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Colonial Cases

R. v. Govun and Kesewjee, 1861


R. v. Govun and Kesewjee

Supreme Court, India
Arnould J., 9 July 1861
Source: The Times of India, 10 July 1861





Fourth day, Tuesday, 9th July.



Motee Jaitoo Govun and Tricum Kesewjee, No. 7 of the calendar, were charged with perjury, in having jointly sworn to a false affidavit.  Both the prisoners pleaded not guilty.

   Bhow Luxmon, a clerk in the office of the Prothonotary, produced from his office a certified copy of the proceedings in the case of Nicherdas Tullockchund, vs. Sackurchund Purshotum, which was heard in February last on the Plea side of the Supreme Court.

   It appeared, from the affidavit, dated 27th February last, read to the Court by the Clerk of the crown, that the prisoner swore therein that they did not stand security at the time for any person or persons.

   Balajee Pandurang, Interpreter, said he interpreted the whole affair to, he believed, the prisoners at the bar.

   The Hindoo swearing priest of the Court remembered having administered oaths, in the usual way, to Motee Jaitoo Govund and Tricum Kesewjee.

   Mr. Henry Gamble, Commissioner for taking affidavits, stated the affidavit was signed in his presence in the ordinary way, by the persons whose signatures were affixed thereto.

  Gopunath Wasulew, Interpreter Mazagon Police Court, stated that on the 10th January last, in a certain trial for conspiracy, a prisoner named Futtechund was admitted to bail by the Magistrate in his own recognisance for Rs. 5000, and two sureties for Rs. 2500 each.  Those sureties were Motee Jaitoo Govun and Tricum Kesewjee, who attested the bail bond in witness's presence.  The recognizance and sureties were not discharged until the 5th April 1861/

   Becherdas Tullockchund, the prosecutor, and plaintiff in the Plea Side action, said he had the defendant Sackurchund Purshotum apprehended on a writ of the court, in virtue of which he remained in jail for twenty days.  The two prisoners then became his securities and got him discharged.

   The jury returned a verdict of guilty against both the prisoners, with a recommendation to mercy, on the ground that the prisoners, when swearing to the affidavit, were under the impression that the bond at the Police Office was cancelled.

   His Lordship remarked that it was a proper recommendation; but he might mention now, what he could not lay before them as a judge, that the prisoners were professional bail, and as such, ought to have known the exact nature of their obligations.

   In sentencing the prisoners, His Lordship told them he thought it was probable that, as professional bail, they must have known that the obligation was subsisting when they signed the affidavit; and that being so, they must have sworn recklessly.  However, talking into consideration the recommendation of the jury, His Lordship would sentence them, each to a month's imprisonment, with hard labour, in the County Jail.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School