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WALKER v. PALANY.P. C., Vavuniya, 3,669.
Refusal to produce duplicate license of coach—Party to make requisition toproduce—Liability of owner for neglect to produce—OrdinanceNo. 14 of1865, ss. 11 and 16—Penal Code, s. 289.
Under section 11 of Ordinance No. 14 of 1865, the driver of acoach must be ready to produce the duplicate of the license for suchcoach " whenever required.”
Per Lawrie, J.—The words “ whenever required ” refer to arequisition by any person having an interest, e.g., a passenger bysuch coach.
An infringement of the provisions of the above section is punish,able imder section 289 of the Ceylon Penal Code.
The refusal or neglect to produce the license for a cart, boat, orcoach, penalized by section 16 of the Ordinance, is a refusal orneglect by the owner and not by the driver or person in charge.
'JpHE facts of the case sufficiently appear in the judgment.
H. Jayawardena, for accused, appellant.
10th March, 1898. Lawrie, J.—
The accused was the driver of a licensed coach on the 17thDecember, 1896, at Omantai.
He has been convicted of an offence, inasmuch as he did notproduce a duplicate license when required by the Inspector ofCoaches, and he has been fined Rs. 25.
His defence was that he was not asked by Mr. Walker, theInspector, to produce the license, that he (the accused) had the, license with him in the box under the seat in the coach. Mr.Walker said, “ I a&ked the accused (Palany), the driver, whether“ he had any license to show, and he said he had none.”
Mr. Walker had been looking for the plate which ought to havebeen affixed to the coach, and for the want of which the owner hasbeen fined, and it is’ possible that he did not make it clear to thedriver that he wished (in addition to the plate) to see the duplicatelicense. The driver certainly had no interest in concealing theduplicate if he had it with him, and it is very likely that it wasin the box imder his seat. However, the Police Magistrate foundit proved that the accused, the driver, told Mr. Walker he had nolicense to show.
The 11th section of the Ordinance No. 14 of 1865 imposes onthe driver the duty of having the duplicate in his possession, readyto produce it whenever required. It seems to me that this“ whenever required ” refers to a requisition by any one having14-
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1898.un interest; for example, I think a passenger has right to require
March 10.the production of the license to satisfy himself how many passengers
La wans, J. the coach may carry. It may be the only check on over-crowding.
The 16th section makes it an offence for any one using or sufferingthe coach to be used to refuse or neglect to produce the license forthe same to a Justice of the Peace, Superintendent of Police, PoliceOfficer, or any person claiming interest in the goods conveyed or tobe conveyed, and this offence is punishable by a fine of £5 for thefirst offence and £10 for the second offence, and in the case of afurther conviction the coach and the horses are to be confiscated.In my opinion section 16 does not apply to drivers. It refers tothe owners of coaches, to those who are responsible for taking out alicense.
Drivers are liable for their own acts ; for instance, for crueltyto animals, if they drive galled or lame horses or bullocks, andfor all acts of omission and commission in the discharge of theirduties as drivers, but I do not think that they are liable to fulfilall the requirements of the 16th section, or that it would bereasonable to forfeit a coach and horses for the act of a driver.If that be so, the duty cast on drivers by the 11th section to producethe duplicate, whenever required, is not limited to a request by aJustice of the Peace or an Officer of the Police, but includes a requestby any respectable person having an interest. Mr. Walker certainlywas so, and indeed the defence in the Court below was not that Mr.Walker had no right to ask for the duplicate, but that in fact hedid not ask for it.
The accused omitted to perform the statutory duty of producingthe duplicate, and as for that omission no punishment is providedin the Ordinance No. 14 of 1865, the Magistrate was right to punishunder the 289th section of the Penal Code ; but I think the punish-ment was too severe. I reduce the fine to Rs. 2 50, which I daresayis a considerable sum for a driver of a coach on the North road.
WALKER v. PALANY