DIAS J.—Per era v. Mendis.
1948Present: Dias J.
PEREIRA, Petitioner, and MENDIS et al., Respondents.
S. C. 6—Application for revision in M. C. Balapitiya, 58,900.
Criminal Procedure—Compoundable offence compounded—Duty oj Magistrate—
Orders appropriate in civil action.
Where a compoundable offence is compounded the accused must be discharged.
A Magistrate has no jurisdiction in such a case to make orders which areappropriate in a civil action.
Application in revision in respect of a judgment of the Magistrateof Balapitiya.
A. C. Nadarajah, for complainant, petitioner.
K. C. de Silva, for accused, respondents.
February 5, 1948. Dias J.—
This case is teeming with irregularities. The Police filed a plaintagainst the accused under section 148 (1) (6), charging the accusedwith committing criminal trespass on tile land of the injured party,who is the petitioner and with committing mischief by cutting downa fence and of theft of some breadfruits. The first two offences arecompoundable. The last is not. Compounding an offence does notmean that it entitles a Magistrate to turn a criminal proceeding intoa civil proceeding by issuing commissions to surveyors and enteringagreements on the record. When a case is compounded parties informthe Magistrate that the case is compounded and the accused is then setfree. That is all that the Magistrate has to do.
In this case it was the Police who were the complainants and as Ipointed out in a recent judgment from the Magistrate’s Court of Daucla-gamuwa1,1 am by no means satisfied that it is open to the aggrieved partyto displace the person who is the conqjlainnnt and who will have toappeal in the event of the accused being acquitted. Nevertheless thiscriminal prosecution was turned into a civil proceeding with the unholyassistance of the Magistrate with the result that various orders moreappropriate in. a civil action were made. Certain conditions- were laiddown which it is said the accused did not fulfil, and finally on an under-taking by the accused’s counsel, the Magistrate discharged the accused. Iam not going to perpetuate these irregularities by making any order inthis case. The Magistrate, the accused and counsel are equally responsiblefor the mess in which the proceedings are. The application shouldbe dismissed and the petitioner should be referred to his civil remedy.
1 (1948) 49 N. L. R. 108.
PERERA, Petitioner, and MENDIS et al., Respondents