of its appellatejurisdiction. While Section 2 of the Ceylon Courts of Admiralty Ordinance(Cap. 9) declares that the Supreme Court of Ceylon shall be a ColonialCourt of Admiralty, the question does arise whether a judgment givenby the latter Court is itself a judgment of the Supreme Court within themeaning of that expression as it appears in Section 8 (1) (d) of the Courtof Appeal Act. There is no need* however, to consider this question asthe judgment sought to be appealed from, whether it be considered tohave been given by the Colonial Court of Admiralty or by the SupremeCourt, is not one given in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction. Thejurisdiction exercised by the Colonial Court of Admiralty in the presentease was original and at no time appellate.
Mr. Coomaraswamy informed us that he has been instructed that itis proposed to enact legislation to enable this Court to exercise appellatejurisdiction over matters such as the present suit, and that a bill forthat purpose has been published in the Gazette six days ago preparatoryto.it being tabled'in the National State Assembly. He requested that thehearing of this application be adjourned forabout six weeks. Mr. Kanaga-sunderam, for the respondent, objected strongly to a postponement ofthe hearing, urging that this application was filed so long ago as 10thDecember 1971. He argued that by the presentation of this applicationthe respondent has been, deprived since 23rd November-1971 of anopportunity of effecting execution, that the application could not havebeen lawfully made, and should now be decided according to the law asit stands. Shortly put, his contention was that the respondent shouldnot be prevented from obtaining the fruits of his judgment because ofa possibility that at some future date an appeal may be permittedagainst this judgment delivered eight months ago.
There is, in our opinion, merit in the respondent’s argument that ourduty today is to determine the application before us according to thelaw in its existing form. We have therefore rejected the application,but without costs.
MOTOR TRAWLER MEEGAMUWA, Applicant, and E. THILAGARATNAM, Respondent