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Present: Laseelles C.J.
SANCHI NONA v. DAVIT SINNO.
273—P. 0. Kalutard, 29,234'
Maiming—Cutting off the tail of a cow—Penal Code, t. 411.
The act of cutting oS the tail of a cow is maiming within themeaning of section 411 of the Penal Code.
HE accused was convicted under section 411 of the Penal Codefor having cut off the tail of a cow, and sentenced to six
weeks'- rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50. He appealed.
E. W. Jayewardene, for appellant, relied on Anthoni Muttu v.Samuel1 and Hudley v. Appuhamy*
No appearance for respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
March 27, 1914. Lasceu.es C.J.—
The appellant, who was proved to have cut off the tail of a cow,has been convicted under section 411 of the Penal Code, of theoffence of committing mischief by “ maiming,” and sentenced tosix weeks’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50.
On appeal, it was contended on the authority of Anthoni Muttu v.Samuel 1 and Hudly v. Appuhamy * that the act of cutting off thetail of a cow does not constitute the offence of-mischief by “ maiming.”In the former case the offence was the same as that now underconsideration, and in the latter case the offence was cutting off oneof a cow’s teats. In those cases it was held that Hie acts did notamount to ” maiming,” inasmuch as that term means “ the depri-vation of a member proper for defence.” As a different view ofthe meaning of the term was taken by Bonser C.J. in P. C. Panadure,9,526,9 I am at liberty to reconsider the meaning of the word” maiming ” in sections 411 and 412 of the Penal Code.
In Anthoni Muttu v. Samuel1 and Hudly v. Appuhamy2 thedecision of Wendt J. was based principally, I think, on the definitionof the word ” maim ” or “ mayhem ” in Wharton’s Law Lexicon.This definition is probably an abbreviation of that given in Coke onLittleton288 (a), which is as follows: ” ‘Mayhem,’ mahemivm, membrimutilatio, or obtruncaiio, cometh of the French wo?d mahaigne, aridsignifieth a corporal hurt whereby he loseth a member, by reasonwhereof he is less able to fight; as by putting out his eye, beating
118.0. D. 7.* J S. C. D. 6» 5 N. L. R. 23.
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out his fore teeth, breaking his skull, striking off His arm, hand, or1914.
finger, cutting off his leg or foot, or whereby he loseth the use ofany of his said members.'’
This definition, whether the word “ maim ” is uBed to denote the SanehtNonaoffence at common law or the injury for which the law gives a civil "gjaao*remedy, is clearly applicable only t° injury to the human person.
It is equally clear that the fighting .there mentioned refers tofighting by human beings in the service of the Sovereign or in theexercise of the right of self-defence. The fighting is not .the fightingof animals.
Any attempt to construe the word in this technical sen$e, whenit is applicable to domestic animals, results in gross and palpableabsurdity.x
What is the fighting value of a cow which is diminished bymaiming? Wlhat are the particular members the loss of whichrenders a cow less able to fight? Is it reasonable to suppose thatthe framers of the Penal Code intended to give special protectiononly to .the horns, and perhaps the heels, of a cow? These and manyother questions arise if the word when applied to domestic animalsis construed in its original legal sense. When laws were enacted inEngland punishing the maiming of cattle (7-8 Qeo. IV., c. 30, and24-85 Viet., c. 97) the authorities show that the word was employedin a less specialized form, to denote the deprivation of the use of amember so as to cause permanent injury, whether that member wasor was not specially adapted for fighting.
In Regina v. Richard Jeans 1 the ratio decidendi was that theinjury, which consisted in tearing off part of a horse’s tongue, didnot amount to maiming, because it was proved that the animal hadsustained no permanent injury.
The same meaning was given to the word in Rex v. Hayward 2;the word “ wound ” in the statute (9 Qeo. 1, c. 22) was contra-distinguished from the word “ maim, ” which it. was held denoteda permanent injury. In that case the injury was to a horse’sfoot.
In Rex v. Owens 3 permanent injury to the eye of the horse washeld to amount to maiming.
In section 428 of the Indian Penal Code, the terms of which areidentical with those of section 411 of the Ceylon Code, a similarmeaning has been given to the word ‘‘ maiming ” (vide authoritiescited in Rataiildl and Dhiratlal).
As I see no sufficient ground for differing from the Magistrate’sfinding on the facts, I affirm the conviction and sentence and dismissthe appeal.
Carrington Kinoan 639.1 2 Boot s Pleas of the Crown 1076
* 1 Moody’eCrown Cases 206.
SANCHI NONA v. DAVIT SINNO