Govinda Bhat, J.
1. These are two writ petitions filed by a common petitioner who is a contract carriage operator in the State of Mysore. The common question raised in these writ petitions is whether the Regional Transport Authority which grants a permit can refuse to entertain an application for renewal on the ground that the grant of the original permit was without jurisdiction.
2. The petitioner which is a private limited company owns two motor vehicles bearing registration Numbers MYA 2334 and MYD 9001. In respect of the said vehicles the Regional Transport Authority. Bangalore (Respondent 2) had granted contract carriage permit to ply in the State of Mysore. When the period of the permit was about to expire the petitioner made applications for renewal of the permits for a period of five years with effect from 18-8-1971. The applications were made to the second respondent as is required by Rule 128 of the Mysore Motor Vehicles Rules. 1963. The second respondent ordered by its resolution dated 16-11-1971 that the renewal applications should be returned to the petitioner for presentation to the proper authority as the Regional Transport Authority, Bangalore, had no jurisdiction to grant the permits in view of the 1st proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 45 of the Motor Vehicles Act. 1939. The appeals preferred against the said order before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal were unsuccessful and therefore the petitioner has approached this Court for relief under Article 226 of the Constitution.
3. The ground on which respondents 2 and 3 have directed the petitioner to file its applications before the appropriate, authority was that under the first proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 45, the application for a permit is required to be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the major portion of the proposed route or area lies and that such authority is the Regional Transport Authority, Bijapur. The third respondent has relied on the decision of this Court in Mysore State Road Transport Corporation v. P. V. Motor Service, (1971) 2 Mys LJ 197 = (AIR 1971 Mys 358). It is relevant to state that the said decision was not concerned with an application for renewal but was concerned with the original application for permit. It is also stated before us that the said decision is now under appeal before the Supreme Court.
4. It was contended by Sri Mohandas N. Hegde, learned counsel for the petitioner, that in view of the provisions of Rule 128 of the Rules, the second respondent had no jurisdiction to order the return of the applications for renewal and that the second respondent was bound to consider the renewal applications in accordance with law. He argued that the authority to whom the renewal applications has to be made is the authority which granted the original permit and it is not open to the said authority to go into the question whether or not the original permit was granted by the appropriate authority. Rule 128 of the Rules reads thus:
'128. Permits Renewal of-- Application Form-- Application for the renewal of a permit shall be made in Form No. 75 P. F. A. to the Transport Authority by which the permit was issued, in accordance with Section 58 (2) and (3) shall be accompanied by Part 'A' of the permit, along, with the challan (original) for payment of the fee prescribed in Rule 120.'
5. The learned Government Pleader, Sri Shantharaju, contended that in view of Sub-section (2) of Section 58 of the Act, an application for renewal has to be treated as if it were an application for a permit and in that way it is open to the Regional Transport Authority to consider whether he has the authority to entertain the application under the 1st proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 45. At the stage it is relevant to set out Sub-section (1) of Section 45 with the 1st proviso, thereto. It reads thus:--
'45. General provision as to applications for Permits-- (1) Every application for a permit shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which it is proposed to use the vehicle or vehicles;
Provided that if it is proposed to use the vehicle or vehicles in two or more regions lying within the same State, the application shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the major portion of the proposed route or area lies, and in case the portion of the proposed route or area in each of the regions is approximately equal, to the Regional Transport Authority of the Region in which it is proposed to keep the vehicle or vehicles,'
(Rest omitted as unnecessary) It is undisputed that the original permits were granted by the second respondent who is the Regional Transport Authority. Bangalore, and no objection was taken to the grant of the permits that it had no jurisdiction. The permits granted were in operation for a period of three or five years and at no stage it was contended that the said permits were invalid or void. The stage at which the question as to which Regional Transport Authority is competent to issue the permit has to be decided when the first application for a permit is made. When the Regional Transport Authority. Bangalore entertained the petitioner's applications and issued permits, it must be deemed to have decided that it is the competent authority to grant the permits. In view of the language used by Rule 128, the applications for the renewal of permits can only be made to the Transport Authority by which the permit was issued and not to any other authority. In view of that clear provision the petitioner cannot make the renewal applications to any other regional transport authority. If the view taken by respondents 2 and 3 and supported by the learned Government Pleader is accepted, the petitioner will not be entitled to make any application for renewal at ell before any authority with the result that it has to make a fresh application for a permit. The Regional Transport Authority is an authority with limited jurisdiction functioning within the powers limited by the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder. When Rule 128 expressly provides that application for the renewal of a permit shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority by which the permit was issued, all that the Regional Transport Authority has to satisfy itself is as to whether the original permit sought to be renewed was issued by that authority. It is not competent for the Regional Transport Authority which granted the original permit to return or reject the application for renewal on the ground that the original permit was not granted by the appropriate Regional Transport Authority. In our judgment, that question is one that does not arise for decision at the stage of renewal of permit.
6. The provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 58 to the effect that a renewal application should be considered as an original application for a permit has to be read with the provisions of Rule 128 of the Rules. So far as the forum to which the application for renewal is required to be made, that is determined by Rule 128.
7. In that view it was not open either to the second respondent or to third respondent to return the petitioner's applications for renewal for presentation before the Regional Transport Authority. Bijapur. Accordingly, we allow these writ petitions, set aside the order of the second respondent dated 16-11-1971 as affirmed bv the third respondent by its order dated 8-12-1971 and further direct the second respondent to dispose of the petitioner's applications in accordance with law. The petitioner is entitled to its costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-. One set.