DE STLVA J.—William Singho v. Selvadvrai.
1946Present : de Silva J.
WILLIAM SINGHO, Appellant, and SELVADURAI (S. I. Police),
405—M. C. Oampaha, 30,739.
Defence (War Equipment) (Purchase by Civilians) Regulations, 1944, Regulation3—Possession of property intended for the use of Admiralty CivilianPersonnel—No offence.
Possession of property which is intended for the use of AdmiraltyCivilian Personnel is not an offence in breach of Regulation 3 of theDefence (War Equipment) (Purchase by Civilians) Regulations, 1944.
PPEAL against a conviction from the Magistrate’s Court,Gampaha.
C. S. Barr Kumarakulasinghe, for the acoused, appellant.
J.O. T. Weeraralne, C.C., for the Attorney-General.
May 28, 1946. de Stlva J.—
In this ease the accused has been convicted of having had in hispossession two rolls of mosquito netting valued at Rs. 324, propertybelonging to the War Department, to wit, the Navy, in breach ofRegulation 3 of the Defence (War Equipment) (Purchase by Civilians)Regulations, 1944, and has been sentenced to a term of three months’rigorous imprisonment.
The evidence shows that the house of the accused was searched andin the almirah two rolls of mosquito netting were found. These rollswere identified by the witness Graham as mosquito netting belongingto the Naval Store Department; but, in the course of his evidence, thiswitness stated that this netting was made up into mosquito nets andissued to Admiralty Civilian Personnel.
The Defence Regulation dealing with (War Equipment) (Purchase byCivilians) provides that the property should not only belong to HisMajesty but also should be intended for the use of the fighting forces.
“ Fighting forces ” means the forces of His Majesty, or of anyPower allied for the time being with His Majesty, or of any foreignauthority recognised by His Majesty as competent to maintain suchforces for service in association with the forces of His Majesty.”
Now, the evidence of Graham shows that the second part of the DefenceRegulation has not been satisfied since this property is intended for theuse of Admiralty Civilian Personnel.
There is no doubt that this netting has been stolen, and it was opento the Police to charge the accused with being in possession of stolenproperty; but the charge made against the accused cannot besupported on the evidence. I therefore set aside the conviction andacquit the accused.
WILLIAM SINGHO , Appellant, and SELVADURAI (S. I. Police), Respondent