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Present: Schneider J.
SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE, MORATUWA v.NAINA MOHAMED.500—P. C. Panadure, 10,805.
False weights—Selling goods in shop—Finding by authorized person—Ordinance No. 14 of 1878, s. 7.
To sustain the conviction of a person for selling goods byweight in a shop where a false or uneqnal balance is found undersection 7 of the Weights and Measures Ordinance there must beproof that the balance was found by a person authorized underthe Ordinance.
Altendorf v. Kaduruwel Chetty 1 followed.
PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate ofPanadure.
L. A. Rajapakse, for appellant.September 21, 1927. Schneider J.—
This appeal is by the 2nd accused, who was tried jointly with the1st accused. The appellant was charged and convicted of " thatthere was in the shop of the 2nd accused a false balance,” and of.having committed an offence punishable under section 7 of theOrdinance No. 14 of 1878. The language of th3 charge, and of thejudgment, is inappropriate and does not disclose an offence underthe Ordinance in question. This Ordinance amended ‘‘ The Weightsand Measures Ordinance, 1876.” The section in question wasrepealed in 1883, replaced by a new section in 1914,2 which in turnwas repealed and replaced by the present section in 1919.3 Thepart of that section material to the present case is the following:
“ Any person selling by weight goods in whose shop or stall shall befound any false or unequal balance shall be guilty of an offence.”
I quote that part of the section as that is the only part which isappropriate to the facts relied on by the prosecution. It was provedthat the appellant-accused ran four stalls for the sale of meat byweight. In one of them the other accused, who was convicted buthas not appealed, had used a false balance which registered a weightshort by 7 lb. in every 28 lb., or 25 per cent. Persons defraudedcomplained to the Police, and detection followed when a sale tookplace in the presence of a Police Constable. The prosecution wasinstituted by a Sub-inspector of Police. The Magistrate says in his
1 5 iS'. C. C. 201.* Ordinance No. 9 of 1914.
3 Ordinance No. 4 of 1919.
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Sub-Inspec-tor of Police,Moratuwa v.Naina Mo *homed
judgment simply that the false balance was ** found ” in the boutiqueof the appellant. But there is no evidence that it was “ found Mwithin the meaning of the Ordinance. That word “ found ” was inthe original section 7 in the same context as it is to be found in thesection as it stands to-day. This Court held that the word impliesthat the finding must be by an authorized person. Who areauthorized persons are indicated in section 7 of the principalOrdinance.1 See The Anonymous Case reported in 2 SupremeCourt Circular 180, Herft v. Iradu? and Altendorf v. Kaduruvel.*No such person found the false balance in question. The im-portance of inserting that the finding should be by such a person isapparent when it is considered that the testing and proof of a falseweight, measure, or balance requires some technical knowledge ofstandards.
The conviction must be set aside as the charge, and the evidence,disclose no offence under the Ordinance.
I set aside the conviction and acquit the accused.
a 5S.C. C. 201.
1 Ordinance No. 8 of 1876.
* (1879) 2 S. C. C. 186. .