1956Present: T. S. Fernando, J.
Tj. M. ISMAIL, Appellant, and H. E. PERERA (Sub-Inspector of. Police, JT.itton), Respondent
S. G. 514—M. C. Hatton, S.3S7
Hiring car—Carrying t-oo many passengers—Suspension of driver's driving licence—Lcgcdily—“ Offence committed in connection with the driving of a motor vehicle"—Motor ’l'rajfic Act .Vo. 14 of JO-51, ss. 13S (/), JSI (1), 220..
When ii person is convicted of driving ft hiring enr carrying therein passengersin excess of the permitted number, the offence is one committed in connectionwit h tlio driving of n motor vehicle within the meaning of section 133(1) of thoMotor Traffic Act. Therefore, nn order of suspension of his driving licenceis not illegal.
jAl-PPEATj from a judgment of tlio Magistrate’s Court, Hatton.
Chellappah, for tho accused-appellant.
Ananda G. de Silva, Crown Counsel, for tho Attorney-General.
Car. ado. vult.
August 7, 1956. T. S. Fernando, J.—
T!io .appellant was convicted on his own pica on tho following chargo :—
** That lio did on 4th February 1956 at Diekoya, being tho driverof hiring car Xo. CX. 5655 on a highway, to wit, Main St-root-, Dickoya,cany thoroin 17 adult porsons excluding himself when it was licensedto cany only 7 persons, and thereby carried 10 persons in excess inbreach of section 1SI of the Motor Traffic Act, Xo. 14 of 1951, anoffence punishable under section 226 of tho sa-mo Act. ”
Tho appollant was sentenced to pay a fine of Its. 60 and his driving liconrowas suspended for a period of one year.
Loarned counsel appearing for tho appellant before mo has contendedthat the order of suspension of the driving licence is illegal and it hasbecome necessary to oxamino the powers vostod in a Court by section13S (1) of tho Motor Traffic Act Xo. 14 of 1951.
Section I3S (1) is in tho following terms :—
:: Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), any court before whicha person is convicted of any offence under this Act, or of any offencounder any other written law committed in connection with the driving ofa. motor vehicle, may in addition to any other punishment which it maylawfully impose for that offence—
(ft) if the person convicted is the holder of a driving lioonco issued ordeemed to bo issued under this Act, suspend the liconco for aspecified period not exceeding two years, or cancel tho licence ;or
if the person convicted is not t he holder of a driving licence declarehim to be disqualified for obtaining a driving licence for a speci-fied period. ”
It is not necessary for the purposes of this appeal to consider the provi-sions of sub-scctioii (2) or any other sub-sect ion of section 13S. Learnedcounsel argues
that- although the appellant has been convicted of an offence under
the Motor Traffic Act it is not an offence committed in connectionwith the driving of a motor vehicle ;
that the power of the Court to suspend a driving licence of a person
convicted is limited to tho case of persons convicted of offencescommitted- in connection with the dricing of a motor vehicle. ”
Learned Crown Counsel has argued that in any event it is only in thecase of a conviction for an offence under a written law other than thoMotor Traffic Act that thoro is tho additional requirement that theoffence should bo one committed in connection with tho driving of amotor vehicle before an order suspending the driving licence of the offendercould bo made. It is, however, unnecessary for me to considerthis argumont which depends upon the interpretation to bo placed on
this sub-seotion as I am satisfied that the offence to which the appsllantploadod guilty Mas an offence committed in connection with the drivingof d motor vehicle.
Thoro are several cases decided in the English Courts upon the meaningof tho words “ in connection n-ith the driving of a motor car ” appearin''in a similar contoxt in section 4 (1) of tho Motor Car Act of 1903.
In Rex v. Yorkshire (West Hiding) Justices, ex parte Shackleton , LordAlvcrstono, C. J., stated that tho words any offence in connection withtho driving of a motor car ” nhen read in their context in section 4 oftho Motor Car Act, 1903, point to offences connected with tho handlingor manipulation of tho car in the process of driving it, that is, to offencesin respect of tho actual locomotion of the car. In the case of Brown v.Crossleg – decided in tho following year a Divisional Court of the King’sDench held that a conviction for failing to have the back plate of amol or carilluminated was a conviction of an offence in connection with the drivingof a motor car nothin the meaning of the same section 4. Then again,in the case of White v. Jackson3, Lord Reading, while holding that theusing of povorful lights on a motor car in breach of an Order made undertho Defence of the Realm (Consolidation) Regulations of 1914, if theoffence M as committed by the offender while ho M as driving tho car, M asan offenco in connection noth the driving of a motor car within section4 (1), also stated that full meaning'must bo given to the nerds “ in connec-tion. with ”, and that the test to bo applied was whether the offence wascommitted n-hilo tho offender n*a§. driving. Eour years later, in 1919.where a person had been convicted for that in driving a motor car housed petrol for purposes other than thoso expressly authorised by thoMotor Spirit (Consolidation) and Gas Restriction Order, 191S, anotherDivisional Court of the King’s Bench held that the offence was one com-mitted in connection with the driving of a motor car within the meaningof section 4 of the Motor Car Act of 1903, stating that when the offenderwas driving tho motor car u'ith tho spirit tho M'holo locomotive power ofthe car depended upon tho spirit.—see Simmons v. Pond 4.
What section 1S1 (1) of tire Motor Traffic Act penalises is tho drivingof a hiring car when there are in it passengers in excess of the numberit is licensed to carry- The offence of which tho appellant was convictedwas that of driving the hiring car carrying in it passengers in excessof tho permitted number. In these circumstances, oven if one appliesthe tests suggested in the English decisions above referred to, it Mill boseen that the offence Mas committed ■“ niiilo tho offender M as driving ”or “ in respect of its actual locomotion ”. I entertain no doubt that thooffenco of-the appellant was ono committed in connection with the drivingof a motor vehicle, as contemplated in section 13S (1) of the Motor TrafficAct.•
The sentence is therefore legal and the appeal must be dismissed.
(1015) 31 Times L. R. 60S. .
(7019) 3-5 Times L. R. 1ST,
A. L. M. ISMAIL, Appellant, and H. L. PERERA (Sub-Inspector of police, Hatton),
1956Present: T. S. Fernando, J.