1. The petitioner in this case has been convicted and sentenced to a fine of Rs. 5 under Rule 12 framed under Section 22(6) of the Bombay City Police Act. That section empowers the Commissioner of Police to make rules, among others, for regulating traffic of all kinds in streets and public places, and the use of streets and public places by persons riding, driving, cycling, walking or leading or accompanying cattle, so as to prevent danger, obstruction or inconvenience to the public, and Rule 12 framed under this section runs thus :-
No person shall occupy any portion of any street so as to cause obstruction to traffic or inconvenience to the public.
2. The facts shortly are that, according to the prosecution case, the petitioner, who is a chauffeur, had kept his car near the kerb on the Kalbadevi Road at some point between the Princess Street and Dhobi Talao, and that he had thereby caused obstruction to the traffic by occupying a portion of the public street. The learned Honorary Magistrates, who tried the case, were of the opinion that the offence was proved inasmuch as the accused caused such obstruction. The accused's statement was that he had stopped his car near his master's shop and that he was waiting for his master. There are no notes of evidence before us and the judgment is very short. It simply states that on the evidence before it the Court convicted the accused and fined him. It could be gathered from this that the Magistrates were satisfied that the accused caused obstruction to the traffic by occupying a portion of the public street.
3. If this rule was applicable, and if the Magistrates were satisfied that such obstruction was caused, this Court would be slow to interfere with that finding in revision. But, in our opinion, Rule 12 does not apply to this case. Section 22 (c) empowers the Commissioner of Police to make rules regulating the conditions under which vehicles may remain standing in streets and public places, and the use of streets as halting places for vehicles or cattle; and Rule 1 framed under this part of Section 22 says :-
No person shall wilfully cause any vehicle or cattle to be halted or remain standing in any street or public place so as to cause danger, obstruction or inconvenience to any of the public.
4. Now, it is common ground in this case that the offence did not consist in the accused driving the car in any part of the public street and obstructing the traffic by such driving, but it occurred in his keeping the car standing near the kerb, and thereby obstructing the traffic. That being the case, in our opinion, the case would fall under the specific words of Section 22, Clause (c), and the rules framed thereunder rather than under any rule under Section 22(6) of the Act. Section 22(c) speaks about regulating conditions under which vehicles may remain standing in streets, and Rule 1 clearly speaks of a person allowing his vehicle to be halted or kept standing at any street. Rule 12 framed under Section 22(b) is quite general and speaks of any person occupying a portion of a street and thereby causing obstruction or inconvenience to the public. Besides, the obstruction under Rule 1 framed under Section 22(c) must be wilful, which is not the case under Rule 12 framed under Section 22(b) and there can be no conviction under the former rule unless that element is proved.
5. It is a well recognised canon of construction that where there is a specific provision in a statute as well as a general one, and the case is covered by the specific provision, it is that specific provision, which must govern the case and not the general one, and here it is clear that the prosecution case comes under the specific Rule 1 under Section 22, Clause (c).
6. We think, therefore, that the rule under which the petitioner has been convicted does not apply to this case.
7. That being so, the conviction of the accused is wrong in law. The rule is made absolute, the conviction is set aside, and the fine, if paid, should be refunded.