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Present: Garvin J.RAJAPAK.SE v. MOHAMMADU.
46S—M. C. Colombo,'
Motor Car—•Failing to carry licence on the car—Conviction—Endorse-ment—Duty of Magistrate—Ordinance No. 20 of 1927, s. 39 (!)•Where the driver of a motor car was convicted of the offenceof failing to carry on his car the licence of the said car in breachof section 36 (1) of the Motor Car Ordinance of 1927.
Held, that it was the duty of the Magistrate to endorse theparticulars of the conviction upon the driver’s certificate.
PPEAL by the complainant from an order of the MunicipalMagistrate of Colombo refusing to endorse on the certificate
of the accused, the driver of a motor car, the particulars of aconviction under section 36 (1) of the Ordinance No. 20 of 1927.On his own plea., the accused was convicted under the said sectionof the offence of failing to carry on his car the licence of the said car.
Crossette Thambiah, C.C., for appellant.
H. V. Perera (with Rajapakse), as amicus curiae, for theAutomobile Club.
1 22 L.J.C. B. 225.2 23 L. J. C. P. 108.
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1928. October 9,1928. Garvin J.—
The accused, being the driver of a private motor car bearingNo. C 3188, was charged with failing to carry on his car the licence ofthe said car in breach of section 36 (1) of Ordinance No. 20 of 1927.
To this charge he pleaded guilty and was accordingly convictedand sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 2.50.
The prosecuting police officer then moved the Police Magistrateto endorse the particulars of the conviction upon the certificateof competence granted to the accused driver.
It was urged that under section 39 of the Ordinance the PoliceMagistrate had no option in the matter and was required by lawto make such an endorsement in every case in which a personwas convicted of an offence against the Ordinance. The PoliceMagistrate has refused to accept this contention and the complainanthas appealed with the sanction of the Solicitor-General.
Section 39 (1) is as follows :—
“ Any court before which a person is convicted of an offenceagainst this Ordinance or any other written law in con-nection with the driving of a motor car—
(a) may, if the person convicted holds a certificate ofcompetence, suspend the certificate for such timeas the court thinks fit, or cancel the certificateand declare the person convicted disqualified forobtaining another certificate for a stated period,and, unless otherwise provided, shall endorse uponthe certificate particulars of any order of the courtmade under this section and also, whether suchan order is made or not, particulars of the convic-tion ; ”
The Police Magistrate read this section as placing upon him anobligation to make such an endorsement only in the case of anoffence in connection with the driving of a motor car whetherthe offence be against this Ordinance or any other written law.If that was the intention of the Legislature it would only havebeen necessary to say that the obligation to make an endorsementarises when a person is convicted of an offence in connection withthe driving of a motor car; the words “ against this Ordinanceor any other written law ” M'ould not and I think should not havebeen given a place in the sentence. I do not however think thatthe words referred to are mere surplusage nor indeed having regardto the structure of the sentence, is it possible to treat them as such.It seems to me that it favours the construction for which theappellant contends, namely, that the offences contemplated are(a) offences against the Ordinance, and (ft) offence against anyother written law in connection with the driving of a motor car.
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The Ordinance embodies the local law relating to motor vehicles 1928.and it is therfore understandable that in determining the casesj
to which the provisions of section 39 (1) are to apply the Legislature
resolved that they should apply to all offences under the Ordinance Ragapakttand when bring within the seetion acts which are offences under Mohammaduany other written law imposed the limitation that they must beoffences in connection with the driving of a motor car.
Section 39 (1) is in all probability based on section 4 of the MotorCar Act, 1903 (3 Edw. VII., c. 36), the corresponding words ofwhich are as follows:—
“Any court before whom a person is convicted of'an offenceunder this Act, or of any offence in connection with thedriving of a motor car …
It is beyond question therefore that the provisions relating tothe suspension, endorsement, &c., of licences are applicable inEngland to the case of a person who has been convicted (a) ofan offence under the Act, or (6) of any offence in connectionwith the driving of a motor car. There is no reason to supposethat it was intended to depart, from the policy of the correspondingprovision of the English Act when section 39 (1) of the local Ordi-nance was drafted. The language of the section does not appearto me to indicate any such intention.
This interpretation of the Ordinance may as the Magistratepoints out result in the endorsement of the certificate of a driverof a conviction w'hich has little and possibly nothing to do with himin his capacity of holder of such a certificate.
It is conceivable that the provisions which the Legislature hasenacted for the purpose of carrying out its policy in this matterare wider4 than necessary. But the language it has used is to mymind dear and requires a Magistrate when a person is convictedby him of (a) an offence against the Ordinance, or (b) an offenceagaint any other written law in connection with the driving ofa motor car, to endorse the particulars of the conviction uponhis certificate of competence, if he holds one.
Inasmuch as this is a case of a conviction of the holder of sucha certificate of an offence against “this Ordinance,” i.e., the MotorCar Ordinance, No. 20 of 1927, it is the duty of the Magistrate toendorse the conviction on his certificate.
The order of the Magistrate is set adide and the case sent backto him for the purpose indicated.
RAJAPAKSE v. MOHAMMADU