1. In this case the District Magistrate has moved this Court to enhance the sentence of fine passed on four accused persons who were motor-drivers and were convicted of the offence of dangerous driving under Section 5 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act VIII of 1914. Each of them was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 25. This Court, however, has only issued notice-for enhancement of sentence in the case of accused No. 1 Basappa Rachappa,
2. The main facts are these:-Basappa was driving a motor car which takes passengers between Bagalkot and Hongal and the other accused were driving similar motor vehicles. The Magistrate held that they were in fact racing, while they were driving along the road; and the car driven by accused No. 1 Basappa knocked down a man who sustained injuries to his legs and had to be treated in hospital for some time in consequence. There seems no doubt upon the evidence that the convictions of the four accused or at any rate that of accused No. 1, with whom alone we are concerned, is justified But the maximum penalty provided for the offence is a fine of Rs. 500, and the general rule is that the fine imposed on an accused person should not be excessive, having regard to his pecuniary means. In the present case there is nothing to suggest that accused No. 1 was a person of such means, as would make it appropriate to impose a fine of (say) Rs. 100, such as was suggested by the Government Pleader. In my opinion the best way to stop dangerous driving of the kind in question is for the Court, on conviction of the offender, to exercise its powers under Sub-section (2) of Section 18, under which such Court 'shall cause particulars of the conviction to be endorsed' on any license held by the accused, and may (1) cancel or suspend that license, or even (2) declare the accused disqualified for obtaining a license either permanently or for such period as it thinks fit. That is a very substantial power, the exercise of which will have a very deterrent effect, especially in the case of persons like the accused who earn their livelihood by driving motor vehicles. In the present case the learned Magistrate has not complied with the direction contained in this sub section that lie should endorse particulars of the conviction upon the accused's license. At any rate there is nothing in the record which shows that that was done or directed to be done. We think that the accused, who is said to be still driving motor cars, should be ordered to surrender his license to the Magistrate in order that the necessary particulars may be endorsed thereon. It would have been, I think, appropriate if the Magistrate had suspended the accused's license for, say, six months, having regard to the fact that he was driving the car which knocked over the injured man. But as the offence took place in July 1924 and the period for which the accused's license was then in force has probably expired, we do not think that we can appropriately pass an order of suspension or cancellation. The order of endorsement will, we think, be a sufficient enhancement of sentence in the circumstances of the case.