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N. Thimmiah Vs. Mysore Revenue Appellate Tribunal, Bangalore and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petition No. 87 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1962Kant215; AIR1962Mys215
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 64(1)
AppellantN. Thimmiah
RespondentMysore Revenue Appellate Tribunal, Bangalore and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.S. Puttaswamy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateV.K. Govindrajulu, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....section 64(1) opens with the words 'any person' and what is necessary to entitle him to appeal is that he should have a grievance such as those enumerated in the various clauses of section 64(1). there can be no doubt that if as a result of the revision of the timings assigned to one permit holder, another permit holder is deprived of priority of timings, which he was previously enjoying, he would clearly, be a person aggrieved by the variation of a condition of a permit, and therefore, entitled to prefer an appeal under section 64(1) (b) of the act......a.m..(5) from this decision of the regional transport authority, the petitioner appealed to the state transport authority on february 16, 1957. that appeal presented by the petitioner was dismissed on the ground that the change of timings did not amount to a variation of any of the conditions of the permit of respondent 4. the state transport authority was obviously of the view that section 64(1) (b) of the motor vehicles act, as in force in the area which was originally the former state of mysore, was not applicable to the appeal presented by the petitioner. (6) against that order, the petitioner presented a writ petition to this court and in that writ petition, he has directed to approach the mysore revenue appellate tribunal, in the first instance, under section 64(2) of the act......
Judgment:

Somnath Iyer, J.

(1) The petitioner is an operator, operating his stage carriage between Kowdley and Bevakallu, via Hosagive and Mandya, Respondent 4 is another operator, operating his stage carriage between Hosagavi and Malavalli, via Mandya. The route between Hosagavi and Mandya is therefore a route common to the petitioner and respondent 4.

(2) Originally, the petitioner was leaving Hosagavi at 7.30 a.m., reaching Mandya at 8.30 a.m. Respondent 4 was leaving Hosagavi at 9.30 a.m., reaching Mandya at 10.30. These timings were assigned to the petitioner and respondent 4 by a consent order made by the Regional Transport Authority on April 27, 1955.

(3) On March 20, 1956, respondent 4 applied for an extension of his route. He wanted his route to be extended from Hosagavi to a place called Devalapura, so that he could leave Devalapura, arrive at Hosagavi and from that place proceed to Mandya. The distance between Hosagavi and Devalapura is eight miles. That extension for which respondent 4 applied was granted.

(4) On September 26, 1956, respondent 4 made another application for a revision of his timings which had been settled by a consent order made on April 27, 1955. The Regional Transport Authority Published that application for revision of his timings, under the provisions of section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act. This publication was made on October 23, 1956. On Novermber, 19, 1956, the petitioner objected to the revision of the timings of respondent 4. But the Regional Transport Authority, by an order which is made on January 7, 1957, assigned revised timings to Respondent 4. Respondent 4, by the order made by the Regional Transport Authority, was permitted to leave Devalapura at 6 a.m., arrive at Hosagavi at 6.25 a.m., leave Hosagavi at 6.30 a.m. and reach Mandya at 8.15 a.m..

(5) From this decision of the Regional Transport Authority, the petitioner appealed to the State Transport Authority on February 16, 1957. That appeal presented by the petitioner was dismissed on the ground that the change of timings did not amount to a variation of any of the conditions of the permit of respondent 4. The State Transport Authority was obviously of the view that section 64(1) (b) of the Motor Vehicles Act, as in force in the area which was originally the former State of Mysore, was not applicable to the appeal presented by the petitioner.

(6) Against that order, the petitioner presented a Writ Petition to this Court and in that Writ Petition, he has directed to approach the Mysore Revenue Appellate Tribunal, in the first instance, under section 64(2) of the Act. The petitioner accordingly presented a second appeal to that Tribunal and, by an order made on December 16, 1959, the Tribunal dismissed that appeal presented by the petitioner on the same ground on which the State Transport Authority dismissed his appeal.

(7) In his application, it is urged that the view taken by the State Transport Authority and the Revenue Appellate Tribunal that the timings assigned to a permit holder do not constitute a condition of his permit is opposed to the pronouncement of this Court in Siddalingappa v. Mysore Revenue Appellate Tribunal, Writ Petition No. 1091 of 1959 : (AIR 1962 Mysore 161).

(8) Mr. Puttuswamy is quite right in urging this contention, and, following that decision, we should, in my opinion, hold that the view of the State Transport Authority and the Revenue Appellate Tribunal that timings assigned to a permit holder do not constitute a condition of his permit cannot be sustained.

(9) But, Mr. Govindarajulu, appearing on behalf of respondent 4, urged that the mere fact that we can take that view does not mean that the petitioner was entitled to appeal from the decision of the Regional Transport Authority assigning new timings to respondent 4. The stress of his argument was that the person who can appeal under section 64(1)(b) of the Motor Vehicles Act against any variation of the conditions of a permit, is the permit holder whose conditions have been varied and not one other than the person whose conditions have been varied.

(10) Clause (a) and (b) of section 64(1) are the statutory provisions on which Mr. Govindarajulu depended. These Clauses read :

Appeals 64 (1) 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

x x x xmay, 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.'

The argument was that under Clause (a), the person who can appeal is the person who has been refused a permit or a person aggrieved by a condition attached to his own permit.

(11) So far, Mr. Govindarajulu is right. But, he proceeded to urge that the person who could appeal under Clause (b) is also a permit holder whose conditions are varied to his disadvantage, and no other.

(12) Reliance was placed on the expression 'the permit' occurring in Clause (b), and the argument addressed was that the definite Article 'the' preceding the word permit in that Clause makes it clear that the permit referred to in that Clause is the permit referred to in Clause (a) and granted to the person who desires to appeal. In other words, Mr. Govindarajulu wanted us to read Clause (b), in the following way:

'Appeals 64. Any person --

(a) x x x x

(b) aggrieved by the revocation of his permit or by the suspension of his permit or by any variation of the conditions of his permit, or

x x x x may, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal .........'

It, was, therefore, submitted that the only person, who can appeal under Clause (b) is the person whose permit has been revoked or whose permit has been suspended or whose conditions are varied. If the conditions of the permit of another person are varied, it was argued, that no one who is not himself the permit holder can appeal against such variation.

(13) I am unable to read Clause (b) in the manner suggested. It is true that the definite Article 'the' occurs before the word 'permit' in that Clause. But the fact that that definite Article occurs in that position does not mean that the person who can appeal under Clause (b) is the person whose conditions have been varied and that no one else can.

(14) The construction suggested by Mr. Govindarajulu, if accepted, may lead to strange and far-reaching consequences. If A has a permit and the has been assigned particular timings, and B has other permit and has priority of timings, if A's timings are varied so as to give him priority, it would be unreasonable to suggest that B has no right of appeal. A, it is clear, need not appeal since the variation is to his benefit and if B cannot appeal, according to Mr. Govindarajulu, since he is not the person whose conditions are varied, B would be without any remedy, and if the variation was made before Act 100/1956 added section 64-A to the Act, there would have been not even the right to invoke the revisional jurisdiction of any one.

(15) Timings, in my opinion, constitute an important condition of a permit. A person who has priority of timings is entitled to represent against the variation of the timings of another person, if such variation deprives him of such priority.

(16) The construction suggested on behalf of respondent 4 is too narrow a construction, not justified by the language of Clause (b) of section 64(1). It is not disputed that before a permit holder's timings are revised, his application for that purpose has to be published under section 57 (3) of the Act, so as to enable persons affected by such variation to make representations against it. That is the requirement of section 57 (3). It would not, in my opinion, be right to hold that a person may make a representation against the variation to the timings without having the right to appeal from the decision of the Regional Transport Authority in that matter. A construction which would only afford to a rival operator an opportunity to make a representation without having a right of appeal from the decision on his representation, should, in my opinion, be discarded as unreasonable unless the statutory provision providing for the appeal admits of no other interpretation.

(17) There is one other reason why we should not accept the construction for which respondent 4 contended. Clause (c) of section 64 (1) reads :

'Appeals 64. Any person---

..... ..... ..... ...... (c) aggrieved by the refusal to transfer the permit to the person succeeding on the death of the holder of a permit, or... ..... ..... ..... may, without 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.'

(18) Now, as in the case of Clause (b), the words 'the permit' again occur i Clause (c). If, as contended, the words 'the permit' occurring in Clause (c) have reference only to the permit specified in Clause (a), we would have to hold that the only on who can appeal under Clause (c) is the person to whom the permit was originally granted. Now Clause (c), it is obvious permits an appeal by a person other than the one to whom the permit was so granted. That Clause provides for an appeal by a person who had applied for a transfer to him of a permit granted to a person who died after the grant of such permit.

(19) If we accept the construction for which Mr. Govindarajulu contended, we would have to hold that the person who can appeal under Clause (c) is the deceased permit holder and not the person who applied for a transfer of the permit. A construction resulting in such curious results is one which, in my opinion, should not commend itself to us.

(20) Further, Section 64(1) opens with the words 'any person' and what is necessary to entitle him to appeal is that he should have a grievance such as those enumerated in the various Clauses of section 64(1). There can be no doubt that if as a result of the revision of the timings assigned to one permit holder, another permit holder is deprived of priority of timings, which he was previously enjoying, he would clearly, be a person aggrieved by the variation of a condition of a permit, and therefore, entitled to prefer an appeal under section 64(1) (b) of the Act.

(21) In my opinion, the argument that the petitioner was not a person aggrieved cannot be sustained.

(22) But, Mr. Govindarajulu urged that we should not exercise our jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, in this case, since the petitioner was absent before the State Transport Authority when his appeal was called. Mr. Govindarajulu urged that since the petitioner was indulgent in the prosecution of his appeal before the State Transport Authority and since this matter comes before us more than five years after the timings of respondent 4 were revised, we should be reluctant to disturb the order made by the State Transport Authority and the Revenue Appellate Tribunal.

(23) It is true that the petitioner was absent when his appeal was called before the State Transport Authority. But, the State Transport Authority did not dismiss his appeal on the ground that he was absent. It decided a preliminary point which it though arose in the case and held that the appeal was an incompetent appeal.

(24) It seems to me that the fact that the petitioner was absent before the State Transport Authority is an immaterial consideration. The petitioner had a right even if he was absent before the State Transport Authority to prefer an appeal from the decision of the State Transport Authority to the Revenue Appellate Tribunal and that is what he did. The Revenue Appellate Tribunal did not dismiss his appeal on the ground that he was absent before the State Transport Authority. Indeed, it could not have dismissed his appeal on that ground.

(25) I am not also impressed by the argument that the petitioner has been guilty of laches, in approaching this Court. It is seen that right from the time the Regional Transport Authority revised the timings of respondent 4, the petitioner has been in one Court or another agitating against such variation. He approached this Court even before he went to the Revenue Appellate Tribunal, and he went to that Tribunal only after he was directed by this Court to do so.

(26) In the result, this Writ Petition should, in my opinion, be allowed. The orders made by the Revenue Appellate Tribunal and the State Transport Authority should be and are set aside. The appeal presented by the petitioner to the State Transport Authority should now be sent back to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal which has now the competence to hear that appeal, with a direction that that appeal should now be disposed of on its merits and according to law, and that is the order that we should make in this case. We should issue a further direction that the State Transport Appellate Tribunal will dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible.

(27) In the circumstances, there will be no order as to costs.

Kalagate, J.

(28) I agree.

(29) Writ Petition allowed.


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