John Beaumont, C.J.
1. This is a petition presented to the Court under Section 45 of the Specific Belief Act.
2. The petitioner's case is that he owns a motor car, and he has applied to the Commissioner of Police, Bombay, as the registering authority, to grant him a renewal of his certificate of registration, which expires on August 31, 1933, and that the Commissioner has refused to grant such certificate except on payment of a fee of Rs. 32, which the petitioner says the Commissioner has no right to charge. Therefore the petitioner asks us to make an order Under Section 45 directing the Commissioner of Police to renew the registration certificate without requiring the payment of a fee.
3. The question on the merits turns on the construction of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act (VIII of 1914), and the rules made thereunder. By Section 10(1) of the Act it is provided that the owner of every motor vehicle shall cause it to be registered in the prescribed manner. Then Sub-section (2) provides that such registration shall be valid in such area as may be specified in the certificate of registration So that, that section contemplates the issue of a certificate of registration. Then Section 11 provides that the Local Government shall make rules for carrying into effect the provisions of the Act; and Sub-section (2)(a), which is the material one, provides that the rules may provide for any of the following subjects, namely, providing for the registration of motor vehicles, and the conditions subject to which such vehicles may be registered, the fees payable in respect of and incidental to registration, the issue of certificates of registration, the notification of any changes of ownership, and (subject to the provisions of Section 10) the area in which and the duration for which certificates of registration shall be valid.
4. Rules were duly made by the Government of Bombay under Section 11 of the Act. Rule 2 constitutes the Commissioner of Police for the City of Bombay as the registering authority for the city. Then Rule 6(1) provides that no motor vehicle shall be used unless it has been registered by the registering authority, and unless the registration certificate granted in respect thereof is in force. It is somewhat curious that although that section provides that the motor car cannot be used unless the registration certificate in respect of it is in force, there is no specific provision in the Act or in the rules which requires the registering authority to grant a certificate. But, I think, such an obligation is clearly to be inferred from the scheme of the Act and the rules. Then Rule 7 provides that certain fees are to be paid for registration, and then it provides that 'the annual fees for renewing registration certificates, when such certificates are presented for renewal on or before the date of expiry or within ten days after that date, shall be Rs. 32 for motor vehicles of two tons and under.' It is under this rule that the Commissioner of Police, as the registering authority, has required the petitioner to pay Rs. 32 for the renewal of the certificate. The petitioner alleges that that provision of rule 7 is ultra vires, because Section 11(2)(a) of the Act, under which the rules are made, does not enable the Government to provide for charging fees in respect of the renewal of certificates of registration.
5. I return now to the actual words of Section 11(2)(a). The rules may provide for the registration of motor vehicles, and the conditions subject to which such vehicles may be registered, and the fees payable in respect of and incidental to registration. There is no other direct reference to fees, but the rules may include the issue of certificates of registration, and the area in which and the duration for which certificates of registration shall be valid. Mr. Coltman says that we must construe that section narrowly, and the Advocate General says that we must construe it broadly. I think myself that we must construe it fairly. It is quite true, as Mr. Coltman contends, that the only direct reference to fees being made payable is in respect of and incidental to registration, and the section does not in terms provide for the payment of fees on the renewal of certificates of registration. But construing the section and the rules together, and giving them their fair meaning, I think that the scheme is to charge fees in respect of the whole system of registration. The scheme is to register the motor car once and for all, and then annually to issue a certificate of registration, and the car cannot be used unless the certificate is in force. The Act might have provided in terms that the registration should be an annual registration, in which case there could be no question that the charging of the fee for the renewal of registration would come within the terms of Section 11(2)(a) of the Act. But it seems to me that the scheme of the Act being to impose registration once and for all, and then to have an annual renewal of the certificate of registration, we must take the whole of that scheme together. And when the Act enables rules to be made making fees payable in respect of and incidental to registration, the words 'incidental to registration' are wide enough to cover renewal of the certificates, which renewal is itself one of the incidents of registration. Clearly, if there were no provisions for registering motor cars, there would be no necessity to have certificates of registration, and to renew those certificates annually. That being so, in my opinion, the Commissioner of Police was right in reading Rule 7 as intra vires, and refusing to issue the certificate of registration except on payment of a fee of Rs. 32.
6. In that view of the case, it is not necessary for us to consider the point urged by the Advocate General that this case does not properly fall within Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act, For the purpose of our judgment, we will assume that the case falls within that section; but we must not be taken as deciding that point.
7. The rule is, therefore, discharged with costs.
8. I am of the same opinion.
9. I agree and have nothing to add.