1. This writ appeal is directed against the decisions of our learned brother Madhava Reddy, J., dated April 2, 1969, dismissing a writ petition No. 3287 of 1967.
2. That writ petition was filed by the appellant herein under Article 226 of the constitution of India, seeking the issuance of a writ of certiorari for quashing the order passed in proceedings G. O. Rt. No. 2470, Home (Transport II) Department, dated July 7, 1967 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the 1st respondent herein, confirming the order passed both by the Appellate Authority as well as by the Regional Transport Authority, granting a stage carriage permit to the fourth respondent herein.
3. The Regional Transport Authority, Chittoor, the 3rd respondent herein, invited applications for the grant of a stage carriage permit for the route Murukambat to Reddigunta viz., Chittoor. Of the several applicants applied, the Regional Transport Authority at its meeting held on October 11, 1965 granted the permit to the 4th respondent herein. Aggrieved by that decision, the appellant herein preferred an appeal to the Appellate Authority, Hyderabad, the 2nd respondent herein, and that appeal was dismissed n December 12, 1966. The revision, under Section 64(a) of the Motor Vehicles Act, preferred thereupon by the appellant herein before the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the first respondent herein, was also dismissed, and it is that decision that was sought to be quashed in the above writ petition filed by the appellant herein from out of which, this present appeal arises.
4. The Regional Transport Authority, Chittoor, the 3rd respondent herein, at its meeting held on 11-10-65 granted a stage carriage permit to the 4th respondent herein on the route in question, after giving the said respondent as well as the appellant herein, four marks for residential qualification on account of the fact that both of them happened to be the residents of Chittoor. It held further that none of the applicants, including the appellant and the 4th respondent herein, is liable to be screened and all of them were allotted marks according to their eligibility as per the marks list appended thereto. The 4th respondent was preferred for being granted because, according to the 3rd respondent, he has a ready bus 'Dodge' 1963 Model, the sale certificate of which was filed, and because he happened to be a mechanic having his own workshop. His experience in the transport filed since 1948 was also taken into account while preferring him for being the grantee.
5. On appeal taken before the appellate authority, the 2nd respondent herein, the grant of the permit by the 3rd respondent in favour of the 4th respondent was confirmed, and the appeal was dismissed. The appellate authority accepted the contention of the 4th respondent herein before them to the effect that the appellant herein should be screened and disqualified for not giving the workshop undertaking as he had no fullfledged workshop. The appellate authority held thus, in that connection:
'The claim of A-1 that he has a workshop is not supported by any record. The Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Chittoor has reported that he has no workshop. He has also not given workshop undertaking as required under Rule 212. Hence, he is screened and disqualified and his appeal is dismissed accordingly'.
6. Aggrieved by the aforesaid decision, the appellant herein took up the matter in revision before the Government, the 1st respondent herein. The 1st respondent noted the contentions advanced on behalf of the appellant herein before them to the effect that the Appellate Authority erred in rejecting his appeal on the ground that he had no workshop facilities and that he did not produce any workshop undertaking, that he produced a certificate dated October 7, 1965, given by the Deluxe Automobiles, Chittoor in this regard, and that if that certificate was not filed before the Regional Transport Authority the Regional Transport Authority would not have granted him any marks; and that that certificate might have been deliberately suppressed by some one interested in the respondent. The revising authority, the 1st respondent herein, repelling those contentions held thus:------------
'He had neither workshop nor workshop facilities. He did not file the workshop undertaking. His contention that be produced before the Regional Transport Authority an undertaking given by the Deluxe Automobiles to repair his vehicle, but it was suppressed by some one interested in the respondent, it not substantiated. As he had no workshop or workshop facilities and as he did not file the workshop undertaking, he is also liable to be screened and disqualified. Though the Regional Transport Authority did not screen and disqualify the above two petitioners, the Appellate Authority was correct in having disqualified them for the grant of the permit in question.'
So observing the 1st respondent dismissed the revision petition.
7. Seeking the quashing of the aforesaid decision, the appellant herein filed the above writ petition, and our learned brother Madhava Reddy, J., dismissed the same observing that the appellate authority was right in disqualifying the appellant herein and screening him from consideration, and that the revision authority also has come to the conclusion that he had no workshop of his own and that there is no material to hold that some one had suppressed the undertaking given by the Deluxe Automobiles said to have been produced before the Regional Transport Authority. The learned Judge held ultimately that the findings of the appellate authority and of the Government that the appellant herein was liable to be screened, are not vitiated.
8. Sri C. R. Krishna Reddy, the learned counsel appearing for the appellant raised the following contentions; (1) that the learned single Judge did not properly construe the provisions contained in Rule 212 of the Motor Vehicles Rules; (ii) that the 4th respondent herein was precluded from contending at the appellate stage that the appellant herein should be screened inasmuch as he has not fulfilled the conditions contained in Rule 212, Cl. (4); (iii) that the appellate authority erred in entertaining the objection in that direction, for the first time at the instance of the 4th respondent; and (iv) that the Transport Authorities erred in disposing of the matter without giving the appellant an opportunity of meeting the case put forth by the rival claimants at the appellate stage.
9. As the controversy centers around the interpretation of the Rule 212 of the Motor Vehicles Rules, we shall read it. The material portion of the said rule in so far as it is relevant is as follows:
'212 (1) (iii) (4):
The transport authorities shall in deciding whether to grant or refuse to grant a stage carriage permit, have regard to the following matters in addition to those specified in sub-section (1) of Section 47.
The applicants shall first be screened and those who are found to be unsuitable on one or more of the following principles shall be disqualified, reasons being given for the decision of the transport authority whenever an applicant is disqualified.
x x x x (4) If the applicant has no workshop facilities or other arrangements to attend to repairs efficiently: Provided that an applicant shall not be disqualified on this ground, if he gives an undertaking in writing to make the required arrangements before the date to be fixed by the Transport Authority and to furnish a cash security of Rs. 2,000/- by depositing into a Government Treasury, which would be forfeited in the event of his failure to make the acquired arrangements before the prescribed date.'
10. An applicant for the grant of a stage carriage permit as per the aforesaid rule is first liable to be screened and if found unsuitable, on one or more of the principles enumerated therein, is liable to be disqualified. The principles adumbrated therein require that such an applicant should have workshop facilities or other arrangements to attend to repairs efficiently. If he has no workshop facilities or other arrangements to attend to the repairs efficiently, he cannot be disqualified on that ground if he given an undertaking in writing to make the required arrangements before the date to be fixed by the Transport Authority and to furnish a cash security as contemplated by the proviso appended to the said rule. It is for the applicant to see that he is not screened and disqualified by conforming himself to the requirement of the aforesaid rule.
11. The Regional Transport Authority, in this case, found without referring to any facts or circumstances that the appellant herein is not liable to be screened and no reasons were assigned by the Authority in support of that finding. But the appellate authority came to the conclusion that the claim of the appellant that he has a workshop was not supported by any record and that he has also not given the workshop undertaking as required by Rule 212, and therefore, he was screened and disqualified.
12. That view of the appellate authority was upheld by the revisional authority, the 1st respondent herein, when they said that the appellant had neither workshop, nor workshop facilities and that he did not file the workshop undertaking, and also that his contention that he produced before the Regional Transport Authority, a certificate given by the Deluxe Automobiles to repair his vehicles, but it was suppressed by some one interested in the respondent is not substantiated, and as he has no workshop or workshop facilities and as he did not file the workshop undertaking, he is also liable to be screened and disqualified.
13. It is contended strenuously by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant herein, that neither the appellate authority, nor, for that matter, the revisional authority has any competency to set aside the finding given by the Regional Transport Authority to the effect that the appellant was not liable to be screened.
14. Rule 212 speaks of the transport authorities as being competent to screen and to disqualify the applicants for the grant of stage carriage permit under circumstances enumerated therein. Under Section 44 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, which deals with the subject-matter of transport authorities, the State Government was empowered to constitute for the State a State Transport Authority to exercise and discharge the powers and functions specified in sub-section (3) therein, and it is further empowered in like manner to constitute Regional Transport Authorities to exercise and discharge the powers and functions conferred by or under Chapter IV of the Act. Therefore, the concept of 'Transport Authorities' as referred to in Rule 212 comprehends within its ambit both the Regional Transport Authority as well as the appellate authority. The jurisdiction of the appellate authority, while disposing of an appeal from a decision of the Regional Transport Authority is co-extensive with the jurisdiction and authority of the Regional Transport Authority itself. When the Regional Transport Authority without considering the facts and circumstances of the case and without assigning any reasons whatsoever, as if the case here found that the appellant herein, is not liable to be screened, the appellate authority has got the competency and jurisdiction under the aforesaid rule to set aside that finding of the Regional Transport Authority and find that the appellant herein is liable to be screened and disqualified because of the fact that he was not in a position to comply with the requirement of Rule 212. In that view of the matter, we find that there is no substance in the contention of the learned counsel that the appellate authority has no power to set aside that decision of the Regional Transport Authority. But, the complaint of the appellant was that a certificate to the effect that the Deluxe Automobiles would undertake the repairs was suppressed and was not given any right by the authorities concerned, but the Transport Authority found, as a matter of fact that the appellant was not in a position to substantiate that contention.
15. Whether or not the applicant for the grant of a stage carriage permit has workshop facilities or other arrangements to attend to the repairs or whether he has given an undertaking in writing to make the required arrangements as contemplated by Rule 212 are all questions of fact and the findings recorded thereupon by the statutorily designated authorities like the appellate authority, the 2nd respondent herein, and the revisional authority, the 1st respondent herein, are not liable to be interfered with by the High Court in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred upon it by Article 226 of the constitution of India.
16. Our attention has been drawn by Sri G. Suryanarayana, the learned counsel appearing for the respondent to a decisions of the Supreme Court in Syed Yakoob v. Radhakrishnan, : 5SCR64 . That is a case where in dealing with the rival claims of two claimants for a stage carriage permit on certain routes, the Transport Authority and the appellate authority were mainly influenced by the fact that one of the applicants has a workshop at one terminus of the route there in question, whereas the other appellant has a workshop and building of his own at an intermediate station of the route and did not possess a workshop at either of the termini of the route, and hence, a permit was granted to the former applicant. When the jurisdiction of the High Court was invoked under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, at the instance of the other on the ground that the appellant tribunal failed to consider the material evidence adduced by him the Supreme Court held that the question whether the particular applicant has a workshop at a particular applicant has a workshop at a particular terminus is a pure question of fact and the High Court has no jurisdiction to interfere with the finding recorded by the appellate tribunal.
17. As we have already noticed, the only question that arises for consideration this appeal, is whether or not the appellant herein is liable to be screened and disqualified under Rule 212. It was found both by the appellate authority as well as by the revisional authority that the appellant herein did not have workshop nor he had workshop facilities and that he did not file an undertaking and as such he is liable to be screened and disqualified under Rule 212, and that finding was confirmed by our learned brother Madhava Reddy, J., while dismissing the with petition.
18. We are not persuaded to take a different view. It is a pure question of fact and the finding of fact recorded thereupon is not liable to be interfered with by the Court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India.
19. Under those circumstances, we affirm the decision of our learned brother confirming the decisions of the Revisional Authority and the appellate authority granting a stage carriage permit to the 4th respondent herein and dismiss the appeal with costs. Advocate's fee is Rs. 100/-.
20. Appeal dismissed.