Chinnappa Reddy, J.
1. The petitioner is a transport operator plying a stage carriage on the route Sidhout to Neolivedu of a distance of 80 miles and lying wholly within the Cuddapah District. The second respondent is another transport operator plying a stage carriage on the route Tallapula to Rayachoti via Valiveedu of a distance of 70 miles. a major portion of which is in Anantapur District and a small portion of the length of 18 miles in Cuddapah District. The two routes have a common sector between Galiveedu and Rayachoti in Cuddapah District. The Second respondent applied to the Regional Transport Authority Anantapur to vary his permit by allowing him to make a shuttle trip between Galiveedu and Rayachoti. The Regional Transport Authority, Anantapur varied the permit as requested at its meeting held on 24-12-1966. The petitioner came to know of the variation of the permit of the Second respondent when the second respondent started running a shuttle trip between Galiveedu and Rayachoti. Thereupon the petitioner applied to the Secretary. Regional Transport Authority for a certified copy of the order by which the second respondent's permit was varied. Her request for a copy of the order was rejected on the ground that she was not a party to the proceeding. She thereupon filed the present application for the issue of a Writ under Art. 226 of the Constitution to call for the records relating to the Variation of the second respondent's permit and to quash the order of variation.
2. The main submission made on behalf of the petitioner was that the Regional Transport Authority, Anantapur did not follow the procedure prescribed by Rule 209 (2) of the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules and that as a result of the failure of the Transport Authority to follow the prescribe procedure the petitioner was denied the opportunity of making her representation against the variation of the second respondent's permit. When the Writ Petition came up for hearing before a learned Single Judge (Obul Reddi, J.) the respondent raised a preliminary objection that the petitioner had no locus standi to maintain the writ petition as her permit was left untouched by the order varying the second respondent's permit. Our learned brother thought that two decisions of Division Benches of this Court which were cited before him were not consistent with a later decision of the Supreme Court in Laxmi Narain v. State Transport Authority. : 1SCR635 . He thought that the matter should be heard by a Division Bench of two judges. That is how the case has come before us.
3. Now, under Section 57(8) of the Motor Vehicles Act an application to very the conditions of a permit other than a temporary permit by the inclusion of a new route or routes or a new area or in the case of a stage carriage permit by increasing the number of service above the specified maximum, shall be treated as an application for the grant of a new permit. Section 57(3) prescribes that Regional Transport Authority shall publish in the prescribed manner an application for a stage carriage permit and shall invite representations to be submitted in connection with it. Section 45 provides that where an application is in respect of a route lying in more than one region the application should be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the major portion of the route lies. Section 63(1) in so far as it is relevant states. 'Except as may be otherwise prescribed, a permit granted by the Regional Transport Authority of any one region shall not be valid in any other region. unless the permit has been counter-signed by the Regional Transport Authority of that other region.' Section 63(1) opens with the words 'except as may be otherwise prescribed'. that is to say it contemplates exceptions being made by Rulers under the Act. Rule 209 provides the exception and says that subject to the provisions of Section 45, the Regional Transport Authority of one of region may grant a stage carriage permit to be valid in another region without obtaining the counter-signature of the Regional Transport Authority of the other region but before doing so, it must (1) obtain the concurrence of the Regional Transport Authority of the other region and (2) notify under Section 57(3) the whole of the route or areas in respect of which the application for the grant of a permit is made, by publishing the same on the notice board of the Regional Transport Authority of that other region and shall hear the applicant and any other person making representations. The rule is obviously intended to give persons of the other region and notice or the application so that they too might have an opportunity of making representations. The rule thus clothes among others operators plying stage carriage in he other region, with a statutory right to an opportunity to make representations. It is not disputed before us that Section 63(1) and Rule 209 apply to applications to very conditions of permit referred to in Section 57(8) of the Act as much as to applications for the grant of permits. In the present case the procedure prescribed by R. 209 was admittedly ;not followed and the petitioner who is an operator playing a stage carriage on a route lying entirely within Cuddapah District was denied the opportunity of making representations regarding the application of the second respondent for variation of the conditions of his permit by permitting him to run an extra shuttle service in Cuddapah District. The members of the public of Cuddapah District were also denied such an opportunity. The order of the Regional Transport Authority straightway varying the permit of the second respondent without notifying and publishing the application for variation of the permit of the second respondent of the notice board of the office of the Regional Transport Authority. Cuddapah as required by Rule 209 of the Motor Vehicles Rules is clearly illegal.
4. The respondents however submitted that the petitioner had no locus standi to maintain the Writ petition as no personal legal right of the petitioner was infringed. According to the submission made on behalf of the respondents the mere possibility of the profits of the petitioner being affected by varying the permit of the second respondent did not amount to the infraction of any right of the petitioner since no one had a right to any minimum profit. The permit and the conditions of the permit of the petitioner were left untouched and therefore it was said that the petitioner could not maintain the application for the issue of a maintain the application for the issue of a writ of certiorari. We may at once point out that there is a difference between a right to be heard by the Subordinate Tribunal and a right to remove an order passed by the subordinate Tribunal after a hearing. A person may have a right to a hearing. A person ,any have a right to heard by a subordinate Tribunal after he is heard and an order is made, it may turn out that he has no interest or right such as would clothe him with sufficient status to approach this court under Art. 226 of the Constitution. But where a person had the right to be heard by a Subordinate Tribunal and was not heard by the Tribunal, his legal right to be hear has been violated and he has certainly a right to move this court under Art. 226 of the Constitution to remove the order made without hearing him. The right to be heard conferred on him by statute cannot be taken away by the plea of want of sufficient interest. In fact the question of interest does not come into the picture at all until he is heard. Denial of the statutory right to be heard is itself sufficient to enable to person not hard to maintain an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution. Further proof of interest or other right is unnecessary. If the distinction between the right of a person to seek the assistance of the High Court under Art. 226 on the ground that he was denied the statutory right of being heard and the right of a person who has heard by the Subordinate Tribunal to seek the High Court's assistance on grounds other than a denial of the right to be heard is borne in mind, there will not be any difficulty in reconciling the two decisions of the Andhra Pradesh High Court with the decision of the Supreme Court. In the firs category of cases denial of the right to be heard is sufficient by itself. In the second category of cases further proof of other interest or right may be necessary.
5. The first of the cases on which the learned counsel for the respondents relied was P. Satyanarayana v. State of Andhra Pradesh, : AIR1959AP429 . The petitioner was one of ten operators plying stage carriage on the route Pamarru-Bantumalli in Krishna District. The Regional Transport authority. Krishna proposed several changes of timings of the stage carriage of other operators and notified the same on 20-2-1057. On 18-4-1957 the Regional Transport. Authority in the presence of all the operators passed orders adopting the proposed altered timings. A writ petition was filed questioning the notifications altering the timings of the buses. The petitioner was met with a preliminary objection that the writ petition was not maintainable as his permit and the conditions of his permit were not varied. The preliminary objection was upheld by a Division Bench consisting of Chandra Reddy. C. J., and Ansari, J., Ansari, J., stated as follows:------
'We therefore take it to be well settled that the writ of certiorari should be issued as of right only for such an applicant as has suffered an infraction of a personal right. Now in his reply the respondent who is the Secretary has pleaded that the permit held by the petitioner has not been varied and therefore he has no cause of complaint. The petitioner's bus is admittedly one out of the ten operating a Pamarru to Bantumalli route and timings for other buses would not form part of his permits. Therefore any changes of their timings or giving them further trips while the petitioner's permit remains the same would not amount to variation of his right. It follows that no right of his can be claimed to be infringed if any changes in permits held by others are made in the interests of public.'
It was not contended that the petitioner therein was denied any opportunity of being heard by the Regional Transport Authority. Her sought to remove the order of the Regional Transport Authority by certiorari after he was given a full opportunity of being heard by the Regional Transport Authority. The case therefore falls in the second category of cases mentioned by us.
6. The next case in which the learned counsel for the respondents placed reliance was the Executive Officer T.T. Devasthanams Tirupathi v. K. Ramachandra Naidu, : AIR1966AP112 . In that case the respondents filed petitions before the State Transport Authority for opening a new route Vijayawada to Tirupati and for the grant of two permit for plying stage carriages on the rout. The State Transport Authority after inviting representations from the public and other transport operators considered the representations received by it and granted the permits to the respondents. The petitioner also had preferred his objections but his objections were overruled by the State Transport Authority. The petitioner invited the jurisdiction of this court under Art. 226 of the Constitution questioning the grant of permits to the respondents on several grounds but not on any ground of denial of a right to be heard. A preliminary objection was raised that the petitioner had no locus standi to seek to have the order of the State Transport Authority quashed as no personal legal right of his was infringed. The preliminary objection was upheld by a Division Bench consisting of Chandra Reddy, C. J. and Kumarayya, J. Chandra Reddy, C. J. observed:-------
'The respondents could not be regarded as a person affected by the issue of a permit as it is not his case that the permit which he is holding has been cancelled or that his application for a permit was wrongfully rejected. It may be incidentally mentioned here that in the affidavit in support of the Writ petition it was recited that there was no illegality in the issue of the permits to the Tirumalai Tirupati Devasthanams and the Road Transport Corporation and that he had not applied for a permit. be that as it may be could not complain against the grant of permits on the ground that a legal right of his had been infringed. It is only a person who has suffered infraction of his personal legal right that can seek to remove the order of a Tribunal on certiorari. The circumstances that the order might indirectly affect him does not clothe him with a locus standi to seek to quash the order of a tribunal.'
The learned Chief Justice then referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Calcutta Gas Ltd. v. State of West Bengal. : AIR1962SC1044 and the earlier decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in : AIR1959AP429 (supra) and proceeded to state:----------
'On the principle enunciated in these rulings and on a consideration of the General Rules of law, it is difficult to postulate that the respondent has a personal legal right in this matter and by the issue of the permits to the present appellant that right has been violated. The grant of a permit to him to ply his bus on a particular route does not involve any guarantee of minimum profits. Our attention was not drawn to or to any general principle of law which recognizes a right in an operator to rule propriety of the grant of permits to others on the ground that his profits are likely to be reduced.'
In that case too there was no question of the denial of a statutory right to be heard. The petitioner sought to question the grant of permits on grounds other than the denial of a statutory right to be heard. The case clearly falls within the second category mentioned by us.
7. In : 1SCR635 no question of maintainability of an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution arose before their Lordships of the Supreme Court. In that case the State Transport Authority had rejected the revision petition of the appellant against a decision of the Regional Transport Authority limiting the number of stage carriages under Section 47(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act on the ground that the appellant was not a person aggrieved for the purpose of Section 64-A of the Motor Vehicles Act. The High Court rejected an application under Art. 226 of the Constitution confirming the view of the State Transport Authority that an existing operator could not be said to be a person aggrieved when a determination of the strength on a route under S. 47(3) was made and was therefore not competent to maintain a revision petition under Section 64-A of the Act. The appellant was thus denied a right to be heard in revision by the State Transport Authority. There was no question of the maintainability of the Writ Petition. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court held that whether an existing operator could be said to be aggrieved by an order under Section 47(3) increasing or decreasing the number of stage carriages would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. An order under Section 47(3) affected the future working on a route and would have repercussions on the working of existing operators whether for their good or not. In a particular case it might be to the advantage of an operator and in another case is might be to his prejudice in which case he could not be denied the right to approach the revisional Authority. The case of : 1SCR635 (supra) thus falls within the first category mentioned by us namely where a Subordinate Tribunal. denied to a party a statutory right to be heard.
8. We are therefore unable to hold that there is any inconsistency between the two decisions of the Andhra Pradesh High court and the decision of the Supreme Court in : 1SCR635 (supra). We would however like to add that we must not be understood as having expressed our agreement with the view taken in the two decisions of the Andhra Pradesh High Court that an existing operator cannot be considered to be a person entitled to maintain a Writ petition merely because his permit and the conditions of his permit and the conditions of his per permit are not touched.
9. In the light of the above discussion we hold that the order of the Regional Transport Authority Anantapur dated 24-12-1966 varying the permit of the second respondent by allowing a shuttle service was in contravention of the procedure prescribed by Rule 209 of the Motor Vehicles Rules and therefore illegal. The order is accordingly quashed.
10. Before parting the with the case we may mention that after we reserved judgment the second respondent filed an additional counter affidavit all going that the petitioner had ceased to have any interest in the Writ Petition as she had sold away her permit. We did not take any notice of this affidavit on account of its belated nature and as the petitioner had no opportunity of meeting the allegations made in it.
11. There will be no order as to costs.
12. Order accordingly.