The King v. Jamis Singho.
[Court of Criminal' Appeal.]
Soertsz, Hcarne and de Kretser JJ.
THE KING v. JAMIS SINGHO.
M. C. Gampaha, 11;597.
Court of Criminal Appeal—heave to add new grounds of appeal—Exceptionalcircumstances—Substantial poijit' of law—Delay in application—Sufficiency of excuse. .
The Court of Criminal Appeal will not entertain additional grounds ofappeal except in very exceptional circumstances, such as when asubstantial question of law is seen to arise.
Where the delay was due to the fact that a" copy of the evidence andof the charge of the Judge was obtained only a few days before thestatement containing the additional grounds of appeal was tendered,—Held, that the excuse was not Sufficient.
54SOERTSZ J.—The King v. Jamis Singho.
PPLICATION for leave to appeal from a conviction by Judgeand Jury before, the Western Circuit, 1942.
C. Suntheralingam, for the applicant.
H. W. R. Weerasooriya, C.C., for the Crown.
/Cur. adv. vu’t.
December 8, 1942. Soertsz J.—
On October 23, 1942, the appellant gave notice of an application torleave to appeal against the conviction entered against him and stated thegrounds on which he based his application.
Almost a month later, namely, on the 21st of November, Counsel forappellant tendered another statement setting forth four additionalgrounds of appeal said to “ involve questions of law alone ”.
This Court has repeatedly laid down that it will not entertain additionalgrounds of appeal, except in very exceptional circumstances, when asubstantial question of law is seen to arise. We, accordingly, desiredthat Counsel for the appellant should- satisfy us, in the first place, that- there was good reason for the delay that had occurred and that thequestions of law Taised were of a substantial nature.
His explanation of the delay was that he obtained a copy of theevidence and of the charge of the Judge only a few days before hetendered the statement containing the additional grounds of appeal.But as was pointed out in the case of Cairns1 and in other cases,that is not a sufficient excuse. Counsel appearing for 'a prisoner—and in capital cases Counsel always appear—should be aware of any' matter of substance calling for consideration and should be able toadvise the prisoner regarding it. It is, however, said that, in manycases, only assigned Counsel appear for the prisoner. If that is meantto imply that assigned Counsel take no interest in the case of the prisoneronce the verdict has been entered, we are unable to agree to that. Ourexperience informs us differently.
If, however, Counsel for the appellant here meant that without thenotes of evidence and of the charge he had no, opportunity to subject thecharge to a microscopic scrutiny, that is a matter that does not deserveany encouragement. The words of Lord Coleridge J., in Rex v. Wymanate very apposite in that matter. He said:
“ Some learned person, who, having the transcript of the shorthand-notes of the evidence and of the summing-up directed such ingenuityand industry to picking out …. a number of small points,most of which are frivolous. On these we are asked to upset theconviction if we can find any possible oversight of error of statementof spme“ inference to be possibly drawn from a chance phrase o 'possible, immaterial misconstruction of evidence. The Court, doesnot deal with matters of this kind. We are here to deal only with
substantial points of misdirection.”
1 20 Cr. App. R. p. 44,
~ 15 Cr. App. R. p. IS4.
KEUNEMAN tf.—Dissanayaka v. Jothidasa.–55
It is for this reason that we requested Counsel for the appellant tosatisfy us that the additional grounds raised questions of substance.But, after hearing him, we were definitely of opinion that grounds 1-3were without any real substance and we refused to allow him to arguethose questions any further.
In regard to ground 4, which says—
“it is respectfully submitted that His Lordship the presidingJudge did not direct the Jury adequately on the defence of grave andsudden provocation, ”
although we were of opinion that the question of misdirection was notproperly raised in that form, in that particulars are not given of theinadequacy alleged, we gave Counsel leave to argue that questionmainly because it was raised in another form in the original notice.After full consideration of the submissions made to us, we are of opinionthat there was a sufficient direction on that point.
We dismiss the appeal and refuse the application.