1. The petitioner had appealed to the State Transport Authority against the order cancelling the countersignature on his public carrier permit. The Authority came to the conclusion that the appeal was not competent. The correctness of this view is being challenged before us.
2. The Question turns on the interpretation of Sub-section (3) of Section 63, and Clauses (a), (b) and (d) of Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Sections 63 and 64 are contained in Chapter IV of the Act. Sub-section (3) of Section 63 provides that 'the provisions of this Chapter relating to the grant revocation and suspension of permits shall apply to the grant, revocation and suspension of countersignatures of permits'. This sub-section therefore makes the provisions of the whole of Chapter IV, including Section 64, relating to the grant, revocation and suspension of permits applicable to the grant, revocation and suspension of countersignatures of permits. Clauses (a), (b) and (d) of Section 64 are in the following terms:
'64 Any person:
(a) aggrieved by the refusal of the State or a Regional Transport Authority to grant a permit, or by any condition attached to a permit granted to him or
(b) aggrieved by the revocation or suspension of the permit or by any variation of the conditions thereof, or
(d) aggrieved by the refusal of the State or a Regional Transport Authority to countersign a permit, or by any condition attached to such counter-signature, may within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal to the prescribed authority who shall give such person and the original authority an opportunity of being heard'.
It will be seen that Clause (d) provides for a right of appeal only against the refusal to countersign a permit or any condition attached to such counter-signature. It does not refer to revocation or suspension of countersignature of a permit. It has, therefore, been contended -- and this was the view taken by the State Transport Authority -- that clause (d) gives a limited right of appeal in regard to countersignatures of permits and that an appeal, therefore, lies only against the refusal to countersign a permit or against any condition attached to such countersignature. Refusal to countersign a permit and the cancellation or revocation of a countersignature have more or less the same consequences, for in both cases the holder of the permit will not be able to ply his vehicle in the region for which countersignature was refused or was revoked. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that the Legislature, which in Clause (d) has provided for a right of appeal against the refusal to countersign a permit, could not have intended that there should be no right of appeal against the cancellation or revocation of a countersignature. No separate provision with regard to this has been made in Section 64 evidently because, by reason of Sub-section (3) of Section 63, Clause (b) of Section 64 would also apply in regard to revocation and suspension of countersignature on permits. Sub-section (3) of Section 63 refers to the grant, revocation and suspension of permits and of countersignatures on permits. It does not in terms refer to refusal to grant a permit or a countersignature. In this connection, reference may be made to Section 48, which states that the Regional Transport Authority may grant a stage carriage permit or refuse to grant such a permit. A distinction is, therefore, drawn between grant of a permit and refusal to grant a permit. Clause (d) of Section 64, therefore, appears to have been inserted ex majore cautela in order to meet a possible argument that, as Sub-section (3) of Section 63 only makes the provisions of Section 64 applicable to grant, revocation or suspension of countersignatures on permits, it would not apply in cases of refusal to countersign a permit. This clause by itself would not, therefore, justify the inference that in regard to countersignatures the-legislature intended to restrict the right of appeal to the cases referred to in this clause only.
3. We are accordingly of the opinion that under Sub-section (3) of Section 63 read with Clause (b) of Section 64, an appeal lies against an order cancelling or revoking the counter-signature on a permit.
4. The petition is, therefore, allowed. The order passed by the State Transport Authority is set aside and the matter will be remanded to that Authority for disposing of the appeal filed by the petitioner in accordance with law. No order as to costs.
5. Petition allowed.