1. This is an appeal by the Government of Bombay against the order of acquittal by the Bench Magistrates at Ankleshvar. The accused in this case was charged, under Section 61, Clause (a), of the Bombay District Police Act (Bom. Act IV of 1890) as amended by subsequent Acts, with having driven along a street a bullock cart, without sufficient light, after more than half an hour after sunset in the town of Ankleshvar. The accused really stated the plain truth that he had brought no light with him from the village whence he came, and was not, therefore, in a position to kindle light as directed by the constable on the way. The learned Magistrates have referred to various considerations, in their judgment, which, in their opinion, afford a lawful excuse for not complying with the rule. They observe that, having regard to the local conditions, many bullock carts come within the area of the town of Ankleshvar from villages, that these villagers are ignorant; people and often times have no lights, and that that state of things has gone on for a long time without any practical inconvenience to the public. The considerations which have been set forth in the judgment of the trial Magistrates may afford a reason for modifying the Notification which extends this section to this area. We cannot say that those circumstances disclose any lawful excuse for not complying with the requirements of the law. Without attempting to define 'lawful excuse' within the meaning of Clause (a) of Section 61, I should say that in this case no excuse whatever is shown, except perhaps that the man was ignorant of the requirements of the law. But that by itself would not be a lawful excuse. We think that the order of acquittal cannot be supported. It will be enough, under the circumstances of this case, to impose a nominal fine. We; accordingly, set aside the order of acquittal, convict the accused under Section 61, Clause (a), of the Bombay District Police Act, and direct him to pay a fine of annas eight.
2. It is for the Government or the Commissioner to see how far the considerations referred to in the judgment of the trial Court afford a reasonable basis for reconsideriug the order extending this provision of law to the particular area.