1. This is a petition against the order made by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Panaji, rejecting the appeal filed by the petitioner under S. 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1939, on the ground that the said appeal was time-barred in that it was filed beyond the period of 30 days prescribed by the law.
2. The appeal itself was filed on 7th July, 1983, along with a certified copy of the order of the State Transport Authority. That order was applied for on 27th May, 1983, and it is apparent that the copy was received by the petitioner on 7th June, 1983. Within 30 days from there the appeal was preferred.
3. The Tribunal has held that the appellant having come to know of the order before 27th May, 1983, the appeal filed on 7th July, 1983 was barred by time.
4. The provisions of S. 57(7) of the Act require the Authority to give to the applicant in writing the reasons concerning the refusal of permit. These provisions are intended to enable the party to assail those reasons by filing an appeal eventually under S. 64 and particularly Clauses (a) and (e) of sub- section (1) thereof under the Act. The words used by sub-section (7) are clear enough, in that they cast a duty upon the Authority to make available the reasons for refusal of permit. It is implicit that the refusal of permits and the duty imposed with regard to the giving of the reasons are the basis for framing the rule like the present one, being Rule 4. 36 of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1965.
5. That rule in unmistakable terms indicates the starting point of limitation for 30 days provided for an appeal. It speaks of receipt of the order, which is appealed against, as the starting point for the purpose of limitation. It is not the knowledge of the order that is provided for as the starting point. The receipt of the order in the context of Section 57(7) and Section 64(1) (a) and (e) would mean the receipt of the communication of the order regarding refusal and the reasons therefor. It is, therefore, not enough to find out the point of time of the knowledge as to when the order was received, but it is implicit in the scheme of the sections and the rule that the point of time from which the limitation would run would be the receipt of the order. The term 'receipt of the Order' in juxtaposition of the terms of the Rule 4. 36 of the Rules are indicative of the physical receipt of the communication from the Transport Authority.
6. In this case, the communication from the State Transport Authority was received by registered post on 10th June, 1983 and earlier to that, the petitioner had received the certified copy on 7th June 1983. The receipt of the certified copy would not by itself be relevant in the present case because the official communication was received on 10th June 1983. The period of limitation having been prescribed by the Rule, we take it implicit in the rule that it is the receipt of the official communication that would give rise to the starting point for the purpose of limitation. That being the position, the appeal filed on 7th July 1983 would well be within 30 days.
7. We may mention that the provisions of Section 64 provide for various types of appeals against the orders enumerated in Clauses (a) to (i) of sub-section (1) of that Section. With regard to the appeals against the order of refusal, clauses (a) and (e) will have to be read as controlled by the provisions of Section 57(7) and for the purpose of remedy of appeal, Rule 4. 36 would indicate that the starting point for the period of limitation for the appeal which involved the refusal would be the point of receipt of the official order from the State Transport Authority. We are not expressing any opinion with regard to other types of appeals.
8. That being the position, the impugned order, holding the appeal as barred by time, as is made by the appellate authority, is set aside and the matter is remitted back to that authority with a direction to hear the appeal and decide the same according to law. Rule absolute. No costs.
9. Rule made absolute.