MACDONELL CJ.—Sub-Inspector of Police, Chilaw v. Croos. 189
1933Present: Macdonell CJ.
SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE, CHILAW v. CROOS.
307—P. C. Chilaw, 38,880.
Motor Car-Defective brakes—Liability of owner—Onus of proof—Ordinance
No. 20 of 1927, s. 80 (3).
Where, in a charge under section 80 (3) of the Motor Car Ordinanceagainst the absent owner of a motor car, it is established that somethingwas done or omitted in connection with the car in contravention of anyprovision of the Ordinance, the onus is on the owner to satisfy the Courtthat the offence was committed without his consent and was not dueto any act or omission on his part and he had taken ail reasonableprecautions to prevent the offence.
^PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate of Chilaw.
J.R. Jayewardena, for accused, appellant.
May 30, 1933. Macdonell C.J.—
In this case it does not seem disputed that the car in respect of the casewas being driven that day when it was not in a fit condition to be driven.For instance its brakes seem to have been wholly defective. The accused,■who is the owner of the car, was not present either when the car wasbeing driven or when the Examiner of Motor Cars examined the car whileit was still hot after being driven, and it is urged that in this, a prosecutionunder section 80, sub-section (3), and section 82 of Ordinance No. 20 of1927, the onus is on the prosecution throughout. I am afraid I do not soread section 80, sub-section (3). The sub-section speaks of something“ done or omitted in connection with a'motor car in contravention of theprovisions of the Ordinance ”. That something “ done or omitted ” mustdearly be proved by the prosecution, but the sub-section then goes onto say that the “ owner of a motor car shall also be guilty of an offence,if absent, unless the offence was committed without his consent and wasnot due to any act or omission on his part and he had taken all reasonable
> 33 N. L. R. 161.
The Bank of ChetHnad, Ltd. v. Thambiah.
precautions to prevent the offence As 1 read the section, if the some-thing done or omitted has been proved, the prosecution has dischargedthe onus that lies upon it, and it is then for the owner if he was absent atthe time of the something done or omitted, to satisfy the Court that theoffence was committed without his consent, that it was not due to anyact or omission on his part, and that he had taken all reasonable pre-cautions to prevent the contravention. That seems to me to be thenormal interpretation of this section. In the present case no evidencewas led to show that the offence was committed without the accused’sconsent, and that it was not due to any act or omission on his part,and that he had taken all reasonable precautions.
Upon these facts, 1 think the conviction is correct and the appealmust be dismissed.
SUB-INSPECTOR OF POLICE, CHILAW v. CROOS