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The Central Provinces Transport Services Vs. the State Transport Authority - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Application No. 178 of 1959
Judge
Reported in(1960)62BOMLR863
AppellantThe Central Provinces Transport Services
RespondentThe State Transport Authority
DispositionAppeal Allowed
Excerpt:
.....renewing permit-whether person opposing renewal of permit can appeal against order renewing permit-persons entitled to prefer appeal against grant of permit.; under the motor vehicles act, 1939, there is no express provision entitling a person who has opposed the renewal of a permit to appeal against the order of the regional transport authority to renew the permit. section 64(f) of the act provides for appeals against orders granting permits and not for appeals against orders granting renewal of permits.; it is only the person objecting to the grant of permit to another who is entitled to prefer an appeal.; v.c.k. bus service v. r.t. authority [1957] a.i.r. s.c. 489, ram gopal v. anant prasad [1959] a.i.r. s.c. 851 and prabhat transport union v. mathura prasad shrivastava [1943]..........heard on december 29, 1958, and allowed. by their order the state transport authority qnashed the permit granted to the cpts. thereafter the pts applied to the regional transport authority, nagpur, for grant of a permit for plying their buses on the nagpur-ramtek road. we are informed that their application was granted and a permit has since been issued in their favour. mr. phadke, who appears for the cpts, says that he does not know whether the cpts opposed the application.4. before us mr. phadke urged two points. the first point was that no appeal lay against an order renewing a permit and the second was that the pts had not objected in writing to the grant of permit to the cpts and, therefore, it did not have a right of appeal at all.5. it seems to us that both the contentions are.....
Judgment:

Mudholkar, J.

1. The petitioner is the Central Provinces Transport Services (to which we shall hereinafter refer as CPTS) which is under the ownership of the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Before the States Reorganisation Act came into force, the CPTS as well as the Provincial Transport Services (to which we shall hereinafter refer as PTS) were owned by the former Govern meat of Madhya Pradesh and operated in Madhya Pradesh State in their respective areas. After the reorganisation of the States the CPTS were allotted to the State of Madhya Pradesh and the PTS were allotted to the Government of the State of Bombay.

2. Permit No. 31 of 1955 was issued in favour of the CPTS by the Regional Transport Authority, enabling them to ply their buses on the Nagpur-Ramtek road on bazar days. This permit was granted for three years on March 15, 1955. On January 10, 1958, the CPTS made an application for renewal of their permit to the Regional Transport Authority, Nagpur. That application was granted on March 19, 1958, and their permit was renewed for a further period of three years.

3. Against this order the PTS preferred an appeal before the State Transport Authority, Bombay, which is the appellate authority constituted under the Motor Vehicles Act. This appeal was heard on December 29, 1958, and allowed. By their order the State Transport Authority qnashed the permit granted to the CPTS. Thereafter the PTS applied to the Regional Transport Authority, Nagpur, for grant of a permit for plying their buses on the Nagpur-Ramtek road. We are informed that their application was granted and a permit has since been issued in their favour. Mr. Phadke, who appears for the CPTS, says that he does not know whether the CPTS opposed the application.

4. Before us Mr. Phadke urged two points. The first point was that no appeal lay against an order renewing a permit and the second was that the PTS had not objected in writing to the grant of permit to the CPTS and, therefore, it did not have a right of appeal at all.

5. It seems to us that both the contentions are correct and must be upheld. Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act reads thus:-

64. Any person-

(a) aggrieved by the refusal of the Provincial 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

(c) aggrieved by the refusal to transfer the permit to the person succeeding on the death of the holder of a permit, or

(d) aggrieved by the refusal of the Provincial or a Regional Transport Authority to countersign a permit, or by any condition attached to such countersignature, or

(e) aggrieved by the refusal of renewal of a permit, or

(f) being a local authority or police authority or an association which, or a person providing transport facilities who, having opposed the grant of a permit, is aggrieved by the grant thereof or by any condition attached thereto, or

(g) being the holder of a licence, who is aggrieved by the refusal of a Regional Transport Authority to grant an authorisation to drive a public service vehicle, 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 is contended on behalf of the PTS that an appeal did lie against the order of the Regional Transport Authority before the State Transport Authority underCl. (1) of this section. From the language used in Clauses (a), (e) and (f) of this section it would be clear that the Legislature has deliberately drawn distinction between grant of a permit and renewal of a permit. Under Clause (a) where a person who has applied for grant of a permit is refused the permit, he is entitled to prefer an appeal. Undercl. (1) if a person or authority has opposed the grant of a permit to another and is aggrieved by the grant of the permit, the person or the authority can prefer an appeal. Tinder Clause (e) a person aggrieved by the refusal of the renewal of permit is entitled to prefer, an appeal. There is no express provision entitling a person who has opposed the renewal of a permit to appeal against the order of the R.T.A. to renew the permit. In this connection it is to be noted that the Supreme Court has drawn a distinction between the grant of a permit and the renewal of a permit. Grant of a permit confers a substantive right on the parties and one of the rights incidental to that right is the right of renewal of the permit. In V.G.K. Bus Service v. R. T.Authority : [1957]1SCR663 . Venkatarama Ayyar, J. of the Supreme Court observed as follows (p. 492):-.A reading of the relevant provisions of the Act and of the rules leads indubitably to the conclusion that a renewal is a continuation of the permit previously granted. The fact that the grant of renewal is not a matter of course, or that it is open to the authorities to impose fresh conditions at the time of renewal does not, when the permit is in fact renewed, alter its character as a renewal.

Bearing in mind this decision, if we look at Clause (f), the only conclusion which can be drawn is that it provides for appeals against orders granting permits and not for appeals against orders granting renewal of permits. Mr.Abhyankar, however, referred to Section 58(2) of the which says that applications for renewal will be dealt with as if they were applications for grant of permits. Basing his argument on this provision, he said that since the procedure to be followed in the two matters is identical, a right of appeal would also be available to a person who is aggrieved by an order granting renewal of a permit. We cannot accept this contention. Right of appeal is not a matter of procedure. What is dealt with in Section 58(2) is clearly the question of procedure and nothing more. Unless a right of appeal is expressly conferred it does not accrue to a person.

6. Mr. Abhyankar referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Ram Gopal v. Anant Prasad : AIR1959SC851 and particularly on the following observations:.The section (Section 58(2)) therefore requires an application for the renewal of a permit to be dealt with in the same way as a new application for a permit. Such an application has therefore to be heard along with new applications for the permit. Again, no question of giving an application for renewal preference over new applications for permits which the section requires to be given, can arise unless they are considered together. We are therefore unable to hold that in the present case the State Transport Authority had no jurisdiction to consider the respondent's application or to make any order in respect of it as it granted the appellant's application for renewal. It follows that the order that was made amounted in fact to a refusal to grant the permit to the respondent.

According to Mr. Abhyankar these observations show that an appeal wasimpliedly held to be maintainable also against an order over-ruling the objection of a person to the grant of renewal of a permit to another. In the case before the Supreme Court the person had in fact made a substantive application for the grant of permit to himself but a permit was refused to him. It was because of this circumstance that the Supreme Court held that he was entitled to file an appeal under Clause (a). In the case before us no application for grant of a permit on this route was made by the PTS. Incidentally, we may point out that in that case it was held that the provisions of Clause (1) relate to an entirely different matter.

7. We may also mention that the view which we are taking is identical, with that taken in Prabhat Transport Union v. MathuraPrasad Shrivastava [1943] N.L.J. 117. This decision is, of course, not binding on us, but we are referring to it because it shows that for a long time this was the view taken in this part of the State.

8. Since the appeal preferred by the PTS to the State Transport Authority was not tenable, its order made on December 29, 1958, cannot stand and must be quashed.

9. Upon the view we have taken on the first point, it is not necessary to say anything more on the second point. Since, however, the point was pressed before us in argument, we feel, we must deal with it. The position is quite clear from the decisions of the Supreme Court in V.C.K. Bus Service v. R.T. Authority andRam Gopal v. Anant Prasad that it is only the person objecting to the grant of permit to another who is entitled to prefer an appeal. ' Of course, in the instant case, there was no question of grant of permit to the CPTS but only a renewal of permit. Assuming, however, that an appeal could have been brought even by a person in the position of PTS, such an appeal could not lie unless the PTS had preferred an objection to the grant of permit to the CPTS. In point of fact, no such objection was preferred by the PTS. What they did, however, was to write a letter to the CPTS saying that the PTS was entitled to take over that route and that the CPTS was not entitled to run a service which was outside the territory of the State of Madhya Pradesh. A suggestion was, therefore, made in this letter by the PTS that the CPTS should either agree to the renewal of the permit in their favour up to May 15, 1958, or to stop running their buses on that route altogether. A copy of this letter was forwarded to the Regional Transport Authority with an endorsement to the effect that the renewal which had been applied for by the CPTS should be granted upto May 15, 1958. This endorsement does not fulfil the requirements of Section 57(3) and, in our opinion, no objection was preferred before the Regional Transport Authority. We are pointing this out because the State Transport Authority observed that there was no decision by the Regional Transport Authority regarding the objection of the PTS.

10. Apart from the view we have taken, we would like to point out that if the State Transport Authority was of the view that the PTS was entitled to a permit on that route, the proper course for them to take was not merely to ask for cancellation of the permit of the CPTS but to make a substantive application to the Regional Transport Authority for grant of a permit to them.

11. Upon this view, we allow the petition, make the rule absolute, and quash the order of the State Transport Authority dated December 19, 1958. The costs of the petition will be borne by respondent No. 2.


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