Singh v Henry

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtFederal Supreme Court (West Indies)
JudgeHallinan, C.J.
Judgment Date28 Nov 1960

Federal Supreme Court

Hallinan, C.J.;

Lewis, J.;

Marnan, J.

Singh
and
Henry

Dr. F. H. W. Ramsahoye for the appellant.

E. A. Romao, Ag. Senior Crown Counsel, for the Crown.

Road traffic - Motor vehicle — Unlicenced user — Private car used for reward to take passenger from Mahaica to Georgetown and back — Whether used as hire car or as motor bus or otherwise — Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Ordinance, Cap. 280, ss. 2, 20(2) and 23.

1

Hallinan, C.J., delivered the judgment of the court: The appellant was convicted under s. 23 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Ordinance, Cap. 280 of using an unlicensed motor vehicle. The appellant's motorcar was in fact licensed as a private car, but the prosecution alleged that under the provisions of s. 20 (2) he has, nevertheless, committed an offence under s. 23. Section 20 (2) provides as follows:

  • “(2) Where a licence has been taken out as for a motor vehicle to be used solely for a certain purpose and the vehicle is at any time during the period for which the licence is in force used for some other purpose, the person so using the vehicle shall, if the fee chargeable in respect of a licence for a vehicle used for that purpose is higher than the fee chargeable in respect of the licence held by him, be deemed to be guilty of an offence under section 23 of this Ordinance, and the provisions of that section shall apply accordingly.”

2

The prosecution established that the appellant had taken one Shivram for reward from Mahaica to Georgetown and back. The magistrate held that the appellant had used his vehicle for hire or reward and that he should, therefore, have had a licence for a hired car. Since a licensee for a hired car has to pay a higher fee than that for a private car, he held that the provisions of s. 20 (2) applied and that the appellant was guilty of an offence under s. 23.

3

Upon appeal to the Full Court, it was held that the magistrate's finding that the car had been used as a hired car was wrong as, according to the definition of “hire car” in s. 2 of the Ordinance, there must be a contract for the use of the vehicle as a whole, and there was no evidence of any such contract. However, the Full Court held that there was sufficient evidence that the appellant had carried passengers for hire or reward at separate fares and stage by stage. The vehicle should, therefore, have been licensed as a “motor bus” as defined by s. 2 of the Ordinance, and should have paid a higher fee...

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