1. This is an application for revision of a conviction of the applicant under Section 16 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, VIII of 1914. The applicant is the owner of a Ford bus which is licensed to ply for hire. He holds a general license under Section 6 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act which entitles him to drive motor cars generally all over British India. In respect of the Ford bus he has in his employment a driver of the name Pathare, who holds a license in form 'B' entitling him to drive the bus as a vehicle 'let or plying for hire.' The applicant also holds a license in form 'A' under rule 3 (1) of the rules regulating the use of motor vehicles let or plying for hire which entitled him originally to let or ply the bus for hire on the Ratnagri-Kolhapur Road only. On April 28, 1929, the applicant was proceeding in the bus from Eatnagiri to Dapoli to interview the District Superintendent of Police who was encamped at Dapoli in order to obtain from him an extension of the permit contained in license form ' A ' for the bus to ply for hire throughout the Ratnagiri District. The applicant was driving the bus himself on this occasion. He was accompanied by the driver Pathax'e and two of his friends Messrs. Mandrekar and Rege who are both senior pleaders practising at Ratnagiri. The applicant received no fare from any of the three persons accompanying him in the journey. On these facts the City Magistrate, First Class, Ratnagiri, before whom the applicant was tried, held that the applicant had contravened the provision of rule 7 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Rules which require that a motor vehicle (meaning a motor vehicle let or plying- for hire)
shall not, in any circumstances, be driven by any person other than a driver, who shall carry with him and produce, whenever required by a police officer, a public driver's 'B' permit, signed by the District Superintendent of Police that he is a competent and careful driver, that he has a thorough knowledge of the rates for hire sanctioned, and that he is in all respects a fit person to be the driver of a motor vehicle to be let or plied for hire.
2. The learned Government Pleader contends that the use of the words ' in any circumstances ' in rule 7(1) imply that once a motor car is licensed for being let or for plying for hire it can be driven only by a driver possessing a permit in form 'B' whether as a matter of fact it was at the time let or was plying for hire or not.
3. In Local Fund Overseer, Mayavaram v. Pakkirisami Thevan AIR  (Mad.) 166 the Madars High Court has held that the act of plying for hire can only be done at the place and time that the hiring is effected. Similarly, in Sardul Singh v. The Crown ILR (1929) Lah. 505 the Lahore High Court has held that the expression ' to ply for hire' as used in the Punjab Motor Vehicles Plying for Hire Rules ordinarily means to exhibit a vehicle in such a way as to invite those who may desire to do so to hire it or to travel in it on payment of the usual fares, and also to offer its use on payment to any member of the public, thereby soliciting custom. The Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules are similar to the Rules applicable in the present case. We see no reason to differ from the rulings of these two High Courts. It is clear from the evidence that the applicant was driving the bus on a private errand and cannot be said to have been using it as a motor vehicle meaning a motor vehicle let or plying for hire. We reverse the conviction and sentence and order that the fine, if paid, be refunded to the applicant.
4. I agree.