1. This is an appeal from the iudgment of our learned brother Obul Reddi, J. given in W. P 5413 of 1971 on 27-3-1973 whereby the learned Judge dismissed the writ petition.
2. The facts lie in a narrow compass and are not at all in dispute.
3. The petitioner K. Venkatareddy, filed an application under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Government incorporated in G. O. Rt. 2772 dated 25-9-1971. The facts leading to that writ petition are that the petitioner is a transport operator in Cuddapah District. Pursuant to the notification of the 1st respondent calling for applications for the Rrant of a staffe carriage permit on the route Duvvur to Proddatur, the petitioner. 4th respondent and several others filed applications. The petitioner was applicant No. 8 and the 4th respondent was applicant No. 29 before the 1st respondent.
4. On 30-4-1970 the 1st respondent rejected the qualifications of the petitioner and granted permit to the 4th respondent.
5. On appeals fifed by the petitioner and others the 2nd respondent bv his order dated 26-3-1971 on the same view dismissed the appeal of the petitioner on the sole ground that he is a lorry owner and that he cannot be preferred for the route in question which is a short distance one.
6. A revision was carried to the Government. The Government bv G. O. Rt. No. 2772 dismissed the revision petition.
7. The learned Judge, before whom the writ petition came for hearing.noticed the Supreme Court decision reported in S. Chinna Narasa Reddy v. D Jagadeeswara Rao, : AIR1972SC1536 . It decided that a new entrant means a new entrant to the stage carriage business and not the motor transport business. It was in view of this latest decision of the Supreme Court that it was submitted that the petitioner should have been preferred. The learned Judge, however, reiected this contention on the ground that it was nearly three years since the Regional Transport Authority granted the permit to the 4th Respondent at a meeting held on 30-4-1970. This order was confirmed by the appellate as well as the revisional authorities. The learned Judge felt that if he were to reverse the order of the Government, it would lead to confusion for, in a number of cases, the Government and the lower authorities, reiving upon the decision of the Bench of this Court which was set aside by the Supreme Court, did not consider the public carrier permit holders as new entrants. If he were to set aside the order of the Government, it would have far-reaching consequences which he was not inclined to do. It is because of this that the writ petition was dismissed.
8. It would not be doubted before Us that the view taken by the Bench to which the learned Judge was a partv was not approved by the Supreme Court. In fact the view was reversed. We fail to see, in the circumstances, how the rejected view of law could be allowed to occupy the field. The decision of the Supreme Court was binding upon the Court under Article 141 of the Constitution and ought to have been followed particularly when the case is being decided after the Supreme Court laid down the law. Whatever may have been the position at the time when the lower tribunals decided the case: but when the matter was before the learned Judee. the position of law had become clear. The law on which the tribunals had based their Judgments was declared to be bad. The effect of the Supreme Court decision was that the law laid down by the Supreme Court would be deemed to have been the law throughout, even on the day when the tribunals passed their orders. The result, therefore, was that the orders of the tribunals were inconsistent with the law.
9. Our legal system consists in applying to new cases those rules of law which we derive from legal principles and judicial precedents and for the sake of attaining uniformity, consistency and continuity, we must apply those rules to all cases which arise and we are not at liberty to reiect them, and to abandon allanalogy to them, in those to which they have not vet been judicially applied because we think that the rules are not as convenient and reasonable as we ourselves had evolved or could have devised. It appears to us to be of great importance to keep this principle of decisions steadily in view, not merely for the determination of the particular case but for the interests of law as science.
10. We fail to see how if the Supreme Court decision had been followed confusion could have arisen. It may be that several cases were decided on an erroneous view of law; but when the Supreme Court as laid down the law. it was binding on all and ought to have been respectfully followed instead of clinging on to the erroneous view which was rejected by the Supreme Court.
11. This position of law could not be doubted by the learned advocate for the respondents herein.
12. The result of the foregoing is that the Government will have to now keep in view the Supreme Court decision and decide the revision in accordance with it. It is not possible for this Court to evaluate the merits and demerits of the parties applying the rule laid down bv the Supreme Court and grant or refuse to grant preference and permit. It is the function of the transport authorities and since the Government happens to be the final authority we think the ends of ius-tice will be met if we remit the case to the Government with a direction that it should bear in mind the decision of the Supreme Court and decide the case in accordance with the view expressed in the Supreme Court decision.
13. For the abovesaid reasons, we would allow the appeal, set aside the judgment of the learned Judge and allow the writ petition with the abovesaid directions to the Government. The appellant will get his costs. Costs one set against respondent No. 4 Advocate's fee Rs. 100/- in each Court. W. P. No. 1290 of 1972 :
This writ petition is admittedly governed by the abovesaid decision. The writ petition is accordingly allowed, the impugned order is quashed and the Government is directed to decide the case afresh keeping in view the Supreme Court decision. The petitioner will get his costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.