H.R. Krishnan, J.
1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge in a revision application by two servants of a motor transport company (the driver and conductor respectively) who were convicted under Sections 112 and 93(8) (Sic) of the Motor Vehicles Act and sentenced to the non-appealable fines of Rs. 5/- each. The vehicle concerned was motor bus M. B. P. 1434 owned by one Dayabhai Patel) and covered at the relevant time by a temporary permit. When they were stopped by the Traffic Inspector, it was found that the driver who was driving it, had no valid driving licence. He had probably applied for one, he had been given a temporary permit under Rule 14 (i), but on that date, that is, 28-4-1957, its term had expired. But the licence had not come on the date of the offence.
2. There was another offence as well. The permitted capacity of the bus was 42, but at that time, the Vehicle was carrying 51 persons. In the Magistrate's Court, the defence was that the driving licence or permit was valid, which of course it was not and, out of 51 passengers, there were so many children below live years of age that the total capacity was within the number of 42. The trial Court disbelieved these allegations, and held that there was no valid driving licence and further that the number of persons carried was as reported by the prosecution, 51, and accordingly, convicted the servants, and imposed a fine of Rs. 5/- which, on the facts found, is shamefully feeble for either of the two breaches.
After all, overloading is clone with a view to making a profit at the risk of the passengers, and it is proper that the fine is stiff and deterrent multiple of the illegal profit. Here, for example, the Magistrate finds, that on the road from. Indore to Ujjain, there were nine passengers over the sanctioned capacity; the improper profit is over ten rupees. Anything like twenty or twenty five times the improper income would be the proper fine. But the fine imposed is a fraction of the income, and the party, in spite of his being caught and found guilty, is allowed a premium on his wrongdoing.
3. In the revision, it was urged that the overloading was made when the journey was on a special permit; thus, in any case, overloading was not an offence. It. was also said in the trial Court that there was no overloading; this cannot be accepted in a revision proceeding. As for the driving licence, a new argument was advanced. The driver is bound to show the driving licence to a police officer in uniform; that since the prosecution has not proved that the traffic inspector was in uniform, the conviction should be set aside. The learned Sessions Judge has accepted this. Again the learned Sessions Judge, has reported that the Magistrate has acted irregularly in sending for the permit, and having got the certified copy, perused it, and it was for the prosecution through its witnesses to have produced the original. So the recommendation is that the conviction should be set aside in respect of the overloading also.
4. It is difficult to accept either of these grounds. There may be cases where the driver, who does have a valid licence, may decline to produce it because, he is not satisfied that the person demanding it, is an authorised person; for example, he not being in uniform. The case here was that the driver had not a valid licence. It was for a term which had ended nor there was any suggestion made that Sim Khanvilkar, Traffic Inspector was not in uniform. It was a summons case and the only point urged in defence was that there was a valid licence, while, as a fact, there was no valid licence. Therefore, the conviction for the absence of a licence was correct.
5. As for the permit, the original was with the proprietor, Shri Dayabhai Patel, who did not bring it in the Court. So the prosecution had to depend upon the office-copy which was sent for by the Magistrate and which showed that for the vehicle concerned, the sanctioned capacity was 42. It is not the defence case either, that the capacity was more or that this copy is incorrect. On the contrary, the defence allegation also was that the capacity was 42; but that it had not been exceeded. I fail to see what difference it makes whether the Magistrate sent for and looked at the copy or whether the copy before the Magistrate was proved by a witness. The permit is a public document, and the office-copy is as good as the original. Thus there is no force in the second ground also.
6. There is no substance in this reference and it is dismissed.