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G.B. Ramesh and anr. Vs. State of Karnataka and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. Nos. 831 and 913 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1985Kant237; ILR1985KAR2096; 1985(2)KarLJ241
ActsKarnataka Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Ordinance, 1976 - Sections 3(9), 4, 20 and 30; Karnataka Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Act, 1976 - Sections 3(1) and 31; Motor Vehicles Act - Sections 63(6)
AppellantG.B. Ramesh and anr.
RespondentState of Karnataka and ors.
Appellant AdvocateM. Rangaswamy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN. Santhosh Hegde, Adv. General and ;B.M. Chandrasekharaiah, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....by making a false claim that he belongs to bcm b category and got elected as a member of the first respondent-gram panchayat from ward no.1 which was reserved for bcm b category. further, the petition filed for issue of writ of quo warranto against the second respondent is not barred by article 243-zg of the constitution of india.a writ of quo warranto was issued. - 2(o) makes it clear that the words and expression used herein and not defined but defined in the motor vehicles act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that act'.11. if the vehicles in question are 'contract carriages' and the petitioners are 'contract carriage operators- as defined under the act, the petitions have to fail. the intention of the legislature has been clearly and explicitly expressed..........2. the petitioner in w. p. 831/76 was the owner of a motor vehicle mys 7606, registered as a stage carriage on 14-1-1976. he applied for a stage carriage permit for the route davanagere to b. r. project before the appropriate authority. he was not operating a stage carriage as timings had not been assigned. he was however operating the vehicle on special permit obtained under sec. 63(6) of the motor vehicles act for the period 14-1-1976 and 29-1-1976.3. the first petitioner who is the son of the second petitioner in w. p. 913/76 was the owner of a motor vehicle myg 7282 registered as a stage carriage on 5-11-1975. he had not obtained a stage carriage permit but was operating the vehicle on special permits obtained under sec. 63(6) of the motor vehicles act for the period 19-1-1976.....
Judgment:

Mahendra, J.

1. These cases have been referred by learned single Judge and are posted before us for hearing.

2. The petitioner in W. P. 831/76 was the owner of a motor vehicle MYS 7606, registered as a stage carriage on 14-1-1976. He applied for a stage carriage permit for the route Davanagere to B. R. Project before the appropriate authority. He was not operating a stage carriage as timings had not been assigned. He was however operating the vehicle on special permit obtained under Sec. 63(6) of the Motor Vehicles Act for the period 14-1-1976 and 29-1-1976.

3. The first petitioner who is the son of the second petitioner in W. P. 913/76 was the owner of a motor vehicle MYG 7282 registered as a stage carriage on 5-11-1975. He had not obtained a stage carriage permit but was operating the vehicle on special permits obtained under Sec. 63(6) of the Motor Vehicles Act for the period 19-1-1976 and 31-1-1976.

4. On the promulgation of the Karnataka Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Ordinance on January 30, 1976 pursuant to notification issued under See. 4 of the Ordinance, almost all the contract carriages vested in the State, which were in turn transferred to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation under Sec. 20 (l) of the Ordinance. These two vehicles in question were also included in the said notifications and transferred to the Corporation. The officers of the Corporation took possession of all the vehicles - including the two vehicles in question, and the relative permits except 6 vehicles which were operating under inter-State permits. This Ordinance, with some changes, was replaced by the Karnataka Contract Carriages (Acquisition) Act, 1976 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') which received the assent of the President on 11-3-1976 and published in the Gazette dated 12-3 1976. The Act is given retrospective effect from the day the Ordinance was promulgated and came into force from 30-1-1976.

5. The Ordinance was repealed by Sec. 31 of the Act and the savings Clause in sub-sec (2) directs that notwithstanding such repeal anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of the Act. The resulting position therefore is whatever was done or whatever action was taken, under the Ordinance, on and from 30-1-1976 was deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of the Act.

6. The petitioners in these writ petitions have prayed for a direction to the State of Karnataka, the Deputy Commissioner and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation not to enforce the provisions of the Act to these vehicles and to release the vehicles to them and pay them damages at the rate of Rs. 200/- per day till the vehicles are delivered to them.

7. These two vehicles, it was argued by Sri Rangaswamy learned Counsel for the petitioners, are stage carriages and are not 'contract carriages' and that the petitioners are not 'contract carriage operators' and therefore the provisions of the Act are not attracted. In other words, his submission was that the Act only contemplates acquisition of 'contract carriages' from 'contract carriage operators' and not stage carriages and therefore the action taken by the authorities under Sec. 4 (l) and further transferring them to the Corporation under Sec. 20 is unauthorised and without competence.

8. The learned Advocate General maintained that these two vehicles come within the meaning of the term 'contract carriages' and the petitioners are 'contract carriage operators' as defined in the Act and the provisions of the Act are therefore attracted.

9. A large number of contract carriages were being operated in the State to the detriment of public interest and were functioning as stage carriages. To prevent such misuse, nationalisation of contract transport service was brought about by the Act.

10. A 'Contract Carriage' as defined under Sec. 3(g) of the Act shall have the same meaning as in Cl. (3) of Sec. 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 Section 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act;

(ii) a public service vehicle in relation to which a temporary permit has been issued under sub-section (1) of Section 62 or subsection (1C) of Section 68 of the Motor Vehicles Act;

(iii) a public service vehicle without a contract carriage permit but which is specified as contract carriage in the concerned certificate of registration;

(iv) any immovable property ancillary or incidental to the maintenance and control of the aforesaid vehicles; and

(v) any right in or over such vehicles or moveable property, but does not include: -

(i) a tourist vehicle in relation to which a permit has been issued under sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act;

(ii) a vehicle operating as a stage carriage in relation to which on the 30th day of January, 1976 a temporary contract carriage permit or a special carriage permit issued under subsection (1) of Section 62 or sub-section (6) of Section 63 respectively of the Motor Vehicles Act, is in force;

(iii) a motor cab.

A 'Contract carriage operator' as defined in S. 3(1) means 'an operator holding one or more contract carriage permits and includes any person in whose name a public service vehicle is registered and is specified as a contract carriage in the Certificate of Registration of that vehicle;

An 'Operator' as defined in S. 3(1) means a Contract carriage operator'.

A 'permit' as defined in S. 3 (m) means 'permit granted under the Motor Vehicles Act authorising the use of the vehicle as a contract carriage' and S. 2(o) makes it clear that the words and expression used herein and not defined but defined in the Motor Vehicles Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Act'.

11. If the vehicles in question are 'Contract Carriages' and the petitioners are 'Contract Carriage Operators- as defined under the Act, the petitions have to fail.

It was argued by Sri Rangaswamy that a special permit issued under S. 63(b) is different from 'Contract Carriage Permit' issued under Sec. 51 of the Motor Vehicles Act and as the petitioners were not operating the vehicles under Contract Carriage Permits the vehicles were not Contract Carriages and therefore the provisions of the Act are not attracted. In support of this submission he relied on S. R. M.S. Tourist Service Company v. Secretary R. T. A., (1975) 1 Kant. LJ 395: (AIR 1975 Kant 166). D. P. Sharma v. Secretary R. T. A., Bangalore : AIR1977Kant1 ; K. N. Sree Kantaiah V. Dy. Transport Commr. (1979) 2 Kant LJ 292 : (AIR 1979 NOC 134). It has been laid down in these decisions that a 'special permit' issued under S. 63 (6) of the Motor Vehicles Act read with Rule 127 is not the same but is different from a 'Contract Carriage Permit' issued under S. St. This view taken in D. P. Sharma's case is also affirmed on an appeal in Secretary R. T. A. v. D. P. Sharma : AIR1980Kant180 . Sri Rangaswamy is therefore right in contending that a special permit issued under S. 63(6) is different from and is not the same as a Contract Carriage Permit issued under S. 51 of the Motor Vehicles Act. But we have next to consider whether these vehicles which were not covered by 'Contract Carriage Permits' but only by 'Special Permits' are not 'Contract Carriage' and therefore, the provisions of the Act are not attracted.

12. It is seen from the definition of 'Contract Carriage' in the Act that a vehicle which was public service vehicle in relation to which special permit had been issued under sub-section (6) of Sec. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act is a 'Contract Carriage'. 'Contract Carriage' does not include a vehicle operating as a Stage Carriage to which on 30-1-1976 a temporary permit issued under sub-section (1) of Sec. 62 or a special permit issued under sub-see. (6) of Sec. 63 of the Motor Vehicles Act is in force. The expression 'Public Service Vehicle' is not defined in the Act and therefore this expression has to be assigned the same meaning as assigned in the Motor Vehicles Act. The expression 'Public Service Vehicle' under sub-sec. (25) of Sec. 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act 'means any motor vehicle used or adapted to be used for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, and includes a Motor Cab, Contract Carriage and Stage Carriage.'

13. A stage carriage and a contract carriage are both included within the meaning of the expression public service vehicle. As observed in Chandrashekar's case the Legislature did not intend to acquire all 'public service vehicles' when the Act came into force. The Legislature did not include a vehicle operating as a stage carriage in relation to which on the day the Act came into force a temporary contract carriage permit or special permit issued under S. 62 (1) or S. 63(6) respectively of the Motor Vehicles Act was in force. The use of the word 'operating' is significant and full meaning shall be given to the same. There is no justification to impute redundancy. The intention of the legislature has been clearly and explicitly expressed to the effect that it is only if the vehicle was operating as stage carriage that it cannot be regarded as a 'contract carriage' for the purposes of the Act.

14. The vehicles in question were registered as stage carriages but they were admittedly not vehicles operating as stage carriages but were stage carriages in relation to which special permits issued under S. 63(6) were in force as on 30th day of January 1976. Merely because there was in force on 30-1-1976 a special permit issued under Sec. 63(6) in respect of a stage carriage vehicle, it does not get excluded from the meaning of the expression 'contract carriage' unless it was also a vehicle operating as a stage carriage. As observed in Chandrashekhar's case 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 does not come within the 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 and which was not operating as a stage carriage should be acquired. The vehicles in question though registered as stage carriages and special permits in respect of these vehicles issued under S. 63(6) were in force on 30-1-1976 these vehicles not being vehicles operating as stage carriages are included within the extended meaning of the expression 'contract carriage' in S. 3(g)(i).

15. The petitioners, it was argued, are not 'Contract Carriage Operators' and therefore the provisions of S. 4 are not attracted. In other words the submission was that it is only from a Contract Carriage Operator the vehicle could be acquired and not from the petitioners who are not 'Contract Carriage Operators'.

16. The expression 'Contract Carriage' for the purpose of this Act has been given an extended meaning by sub-section (g)(i) of Sec. 3. The expression 'Contract Carriage' has therefore to be understood with reference to the meaning assigned to the said expression in this Act and not in the Motor Vehicles Act, as rightly contended by the Learned Advocate General. The petitioners had, the permits granted under the Motor Vehicles Act authorising the use of the vehicles in question as a 'Contract Carriage' as is defined in the Act. The petitioners therefore come within the meaning of the expression 'Contract Carriage Operators'.

17. We have therefore no hesitation in holding that the vehicles in question come within the meaning of the expression 'Contract Carriage' in S. 3(g)(i) and the petitioners come within the meaning of the expression 'Contract Carriage Operators' as defined in S. 3(1) of the Act. Hence their acquisition is legal and valid.

18. The Writ Petitions are devoid of merit and are therefore liable to be dismissed.

Rule is therefore discharged and the writ petitions are dismissed there being no order as to costs.

We are satisfied that no substantial question of law of general importance which needs to be decided by the Supreme Court arises for consideration in these cases. Hence, leave to appeal to Supreme Court prayed for is refused.

19. Petitions dismissed.


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