Personalite morale

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1968 MR 37
Rivalland C.J. and Latour Adrien J.
This is an appeal against the judgment of the district magistrate of Grand
Port who found the appellant guilty of the offence ofhaving obstructed a police
officer in the discharge of his duties and sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs 75
with Rs 25 as costs.
The police officer concerned-a Chief Inspector-deponed to the effectthat
on the 15th August, 1967, in company of other police officers, he was patrolling
Labourdonnais Street, Mahebourg, when he saw a crowd of about 100 persons
assembled in the street. They wereshouting and had obstructed the road
completely, disrupting the traffic. He alighted and spoke to the appellant and
other persons and asked them to clear the road; at a certain time he took a manwho was standing in the middle of the road and who appeared to be under the
influence of drink by the hand, in order to take him away to the side of the
road. The appellant came towards him andgrasped the man by his shoulder saying:
:envoye li faire foute acote aller" with the result that the man stopped and
other persons again gathered on the spot. The Chief Inspector warned the
appellantthat he was obstructing the police in the execution of their duty,
there followed a discussion and finally the appellant was taken away by some
In cross-examination the evidence of the policeofficer was strongly
challenged and there was a suggestion that he had partaken of drinks on that day
prior to the occurrence. No other police officer was called to corroborate the
evidence of theChief Inspector although obviously that evidence was procurable
and in fact there was one police officer on the list of the prosecution
witnesses who was not called.
The evidence of the defenceconsisted of the testimony of the appellant
himself and of Mr. Vengrasamy Rengasamy, an attorney's clerk of Souillac who
gave evidence which bore on three material points. The first was that while...