1. This is a reference made by the Sessions Judge of Kanyakumari District under the following circumstances.
2. In C.C. No. 787 of 1956 on the file of the Munsif-Magistrate, Shencottah, the accused was convicted for prohibition offence, the charge being that the accused was found being drunk with toddy heavily. He pleaded guilty to the -charge. The plea was accepted and he was convicted. In these circumstances, there is no need for the Magistrate to go into any other matter. The Excise Range Inspector, who is said to have produced the accused before the Magistrate, made certain irrelevant statement on which the Magistrate has acted and made certain observations about the Doctor that he gave a certificate showing that there was no smell of liquor emanating from the accused- These observations about the Doctor are totally unwarranted and irrelevant for the purpose of the case.
As the accused has already pleaded guilty to the charge, the Magistrate must have known that no evidence has been let in. When an accused pleads guilty he has to accept his plea or not to accept it- In the former case he has to convict the accused forthwith. In the latter case, that is if he does not accept the plea of the accused evidence will have to be let in. It is highly improper for the Magistrate to allow the Excise Range Inspector to make a statement and worse still for the Magistrate to record that statement and proceed on the basis of it. The following observations made by the Magistrate in paragraph 2 of his judgment will be expunged.
Before convicting him, I have to advert to the certificate issued by the doctor to whom accused was taken for examination. Sri M. I. Abraham, who is in charge of the Government Hospital, Shenkottah, states in the certificate marked Ex. P. (1) for reference that there was 'no smell of alcohol' emanating from the accused and there were 'no symptoms and sign to show that he has taken alcoholic drinks''. The Excise Range Inspector has given a statement to the effect that the attitude of the doctor before whom he was also present during the examination was not helpful and that the entries in the certificate are against facts. It is clear that the certificate is false. As such it cannot be passed over lightly. Such certificate will certainly tempt people of this taluk addicted to drink to ignore prohibition. The authorities enforcing prohibition will meet with utter discomfiture for all the strenuous efforts, and prohibition will be a failure here, as long as such certificate can be had. I therefore feel it my duty to bring the conduct of this Medical Officer to the notice of the authorities for such, action as they deem fit to take.
3. In the result the reference is accepted.