K. A. Swami, J.
1.In this petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petitioner has sought for quashing the order dated 10-4-1985 passed by the respondent in No. RTA PR. SP. 404-467/85-86, produced as Annexure-E. By the said order, the respondent has rejected the applications filed by the petitioner for grant of special permits under Section 63(6) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'), read with Rule 127 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules (for short, the 'Rules').
2. At the outset, an objection is raised by Sri Abdul Khader, Learned Government Pleader, that theperiods for which the special permits were sought have already expired; therefore the petition has becomein fructuous, hence the contentions raised in the petition need not be considered.
3. No doubt, the periods for which the applications are filed for grant of special permits have already expired. If that is all that can be said in the matter, there is no necessity to consider this Writ Petition on merits. But the respondent has rejected the application not on merits, but on the ground that he is legally incompetent to grant special permits sought for by the petitioner. Such a view affects the very exercise of jurisdiction by the respondent, even in future as it is likely that he may continue to maintain the same view, therefore it is necessary to consider the petition on merits, even though the petitioner may not be entitled to have a direction issued to the respondent to grant the applications which have been rejected by the impugned order;never the-less, the order will make the legal position clear for exercise of jurisdiction in future by the respondent.
4. On an earlier occasion, in S. Narayana Bhatta v. R.T.A., Bangalore, Writ Petition No. 5202/84 decided on 21st March, 1984, this Court has held that under sub-section (6) of Section 63 of the Act, read with Rule 127 of the Rules, if a stage carriage vehicle is ordinarily kept within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. to whom an application for grant of special permit is made, it is that R.T.A. which has the jurisdiction to consider. In the instant case, the vehicles in respect of which the petitioner has sought for grant of special permits are not only registered in the State of Karnataka, but are alsogaraged within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. Bangalore, as claimed by the petitioner. That the vehicles are kept within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. has not been found to be incorrect nor the R.T.A. has made any attempts to verify the said fact. If the Secretary, R.T.A. doubted the fact that the vehicles in respect of which the special permits are sought are not normally stationed within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. Bangalore, it was open to it either to direct the applicant to produce the vehicles or to have it verified as to whether the vehicles in respect of which the special permits are sought are normally stationed within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. Bangalore. Without verifying the said fact and without even rejecting the claim made by the petitioner in that regard, the R.T.A. has rejected the applications. No doubt, the respondent has stated in the order that it is not possible to believe that a owner of the vehicle will be plying the vehicle empty from Bangalore to Madras, only for the purpose of conveyance of passengers from Madras and onwards and bring back the vehicle from Madras to Bangalore empty. But, there was no material whatsoever before the respondent to doubt that aspect. The facts that are required to be proved by the applicant for grant of a special permit are: (1) the vehicle in respect of which the special permit is sought is normally kept within the jurisdiction of the R.T.A. (2) there is a contract entered into by the owner of the vehicle for carrying special passengers from particular place to a particular place. If these aspects are proved, there is no reason to doubt the bona fides of the applicant. Under such circumstances, there will not be a justification to refuse the application.
5. The respondent has relied upon a decision of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in G. Shaik Shavilli & Ors -v.- Secretary. R.T.A. Ananthapur, : AIR1982AP296 for the purpose of holding that he is not legally competent to grant such a permit because, it is stated by him, that he is not charged by the Act to look after the travelling needs of the public living outside the Region. It is not known from the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, as to whether there is a Rule similar to Rule 127 of the Rules, in force in Andhra Pradesh. The respondent herein was also a party to the decision of this Court in W.P.5202/84 decided on 21-3-1984. Inspite of that, he has under an erroneous understanding of law and on the aforesaid decision of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, has rejected the applications of the petitioner on the ground that he is not legally competent. As it is already pointed out, the aforesaid two facts are the jurisdictional facts and when once they are established, normally there will not be any justification to deny the grant of special permit.
6. It is further contended on behalf of the Respondent that the order in question is appealable under Section 64(1) (a) of the Act; therefore, the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution need not be exercised. The authority has rejected the applications on the ground that it is not competent to grant the special permits on the interpretation placed by it on Section 63(6) of the Act; and also in view of the fact that the period for which the special permits are sought itself has expired, no purpose is served by directing the petitioner to approach the appellate authority, because it is necessary that the wrong view pertaining to jurisdiction entertained by the authority which is required to exercise the jurisdiction every day in relation to applications filed for grant of special permits, must be corrected immediately. Hence, I am of the view that having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, it is not just and appropriate and expedient to direct the petitioner to avail the remedy of appeal.
7. For the reasons stated above, the Writ Petition is allowed. The order dated 10-4-1985 passed by theRespondent in No. R.T.A. PR. SP. 404-407/85-86 produced as Annexure-E, is hereby quashed. The Respondent is directed to consider the applications filed hereafter for grant of special permits in accordance with law and subject to the observations made in this order.