October 19,1966. G. P. A. Silva, J.—
This is an application in revision against the order of the Magistratewho, without proceeding to conviction of the accused, found the fact*of the case proved and dealt with the accused in terms of Section ofthe Criminal Procedure Code.
Q. P. A. SILVA, J.—Sugathapala v. Snares
There were two charges alleged against the accused. The first wasthat he wrongfully restrained Kavisena Herat by obstructing the highwayand prevented the said Kavisena Herat from proceeding towardsNikaweratiya in Vehicle No. EY 6846 and that he thereby committedan offence punishable under Section 332 of the Penal Code. Secondly,the accused was charged with criminal intimidation by uttering certainwords, an offence punishable under Section 486 of the Penal Code.The learned Magistrate acquitted the acoused on count two and foundthat the facts regarding count one were proved. As the order of theBflagistrate is not appealable, this matter comes up before me by way ofrevision.
Mr. H. V. Perera, for the accused-petitioner raises two main points :one is a question of law and the other a question of fact, which in hissubmission must necessarily induce this Court to set aside the order ofthe learned Magistrate. The question of law is, that Section 332 of thePenal Code requires that a particular person should be obstructed by theaccused. The charge sets out that Kavisena Herat was the person whowas intended to be obstructed. The evidence in the case is that theaccused did not know that it was Kavisena Herat who travelled in thevehicle that is alleged to have been obstructed. The evidence of KavisenaHerat himself supports the version of the accused that as soon as he gotdown from the vehicle and went up to the accused, he apologised to himand said that he was not aware that Kavisena Herat was travelling in theje.ep. Apart from this there are two conflicting versions of Kavisena Heratand his driver as to the manner in which the accused behaved immediatelybefore the alleged obstruction. The incident took place in broad day-light. According to the version of Kavisena Herat the accused was ina stationary position on his motor bicycle on the road and the obstructiontook place as he approached. But, according to the driver, the motorbicycle was being ridden some distance away from the jeep in whichKavisena Herat was travelling, and it was when the two vehicles cameface to face that the alleged obstruction was committed. The learnedMagistrate has noticed this contradiction but does not say in his findingwhat impact it had on the actual charge of obstruction, the credibilityof witnesses and such other matters except that he says that this type ofcontradiction is to be expected when there is delay in bringing cases toCourt. But I think this item of evidence which gave a different versionof the commencement of this incident, one of which, is consistent withthe version of the accused, necessarily redounds to the benefit of thedefence and must create a reasonable doubt in the mind of the Magistratein regard to the truth of the prosecution case. Having regard to bothpoints raised by Mr. Perera, the application is in my view entitled tosucceed.
I therefore set aside the finding of the Magistrate and also his ordermade under Section 325. The Crown costs which have been paid by theaccused should be refunded to him.
Application allowed.