(1) This is an appeal against the order of our learned brother Bhimasankaram J., dismissing the application filed by the appellant to quash the order of the Government of Andhra refusing to interfere with the order of the Secretary, Cental Road Traffic Board, Andhra State, made in an appeal against the order of the Regional Transport Authority, Krishna, suspending the permit for a period of 15 days.
(2) The facts asre: The petitioner is the owner of a stage carriage MDK. 921 now re-registered as ADK. 205 with a permit to ply on the route Bandar to Gudiwada. One of the conditions of the permit was that the stage carriage shall be used only on the route or area on which the permit is issued. Admittedly on 3-2-1954 the stage carriage was used for an unauthorised trip on the Bandar -- Manginapudi road, Purporting to act under S. 60(1)(a) of Act IV of 1939 the Regional Transport Authroity suspended the permit for a period of 15 days. That order was confirmed on appeal by the Central Road Transffic Board and on revision from that appellate order by the Government.
(3) The appellant filed an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing that order on the ground that the Regional Transport Authority has no power to suspend the permit under S. 60(1) in the circumstances of the case, but should have only prosecuted the appellant under S. 123. The argument was rejected by Bhimasankaram J.
(4) The relevant provisions read:
'The Transport Authority which granted a permit may cnacel the permit or may suspend it for such a period as it thinks fit (a) on the breach of any condition specified in sub-section (3) of Sec. 59 or of any condition in the permit.' Section 123 (1):
'Whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be used or lets out a motor vehicle for use in contravention of the provisions of sub-sec. (1) of Section 42, shall be punishable for a first offence with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees and for a subsequent offence if committed within three years of the commission of a previous similar offence, with a fine which shall not be less than one hundred rupees and may extend to one thousand rupees.' Section 42: 'No owner of a transport vehicle shall use or permit the use of the vehicle in any public place, save in accordance with the conditions of a permit granted or counter-signed by a Regional or Provincial Transport Authority authorising the use of the vehicle in that place in the manner in which the vehicle is being used.'
(5) It will be seen from the aforesaid provisions that, if the conditions of the permit are contravened the owner of the vehile can either be prosecuted under S. 123 or his licence may be suspended under S. 60. Section 60 is conceived to enforce effective and strict administrative control, whereas S. 123 is intended to prosecute the owner or any other person using the motor vehicle in contravention of the rules for the offence. There is no conflict between departmental action and criminal prosecution. It is open to the authorities concerned, instead of taking departmental action to resort to Criminal Court.
(6) It is then contended that there is no breach of the condition of the permit and therefore the provision of s. 600(1) are not attracted. This argument, if we may say so, is in the teeth of the conditions extracted above. When the condition says that the carriage shall be used only on the route or area on which the permit is issued, it cannot be said that the user of the carriage on a different route or area is not a breach of the condition. The word 'only' clearly implies that he is prohibited from using that carriage on the route or area other than that in regard to which the permit is given. As there is a clear breach of the conditioin, we agree with Bhimasankaram J., that one authority concerned can suspend the permit under S. 60(1) of the Act.
(7) In the result the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.
(8) Appeal dismissed.