1. This appeal is from the Order of Malimath.J, allowing Writ petition No.8980 of 1976. The regional Transport Authority, Bangalore, (hereinafter referred to as the R. T.A) and the State of Karnataka have preferred this appeal.
2. The Karnataka State Road Trans-port Corporation (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation) was permitted to blimp leaded as respondent-2 in this appeal and Shri P. R. Ramesh, learned Counsel for the Corporation, addressed supporting the arguments, of the learned High court Government Pleader who appeared for the appellants.
3. The writ petitioner (respondent No. 1 herein) is the owner of a public service vehicle. He had been granted a permit to operate a stage carriage between Bangalore and Vallipuram. As a part of that rout lies in Tamil Nadu, he could not operate that service beyond the border of this State as the Transport Authorities of Tamil Nadu had not countersigned that permit. On 4-10-1976, he made an application to the R.T.A. for grant of a special permit under sub-section (6)of S. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1963 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for the period, 15-11-1976 to 22-11-1976. The R.T.A. rejected his application on the ground that it could not entertain such application and grant a special permit in view of the provisions of sub-section (3) of S. 20 of the Karnataka Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as the Acquisition Act). The decision of the R.T.A. was impugned in the writ petition
4. The learned single judge held that what sub-section (3) of S. 20 of the Acquisition Act prohibited, was entertaining applications for contract carriage Permits to persons other than the Corporation and that that sub-section did not prohibit the R. T. A. from entertaining applications for special permits under sub -section (6) of S. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act or granting such Permits to, such persons. In that view, the learned single judge quashed the decision of the R. T. A. and issued a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the R. T. A. to consider the writ petitioners application according to law.
5. In this appeal, Sri B. B. Mandappa, the learned High Court Government Pleader, contended that in view of the definition of the term 'contract carriage' in el. (g) of S. 3 of the Acquisition Act, a special permit, under sub-section (g) of Section 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act, should be regarded as a contract carriage permit for the purpose of S. 20 of the Acquisition Act which expressly prohibits application for contract carriage permits being entertained and such and permit being granted to persons other than the Corporation.
6. As pointed out by a Division Bench of this Court in Writ Petn. No. 2314 of 1976 (reported in (1979) 2 Kant LJ 292: (AIR 1979 NOC 134) (K. N. Sreekantaiah v. Dy. Transport Commr., Bangalore Division), there is a clear distinction between a special permit issued under subsee. (6) of S. .63 of the Motor Vehicles Act and a contract carriage permit. We shall now examine whether such distinction between a contract carnage permit and a special permit has been obliterated for the purpose of the Acquisition Act.
7. The relevant portions of cl.(g) of S. 3 of the Acquisition Act, read.
(g) 'Contract carriage' shall have the same meaning as in clause (3) of S. 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act and includes -
(i) a public service vehicle in relation to which a special permit has been issued under sub-section (6) of S. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act;
........ ...... ....... ....... ...... ...... ....... ......... ........ ....... ........ ......... but does not include,-
(ii) a, vehicle operating as a stage carriage in relation to which on the 30th day of )an. 1976 a temporary contract carriage permit issued under sub-section (1) of S. 62 or sub-sec 63 respectively of the Motor Vehicles Act, is in force.
8-9. Section 4 of the Acquisition Act provides for vesting of contract carriages in the State Government.
10. Section 14 of the Acquisition Act provides, inter alia, that except as other wise provided in the Act, no person shall on or after the commencement of the Act apply for any permit or fresh permit or for renewal of an existing permit for the running of any contract carriage in the State.
11. The relevant parts of S. 20 of the Acquisition Act, read:
(1) and (2) xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx
12. Sri Mandappa and Sri Ramesh, contended that in sub-section (3) of S. 20 of the Acquisition Act the term 'contract carriage' should have the same meaning as defined in S. 3 (g) and that according to such definition a public service vehicle in relation to which a special permit has been issue& under sub-see. (6) Of S. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act, also comes within the ambit of the term 'contract carriage', that hence, the term 'contract carriage' in sub-section 3) Of S. 20 would include such special permit also and that S. 20 (3) prohibits grant of a contract car- permit which includes a special permit after the commencement of that Act.
13. The above contention overlooks that S. 3 of the Acquisition Act Which contains definitions of expressions used in that Act, opens with the words 'unless the context otherwise requires'. In construing any provisions of the Act it is permissible to give to any expression used therein a meaning different from that contained in the definition in S. 3 of that Act, if the context otherwise requires. There is enough indication in that Act that the Legislature did not intend to acquire public service vehicles which were used as stage carriages when that Act came into force. Clause (g) of S. 3 itself states that the term 'contract carriage as defined therein does not include a vehicle operating as' a stage carriage in relation to which on 30-1-1976 a temporary contract carriage or a special permit issued under sub-section (6) of S. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act was in force. If a stage carriage in relation to which a special permit was in force on 30-1-1976 is not treated as a contract carriage and does not vest in the Government under the provisions of the Acquisition Act, can it be, said that the Legislature intended to carriage after that Act came into force? Moreover, in S. 3 (g) (i) of the Acquisition. Act, what is required to come within the ambit of the definition of the term 'contract carriage' is that a special permit should have been issued to a public service vehicle. By merely applying for a special permit, a public service vehicle which is otherwise not a contract carriage dose not come within extended meaning of the term 'contract carriage' in S.3 (g) (i). In our opinion the intention of the Legislature was that only a public service vehicle in relation to which a special permit had been issued when the Acquisition Act came into force, would not come within the definition of 'contract carriage' in S.3(g) and the prohibition contained in S.20 of that Act against grant of contract carriage permit cannot, in our opinion extend to grant of special permit under sub-section (6) of S.63 of Motor Vehicles Act. We do not see any good ground to dissent from the decision of the learned single judge.
14. In the result, this appeal fails and is dismissed.
15. In the circumstances of the case, we direct the parties to bear their own costs.
16. Appeal dismissed