Simon v. Police.
1946Present: Howard C.J.SIMON, Appellant, and POL.ICN, Respondent.
376—M. V. Colombo, 69,462.
Prosecution for illicit, possession oj arrack-—Accused's possession on behalf ofanol/ter who has permit—fAabilily oj accused—ICxcise Ordinance, s. 1G.
Merc physical possession of an excisable article on behalf of someoneelse who has authority to possess it is not an offence.
jtitj W.IIU u.o
innon v. l'once.
yy PPJfiAL against a conviction from the Magistrate’s Court, Colombo.
J.A. L. Cooray, for the accused, appellant.
V. T. Thamotheram, C.C., for the Attorney-General.
June 17, 1946. Howakd C.J.—
In my opinion the conviction in this case cannot be supported. Theaccused was charged with having in his possession without a permit fromthe proper authority 56 drams of arrack which was 40 drains in excess ofthe prescribed quantity, in breach of section 16 of the Excise Ordinance.The evidence established, and the Magistrate has accepted that evidence,that the accused was merely keeping the arrack for the benefit of a mancalled Gunaratne and that this arrack was intended for the use of Guna-ratne. Gunaratne gave evidence and produced a permit for the arrackin question. In these circumstances it cannot be said that the accusedhad exclusive possession of the arrack or any real possession, apart fromphysical possession on behalf of some one else, at all. The conviction istherefore set aside.