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Present ; Lascelles C.J. and Wood Eenton J.
POLICE SEEGEANT, TANGALLA, LATIFF.
592—P. G. Tangalla, 1,917.
Possession of fresh hide—Report to Court that accused was unable toaccount for possession—Charge under s. 10 of Ordinance No. 14of 1907 (s. 21 of Ordinance No. 9 of 189B).
A report was made under section 148 (b) of the Criminal ProcedureCode to the effect that the accused was found in possession of afresh hide, for which he was unable to account. On that reportsummons was drawn in the same terms, charging the accusedunder section 21 of Ordinance No. 9 of 1893 (as amended bysection 10 of Ordinance No. 14 of 1907).
Objection was taken that it was not open to the Magistrate tocharge accused under the section without first calling upon accusedto account for his possession of the hide.
Held, that the explanation of the summons was *a direct invitationto him to make any explanation which he could of the circumstancesunder which this hide came into his hands.
“ The accused denied that he ever had the hide at all, and thatbeing his defence, the question of expecting him to explain how itcame into his hands did not arise.**
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HIS case wtts reserved for argument before two Judges byPereira J.
Bartholomeusz, for the accused, appellant.—>The proceedings areirregular. The accused was charged under section 21 of OrdinanceNo. 9 of 1893, as amended by section 10 of Ordinance No. 14 of1907. The summons in this case was issued on a report by thepolice, and the summons was read and explained to the accusedwhen he came to Court as the charge in the case. Before thecharge was framed or read and explained, the accused was notasked by the Magistrate to account for his possession. It couldnot, therefore, be said that the accused had failed to give a satis-factory account for his possession of the hide to the Magistrate atthe time the charge was explained to him.
van Langenberg, K.C.t S.-G., for the respondent.—The explana-tion of the summons was in itself a calling upon the accused toaccount for his possession. The Magistrate is not expected to go tothe accused and ask him to explain his possession. It is only whenthe accused comes to Court under a summons the Magistrate canask him to account for his possession. Counsel cited Dassanayakev. Charles.1
July 20, 1914. Lascelles C.J.—
In this case the appellant has appealed on the facts, and alsowith regard to the procedure at the trial. With regard to the facts,it seems to me that there is evidence which the Magistrate mightwell have believed, supported as it is by the production of the hideof the stolen animal in Court. I do not think that the contradictionsin the evidence are such as would necessarily show the case to be afalse’ one, and no motive has been suggested for the bringing of afalse case against the accused. With regard to the procedure, itappears that a report was made under section 148 (6) of the CriminalProcedure Code to the effect that the accused was found in possessionof a fresh hide, for which he was unable to account. On thatreport summons was drawn in the same terms, and the summonswas explained to the accused by the Magistrate. If the case of theaccused had been that he had been in possession of the hide, butthat he was lawfully in possession, he would have had a directopportunity of explaining how he came by the hide. For theexplanation of the summons was a direct invitation to him to makeany explanation which he could of .the circumstances under whichthis hide came into his hands. But in the present case his defencewas different. He denied that he ever had the hide at all; and
1 3 Leader, Pt. I. p.
that being his defence, the question of expecting him to explainhow it came into his hands did not arise. I see no reason forinterfering with the conviction or the sentence, and I would dismisstire appeal.
Wood Renton J.—
I entirely agree, and have nothing to add.