B.J. Rele, J.
1. The petitioner, a driver of a motor lorry, has invoked the inherent jurisdiction of this Court to quash proceedings launched against him under Rule 138 of Bombay Motor Vehicles Rules, 1959, read with section 112 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.
2. Motor Lorry No. MHT 2725 is registered with the R.T.O., Bombay in the name of M/s. Mangatram and Brothers. The petitioner is the driver of that motor vehicle. The prosecution case in brief is that on 24-2-1981 at about 10.10 a.m. at 'R.A.K.' Road (Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road), committed an offence under Rule 138 of the Motor Vehicles Rule. Then in the charge-sheet what is stated is a word 'Mangatram'. There is no section of the Motor Vehicles Act mentioned in the charge-sheet. The column in the charge-sheet is blank. It is on this truncated charge-sheet that the petitioner is sought to be punished for the alleged offence under the said Rule 138 read with the said section 112 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
3. Shri Gursahani, the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner has firstly contended that the charge-sheet is vague and it does not disclose under which part of Rule 138 the offence has been committed. He has secondly contended that the driver of a motor vehicle is not a person who could be said to have committed an offence under the said Rule 138 on a plain reading of Rule 138.
4. Shri Barday, the learned Public Prosecutor has sought to substantiate the prosecution of the petitioner and he has contended that the person who, for the time being, is driving a motor vehicle, can be said to have committed the offence under Rule 138.
5. There is considerable force in the arguments advanced by Shri Gursahani. Rule 138 consists of five sub-rules and it deals with prohibition of painting or marking in certain manner. Sub-rule 1 states :
'1. No adverting device figure, or writing shall be exhibited on any transport vehicle save as may be specified by the Regional Transport Authority by general or special order.'
Sub-rule 2 enjoins a transport vehicle carrying Government Mail to be painted in postal red colour with the word 'MAIL' in red colour on a white ground in conspicuous place. Sub-rule 3 provides for painting of State Carriage Vehicle in red colour. Sub-rule 4 enjoins the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation Vehicle to be painted in the manner provided in sub-rules 4(a) and 4(b) for City Service Buses and Mofussil Service Buses respectively. Sub-rule 5 prohibits painting of any motor vehicle in any of the colour combinations prescribed by sub-rules 3 and 4. The mere mention of Rule 138, therefore, in a charge-sheet is not sufficient as an offence could be said to have been committed either under sub-rule 1, sub-rule 3 or sub-rule 5. From the charge-sheet in the present case, it cannot be known whether the accused has committed an offence under sub-rule 1, sub-rule 3 or sub-rule 5. In this view of the matter, the process deserves to be quashed.
6. There is also another view of the matter which would render the prosecution of the petitioner-driver wholly illegal, as the marginal note of Rule 138 itself indicates, it prohibits painting or marking in certain manner. It cannot be said that the accused who is a mere driver is said to have painted or marked the vehicle. If at all, it would be registered owner of the vehicle who could be said to have painted or marked the vehicle. There is no indication in the charge-sheet that it is the accused who painted or who has painted or marked the motor vehicle. There is no mention of any witnesses in the charge-sheet to show that it was the accused who has committed the alleged offence. In this view of the matter also, the process is likely to be quashed.
7. In the result, the rule is made absolute and the proceedings in Case No. 6057 of 1982 is quashed, and the accused is acquitted of the charge. The amount of deposit to be refunded to the petitioner.