DE KRETSER J.—Siyadoris and Tamby.
1943Present: de Kretser J. .STYADORIS et.al., Appellants, and TAMBY, P. S., Respondent.
619-621.—M. G. Colombo, 9,859.
Public Officer—Police Sergeant is a public officer within the meaning of theVillage Communities Ordinance, s. 90.
A Police Sergeant is a public officer within the meaning of section 90of the Village Communities Ordinance.
A PP-EAL, from a conviction by the Magistrate of Colombo.
Ij. A. Rajapakse, for accused, appellants.
J. A. P. Cherubim, C.C., for the complainant, respondent.
October 18, 1943. de Kretser J.—
The only matter pressed on this appeal is that the offence was onetriable by the Village Tribunal and that the prosecuting Police Sergeantwas not a public officer within the meaning of section 90 of the VillageCommunities Ordinance (Cap. 198) of the Legislative Enactments. Thelearned Magistrate dealt with this point and arrived at the correctinterpretation of the judgment delivered by me, in de Silva v. Magistrate,Gampola1 eventhough he seemstohave erredin reading my name
aright. Mr. Rajapakse says thatthepoint hasarisen in other cases,
and so I shouldstate quite clearlythat all that Iwas doing in that case
was to considercertain sections oftheCriminal Procedure Code and my
observations in that case dealt with that Code and with that Codealone.
The point in that case was whether a Police Officer came within themeaning of the term “ complainant ” in section 199 of the CriminalProcedure Code, and I pointed out that peace officers were distinguishedfrom public servants in that Code and that a Police Officer came withinthe definition of a peace officer and therefore, in a different category,apparently, from a public servant, foi the purpose of that Code. Thefurther observations with regard to the Police being considered as a“ force and not a “ department ” also applied only to the provisionsof that Code.. The Magistrate seems to have decided that as a PoliceOfficer is a public servant within the meaning of section 19 of the PenalCode, therefore, he must be taken to be a public officer within the meaningof the Village Communities Ordinance. This is not necessarily thecorrect line of argument. I have not given the matter very muchcons’deration, but at the same time, it strikes me that since a PoliceA'idane. is described as a public servant, in the illustrations, to hold thatthe “ public officer ” of the Village Communities Ordinance is the sameas the “ public servant ” of the Penal Code, may lead to a result whichwas never contemplated and could not have been contemplated by thelegislature. The Village Communities Ordinance defines a Police Vidane
“minor headman ” but, unfortunately, it has not defined the term
1 44 V. X. It. 320
MOSELEY S.E.J.—Silva and Muthai, P. S.
“public officer It is an Ordinance which must be popularly inter-preted since it deals with a class of people who understand popularlanguage and there is not any particular definition.,; The words “ publicofficer ”, in my opinion, cover a member of the Police force.
The appeal is dismissed.
SIYADORIS et al., Appellants, and TAMBY, I . S., Respondent