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G. Raghavareddi Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh Home (Transport 11) Department and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 215 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1970AP217
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969 - Rule 212(1)
AppellantG. Raghavareddi
RespondentGovernment of Andhra Pradesh Home (Transport 11) Department and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK. Amareswari and ;P. Rajagopalachari, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Pleader and ;P. Babul Reddy, Adv.
Excerpt:
- - that order was taken up in appeal to appellate authority by four of the unsuccessful applicants among whom was the appellant......of the motor vehicles rules, narasimham, j. dismissed the writ petition on the ground that 'the place of business in the context must be understood as the place of bus business which, in its very nature, depended on the petitioner having a valid permit on the date to ruin a bus or buses'. according to the learned judge, the material date for considering whether the appellant had a place of business or not is the date on which the regional transport authority took up the applications for consideration and on that date i.e. 2-11-1964, the appellant did not have any permits and, therefore, it cannot be said that he had a place of business at venkatagiri, although he might have run buses previous to the date when regional transport authority took up the applications for consideration. 3......
Judgment:

Obul Reddi, J.

1. The question involved in this writ appeal is whether the appellant was having a place of business at Venkatagiri one of the termino of the route applied for.

2. The facts necessary for determination of this question are these; In June 1964, the appellant was one of the applicants for stage carriage permit on the route Balireddipalem to Venkatagiri in Nellore district. The Regional Transport Authority, Nellore at its meeting held on 2-11-1964, after considering the applications of all the applicants before it, granted a stage-carriage permit to Badri Rajaiah the 4th respondent herein. That order was taken up in appeal to appellate authority by four of the unsuccessful applicants among whom was the appellant. The appellate authority, in its proceedings A No. 287/A1/64, dated 7-4-1966, set aside the order of the Regional Transport Authority and granted the permit to the appellant herein. It is against that order that the matter was carried in revision to the Government and the Government set aside the order of the appellate authority and granted the permit to Bhadri Rajaiah the 4th respondent herein, restoring the order of the Regional Transport Authority. It is against this order passed by the Government in revision that the appellant filed the writ petition on the ground that the Government misconstrued the scope of Rule 212 (1) (iv) (a) of the Motor Vehicles Rules, Narasimham, J. dismissed the writ petition on the ground that 'the place of business in the context must be understood as the place of bus business which, in its very nature, depended on the petitioner having a valid permit on the date to ruin a bus or buses'. According to the learned Judge, the material date for considering whether the appellant had a place of business or not is the date on which the Regional Transport Authority took up the applications for consideration and on that date i.e. 2-11-1964, the appellant did not have any permits and, therefore, it cannot be said that he had a place of business at Venkatagiri, although he might have run buses previous to the date when Regional Transport Authority took up the applications for consideration.

3. Srimathi Amareswari, the learned counsel appearing for the appellant, contended that all that is required under the relevant rule (Rule 212(1)(iv)(a)) is that the applicant must have a place of business or residence at either termini of the route applied for and that the appellant had his place of business at Venkatagiri, one of the termini, as evidenced by the certificate issued by the Tahsildar, Venkatagiri, and that the fact that, on the date (2-11-1964) when the Regional Transport Authority took up the applications for consideration, the appellant did not have a valid stage carriage permit, is not at all relevant for deciding the question whether the appellant had his place of business at either termini of the route applied for We may now notice the relevant rule, Rule 212(1)(iv)(a):

'Sector of residential qualification-

(1) Four marks may be awarded to the applicant who has his place of business or residence at either terminus of the route applied for and two marks may be awarded to the applicant who resides on the route (but not at either terminus) or within 8 kilometres from the route'.

4. In order to entitle the applicant to four marks, he must have either residence at either termini of the route applied for or he must have place of business at either of the points i.e., the starting point or the terminus. It was not the case of the 4th respondent or the lower authorities that the appellant did not have his place of business at Venkatagiri. They only proceeded on the footing that, on the relevant date when his application came up for consideration, he had no running business and not that Venkatagiri was not his place of business. The appellant applied for the route on 16-6-1965 giving his address as 'Bazar Street, Venkatagiri Town, Nellore District'. In support of his case that his place of business is Venkatagiri he obtained a certificate from the Tahsildar, Venkatagiri dated 24-7-1964. This certificate reads:

Certified that Sri Gudur Raghava Reddi (the appellant) of Jayampu village is running an office and bus-shed at No. 13-1-16 Velampalem of Venkatagiri Town from 16-10-63 for the bus A. P. G. No. 4146 which was running from Venkatagiri t Kalahasti and back'.

5. This certificate, as may be seen from the date, was issued subsequent to the date of the application of the appellant and before the Regional Transport Authority took up the matter of granting a stage-carriage permit on the route in question Balireddipalem to Venkatagiri, for consideration. So what is required under the said rule is that the applicant must have a place of business at either terminus of the route applied for, So, the relevant date to be taken into consideration as to whether an applicant had a place of business at either termini of the route applied for is the date on which the application is made for the grant of a stage carriage permit. The rule, as we read it, does not require that on the date when the applications came to be considered by the Regional Transport Authority, the applicant must be actually holding any stage carriage permit. It is not in dispute that the appellant had a temporary permit till 13-9-1964 on the route Nellore to Tirupathi and that he was again granted a stage carriage permit on 24-12-64. The certificate issued by the Tahsildar shows that on 24 -7 -64 he was running a bus under a permit between Venkatagiri and Kalahasti and back. Before the expiry of the temporary permit and before the expiry of the permit which enabled A. P. G. No. 4147 to ply between Venkatagiri and Kalahasti, the appellant had made the application in respect of the route in question.

6. The learned Judge, Narasimham, J., was of the view that the place of business must mean that, on the date when the Regional Transport Authority took up the subject of granting a stage carriage permit for consideration, an applicant must have had a valid permit. We are unable to agree with the learned Judge that the rule in question is capable of such construction. The only dispute before the lower authorities was whether, on the relevant date when the matter came up for consideration by the Regional Transport Authority, the appellant had a valid permit so as to say that he had a place of business at either termini and not that he had no place of business at Venkatagiri one of the termini. All that is required under the rule is that he must have a place of business and not that he must have a valid permit so as to call his office as a place of business on the date when the matter came up for consideration by the Regional Transport Authority.

7. Mr. Babul Reddy, the learned counsel appearing for the 4th respondent, strenuously contended that, in exercise of this Court's extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, it ought not to interfere unless the authorities below act wholly without jurisdiction or in excess of it, or in violation of the principles of natural justice, or refuse to exercise a jurisdiction vested in them, or there is an error apparent on the face of the recur and such act, omission, error, or excess has resulted in manifest injustice. According to Mr. Babul Reddy, it is on appreciation of the material placed before the lower authorities that they came to the conclusion that the appellant did not have place of business at Venkatagiri so as to entitle him to four marks and that being a finding of fact, this Court cannot interfere with that finding even if, on the material placed, it may be possible for us to come to a different conclusion.

8. The question before us is not whether the conclusion reached by the authorities below is one of fact, but whether the construction given by Narasimham, J., to the words 'place of business' is a proper construction. The relevant portion of the learned Judge's order may, therefore, be noticed:

'The material date is the date when the matter of issuing the permit was considered by the Regional Transport Authority namely 2-11-1964. If, so, it cannot be said that the petitioner had a business of running the bus at the material time. He might have run buses previously. The place of business in the context must be understood as the place of business which, in its very nature, depended on the petitioner having valid permit on that date to run a bus or buses'.

9. The rule does not, as already pointed out, contemplate that the appellant should have running business at the time of the consideration of the applications by the Regional Transport Authority. All that is required is that he must have a place of business at either termini of the route applied for and it is not, in dispute that, though, on 2-11-1964 when the subject of granting a stage carriage permit came up for consideration, the appellant did not have a valid permit to ply a bus, he still had his place of business at Venkatagiri. Whether, on that date when the Regional Transport Authority took up the matter for consideration, the appellant had a permit to run a bus or not, relevant for determining the question whether the appellant had his place of business at either termini of the route applied. Since, indisputably, the appellant had his place of business at Venkatagiri, the terminus of the route applied for, he would be entitled to four marks under the rule.

10. Mr.Babul Reddy relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court Syed Yakoob v. Radhakrishnan, : [1964]5SCR64 to impress upon us that a writ of certiorari can be issued for correcting errors of jurisdiction committed by inferior Courts or tribunals and is not meant to interfere with decisions on questions of fact. As already pointed out by us, it is not a case where we are seeking to reverse the finding of fact, but where the scope of the provision has been misconstrued by the authorities below and the learned Judge. As has been pointed out by Gajendragadkar, J. (as he then was) in the same decision:

'Where it is manifest or clear that the conclusion of law recorded by an inferior Court or Tribunal is based on an obvious mis-interpretation of the relevant statutory provision, or sometimes in ignorance of it, or may be, even in disregard of it, or is expressly founded on reasons which are wrong in law, the said conclusion can be corrected by a writ of certiorari.

11. We, therefore, set aside the order under appeal and quash the order of the State Government in G. O. Ms. No. 2214, dated 10-10-1966 reversing the order of the appellate authority.

12. In the result, the writ appeal is allowed with costs. Advocate's fee RS. 100.

13. Appeal allowed.


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