JJftlEBEBG J.—Wijeysekcre v. Corea.
1931Present: Drieberg J,
WUKYSEKKltK r. CUBE A
lx the Matter of the Chilaw Election.
Election petition—Filingofpetition—Timelimit—Ceylon(State Council
Elections) Order in Council, 1931, s. 80 (1).
In the computation of the time limit within which an election petitionshould befiled undersection69 (1) ofthe Order inCouncil (1931).
Sundays and public holidays should not be excluded.
HIS Wits un election petition in which the respondent moved that thepetitionhe dismissedonthe groundthat it wasnob presented
within time.The resultoftheelection waspublished onJune 24, 1931,
and the petition was filed on July 18, 1931.
The Petitioner, F. A. ‘Wijesekere, in person.
H. F. Perera (with him A/. T. de S. Amaraeekera and C. F. Ranawakeinstructed by 8. R. Amerasekera), for the objector, respondent.
August 7, 1931. Drieberg J.—*
The respondent to this petition asks that the petition be dismissed orseveral grounds." One is that it was not presented within time. If thisobjection succeeds, it is unnecessary to consider the others. The electionresult was published on June 24 last, and the election petition was filedon July 18.
The respondent contends that the right method of computing timeis to include -Sundays and public holidays, and'if this is done, the last *day for filing the petition was July 15, 1931. But the petitioner says the
DRIEBERG J.—Wijeysekere v. Corea.
last date for filing the petition was July 18, the day on which he did infact file it. And he says that he is within time for the reason that incomputing time Sundays and public holidays should be excluded.There are no public holidays within this period, but there are threeSundays.
The mode of computing time for this purpose is laid down beyond alldoubt. Article 3, sub-section (3), of the Order in Council enacts that inthe construction of the Order the provisions of the Interpretation Ordi-nance of 1901 shall apply, and this brings in the definition of time asstated in that Ordinance. In England there is a special provision in the..Parliamentary Elections Act of 1868; section 49 of it deals with the point.Section 7, sub-section (3), of the Interpretation Ordinance provides thatwhere a limited time, not exceeding six days from any date, or from thehappening of an event, is appointed by law for the doing of an act, everyintervening Sunday or public holiday shall be excluded from the compu-tation of such time. The position, therefore, is this: that where theperiod exceeds six days, public holidays and Sundays are included.This is in fact the usual rule of interpretation, for Sundays and publicholidays are never excluded unless there is special mention of thefact.
The petitioner has referred me to some other .matters which donot touch the question. He referred .to the exclusion of Sundays incertain cases, but that is where the last day of the performance of an actis a Sunday. That is not the case here. The petitioner also contendsthat he is within time for the reason that his petition falls within Article •80, sub-section (2) (a), of the Order in Council. But this contentioncannot possibly succeed. That, is a provision that where an electionpetition questions the return or election on the ground of corrupt practice :subsequent to the return and specifically alleges a payment ot moneyor other act done after the return of the member, the period of 28 daysshould be reckoned from the date of such payment* or act.
It is not specifically alleged in this petition that a payment of moneywas made after the election of the respondent, Mr. Corea. The sectionhas got no application whatever to the petition presented.
Another reason advanced was that this petition may yet be withintime for the reason,—so the petitioner says,—thajb the notice required byArticle 68 as to election expenses has not yet been published in theGovernment Gazette. I cannot accept this statement as evidence thatthere is no such publication, but apart from this, .that section provides fora special petition based on the ground of illegal practice which becomesapparent on the publication of the candidate’s expenses.
It is not necessary, as I said before, to deal with the other matters ofobjection as the petitioner must fail on this one ground alone. I, there-fore, dismiss the petition and direct that the petitioner pay the costs ofrespondent.
WIJEYSEKERE r. COREA