1. On 7-2-1984, Sri S.Udayashankar was directed to take notice on behalf of the 1st respondent.
Accordingly, the learned H. C. G. P. took notice on behalf of the 1st respondent and put in his appearance after obtaining the records and necessary instructions.
2. The petitioner is an existing stage carriage operator on the route K. G. F. to Masti. He has filed an application for variation of the conditions of the permit by extending the route from, Masti to Bangalore and curtailment of one round trip from K. G. F. to Masti. The application of the petitioner was published in the Karnataka Gazette on, 4 -7-1984 (1983?). It was also listed for consideration before the first respondent on 3-12-1983 and thereafter, the consideration of it came to be postponed to 3-2-83 (1984?).
3. The 2nd respondent has also filed an application for grant of stage carriage permit from Kanamanapalli to Bangalore via K. G. F., Bangarpet and Masti.
4. Thus the route in respect of which, the 2nd respondent has sought for rant of a stage carriage permit is almost, identical with the route which the petitioner would be having if the variation sought for, is granted. The distance between Kannamanapalli and K. G. F.is stated to be of 36 K.Ms. It is established and it is also not in dispute that the permit sought for by the 2nd respondent relates substantially to the same route in respect of which the petitioner has sought for variation of the condition of the permit.
5. The application of the 2nd respondent was published ' in the Karnataka Gazette, on 16-6-1983. Thereafter, it was again published in the English Gazette dt.12-1-1984. Thus, the period for filing the objections is also over.
6. It is the contention of the 2nd respondent, which has found favour with the 1st respondent that since his application related substantially to the same route, it should be considered along with the application for extension of the route, filed by the petitioner.
7. On the basis of the instructions and the records obtained, Sri S. Udayashankar, learned H. C. G. P. submits that though the application of the 2nd respondent has been notified, but it is not ripe for consideration because the necessary reports have not yet been obtained.
8. The application of the 2nd respondent was first published on 16-6-83. It is really surprising that nearly for 9 months the 1st respondent has not obtained the necessary reports. In addition to this it is also submitted by Sri P. R. Srirangaiah learned Counsel for the petitioner that the petitioner himself has made another application for grant of a stage carriage permit from Bangalore to Kannamanapalli and also Kannamanapalli to Bangalore with two buses operating in the opposite directions.
9. Thus the 2nd application of the petitioner also relates to the same route. This application it is stated has also been published in the Gazette and the period for filing the objections is also over. Thus it so happens that there are three applications in respect of the same or substantially the same route.
10. Following an earlier decision of a Division Bench in W. P. S. 1200,1215and 1216 of 1960. dt. 10-11-1961 this Court in the case of K.S.R.T.C. v. K.S.R.T.A. reported in : AIR1984Kant4 has held that the applications relating to the same route or substantially the same route as are ripe for consideration shall have to be clubbed considered and disposed of together. However it is the contention of Sri P. R. Srirangaiah learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Government Pleader that the application of' the 2nd respondent is not ripe for hearing therefore it cannot be taken up for consideration along with the application of the petitioner filed for variation, of conditions of the permit. It is not possible to accept this contention. The application of the 2nd respondent cannot be held to be not ripe for consideration inasmuch as it has been published in the Gazette long back, the time for filing the objections has also expired Nereid because the first respondent has failed to obtain the necessary reports even though nearly 9 months have elapsed from the date the application of the 2nd respondent was published first. on .16-6-83. When once the application is published the time for filing the objections is also over: the application must be deemed to be ripe for consideration. Necessary reports are required to be obtained by the granting authority. It is expected of the granting authority t o obtain the required reports without undue delay. Because of the delay in obtaining the necessary reports for which the applicant cannot be held to be responsible he cannot be made to suffer Consideration of only one of the applications keeping aside the other applications filed for the same route or substantially the same route will definitely adversely affect the interest of the there applicants whose applications are kept out of consideration. Such a course is opposed to the principles of natural justice, as the other applicants will be deprived of an opportunity to put forth their say in the matter. Therefore the first respondent is right in deferring the consideration of the application filed by petitioner for extension of the route in order to consider the same along with the application filed by the 2nd respondent for grant of a stage carriage permit on the route Kannamanapalli to Banglore. But the first respondent ought not to have deferred the matter indefinitely and ought to have fixed a date for consideration of the applications together In addition to this. it is also now stated and the same is not disputed that the petitioner himself has filed another application for grant of a stage carriage permit from Bangalore to Kanamanapalli and also Kannamanapalli to Bangalore with two buses operating in the opposite directions. This application also has been published and the time for filing objections is also over. Therefore, the first respondent has to consider this application also along with the other two applications. Having regard to the fact that the first respondent has failed to obtain the necessary reports even though considerable time is elapsed it is necessary reports fore obtained) (Sic) within a fortnight from today and consider all the applications, together on any day before the end of this month. Such a direction is necessary in the interest of justice. Sri S. Udayashankar learned H. C. G. P. also submit that it is possible for the first respondent to obtain the reports within it fortnight and consider all the applications together on any day before the end of March. 1984.
11. For the reasons stated above, this writ petition is allowed. A direction in the nature of mandamus shall issue to the first respondent to consider the two applications filed by the petitioner one for grant of variation of the conditions of the permit held by him in respect of the route from K. G. F. to Masti, by extending the route from Masti to Bangalore and curtailment of one round trip from KGF to Masti and another, for grant of a stage carriage permit from Bangalore to Kanamanapalli and Kanamanapalli to Bangalore with two buses operating in the opposite directions along, with the application filed by the 2nd respondent for grant of a stage carriage permit from Kanamanapalli to B'lore; on or before the 27th Mar. 1984. The first respondent shall also obtain the necessary reports in respect of the routes in question before that date.
12. Let a copy of this order be communicated to the first respondent, within a week from today.
13. Sri S. Udayashankar, learned High Court Govt. Pleader, is permitted to file his memo of appearance on behalf of the respondents, in six weeks.
14. Petition allowed.