1. In my opinion the convictions and sentences passed in this case cannot possibly be upheld. The Magistrate has convicted the applicant on what he styles as two different charges under Section 16, Motor Vehicles Act, 1914. One charge appears in the judgment to be failure to produce his license upon demand by a police constable, contrary to Section 8, and the second charge appears to be driving a motor vehicle in an area for which his license was not available, contrary to the provisions of Section 9.
2. But when I come to examine the record in order to ascertain exactly with what offences and under what sections the applicant was charged in the trial of the case, I find that he was charged with quite different offences. The summons issued to him under Section 16, Motor Vehicles Act, was defective, since it omitted to specify the sections of the act or rules made thereunder, for breach of which the applicant was being prosecuted. The seriousness of this defect has been recently stressed by the Hon'ble High Court in Emperor v. Rananjai Singh : AIR1928All261 . When the applicant appeared in Court, he was tried summarily. The record shows that the police report Ex. 1 was read over to him as containing the offence for which he was charged, and that he pleaded not guilty. The document Ex. 1 is the police charge-sheet, and the offence committed by the applicant are set out therein as follows:
Mulzim Khana No. 7 appni motor lorry No. 13 sarak Sadabad Janib Baldeo sawariyan bithlaye hue Muthrako ja raha tha. Ijazat nama chalane sarak Sadabad talab kiya gaya to nam burda ne kaha ki hamare pas nahin hai. Chunki yah fail namburda ka dafai 16 Act Motor ki had tah pahunchta hai, lihaza nahsha charge-sheet murattab harke bagarz qaimi jurm ijlas jaba janab hakim pargana Sahib Sadabad, irsel hai. Is shakhs ne is sarak per motor chalane ki ijazat hasil nakin hi hai, khilaf sharait license jurm kiya hai.
3. Now from this police report, it is clear that the police took the view that the applicant was not entitled to drive his motor vehicle on the Muttra Sadabad road, without some form of special permit. They were prosecuting him for driving on this route without a permit, or in the alternative for failure to produce his permit, if any such permit existed.
4. But the sections of the Act under which the Magistrate has convicted the applicant do not refer to any special permit for driving a motor vehicle along any particular route. The license to which they refer is the license to drive a motor vehicle, which is made compulsory by Section 6, Motor Vehicles Act, and shown in the form given in Sch. B, United Provinces Motor Vehicles Rules 1924. This license is given is accordance with rules Nos. 20-22 of these Motor Vehicles Rules, but these rules do not authorize the licensing authority to specify the routes over which a driver of a motor vehicle may drive. As a matter of fact these driving licenses are issued for the whole of the United Provinces.
5. The judgment of the Magistrate shows that during the trial he never directed either his mind or the evidence to the question whether the applicant was asked to produce his driving license in the form given in Sch. B, as he could be required to do under Rule 21, and also under Section 8 of the Act and whether he refused to produce his license. He directed himself entirely to a consideration whether any form of permit has been issued to the applicant to drive a public motor vehicle on the route from Muttra to Sadabad, and whether the applicant had refused to produce this permit. Accordingly in his defence on these charges, for which he was placed on his trial, the applicant produced a form of permit which has been exhibited and marked Ex. '2.'
6. Now it is contended in support of the convictions that under the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1921, there was an authority constituted called the district authority by Rule 24 of the rules and that this authority had the right to issue permit for public motor vehicles to ply along certain specified routes, and that without such a permit no public motor vehicle could ply for hire and that it could only be plied along the routes specified in the permit. It is also argued that the route specified in the permit granted to the applicant had no right to ply on the route from Muttra to Sadabad, and he has therefore been rightly convicted.
7. Now I have already pointed out that the sections under which the Magistrate has convicted the applicant, do not apply to permits at all. They do not apply to any permit issued under Rule 24, but to the driving license prescribed by Section 6 of the Act and Rr. 20-22. Consequently on this account only the convictions must be set aside.
8. But furthermore there is nothing in the rules to make it compulsory for the driver of a public motor vehicle to produce on demand the permit issued to him under Rule 24 and consequently the applicant committed no offence by failing to, produce his permit, Ex. 2.
9. Again I am unable to agree that Rule 24 of the rules authorized a district authority to limit the routes along which a particular public motor vehicle might ply. Under Rule 24 (b) the authority was authorized to fix the rates for which public motor vehicles should ply.
10. Under Rule 24 (c) it was authorised to fix the maximum number of persons and the weight of luggage to be carried in a public motor vehicle, and in the case of motor lorries the weight of goods.
11. Under Rule 24 (d) it was authorized to fix stands and places at which public motor vehicles might stand to ply for hire, as well as to fix the hours of departure of vehicles for specified places. But this does not mean that the district authority was authorized to prescribe fixed routes for public motor vehicles and prohibit them from plying along any route other than these. My contention is borne out by the form of permit shown in Schedule 1 attached to the rules. Incidentally the permit Ex. 2 has not been issued strictly in accordance with the form given in Schedule 1.
12. The result is that not only do I hold that the applicant has been wrongly convicted under Section 16, Motor Vehicles Act, 1914 for breach of the conditions imposed under Sections 8 and 9, but I also find that he has committed no offence at all under the Motor Vehicles Act or rules.
13. I, therefore, direct; that the record be submitted to the Hon'ble High Court, with the recommendation that the convictions, sentences and order for cancellation of the license be set aside. The Magistrate should submit any explanation which ha has to offer within seven days. Further more under Section 438, Criminal P.C., I suspend execution of the order for cancellation of the license. The parties were not represented.