A. Sambasiva Rao, Ag. C.J.
1. This is a transport matter and relates to the inter-State route between Tirupati and Arkonam. There were two permits on this route for stage carriers. There were as many as 33 applications. Very many things happened after the applications were filed, as usually happens in transport matters. The applicant fought with particular tenacity for their permits as a consequence of which, the dispute went up and down several times. We need not, however, encumber our order with the minute details of that incessant travelling of this dispute. We will do well with starting at the stage where the petitioner and one Venkata Reddy were granted two permits by the Regional Transport Authority, Chittoor, on 25-2-1966. In 1970 six of the applicants filed appeals before the State Transport Appellate Authority, which was constituted under Rule 189 of the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1964. One of these appeals was preferred by the 3rd respondent herein under the amendment of 1964 Rules. Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act was amended by the pat by introducing sub-section (2) in Section 64 under Section 33 of Amendment Act 56 of 1969. That sub-section provides that the State Government shall constitute for the State a Transport Appellate Tribunal which shall consist of a whole time Judicial Officer not below the rank of a District Judge. Thinking that in view of this amendment Rule 189 under which the State Appellate Authority was constituted became otiose, the State Government deleted that rule. But by G.O. 1189 Home dated 25-8-1972 the State Government reintroduced Rule 189 which was published in the official gazette on 7-9-1972. Under the rule thus introduced the State Appellate Authority was not only revived but a paragraph was added to the effect viz.,
'This rule shall apply to all the pending appeals and to all appeals that shall lawfully lie to the appellate authority immediately before the constitution of State Transport Appellate Tribunal..'
Since the six appeals including the one of the 3rd respondent were pending before the State Appellate Authority under the revised Rule 189, the petitioner has brought this writ petition for a writ of prohibition directing the State Transport Commissioner not to take up for consideration the appeals preferred by the six appellants.
2. It is contended by Sri Koti Reddy, learned counsel for the petitioner, that the newly revived Rule 189 is repugnant to the amended Section 64(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act and is therefore invalid, illegal and ultra vires. In the submission the appeals shall be heard only by the Tribunal constituted under Section 64(2) and not by the State Appellate Authority constituted under Rule 189. The respondents including the appellants and the State Transport Commissioner vehemently oppose this submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner.
3. Now going into the provisions of S. 64 as it has been amended by the Amendment Act 56 of 1969 and Rule 189 as it has been revived under G.O. 1189 dated 225-8-1972, it would be plain that the contention of Sri Koti Reddy cannot be accepted. It has been noted that sub-section (2) has been inserted by Section 33 of the Amendment Act 56 of 1969 which is called 'The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1969.' Under that sub-section a State Transport Appellate Tribunal was constituted. As far as this provision is concerned, it is common ground that it came into force on 1-4-1971. Then let us look at sub-section (3) of Section 64. It says :
'Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) every appeal pending with the commencement of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 1969, shall be proceeded with and disposed as if that Act had not been passed.'
This sub-section is as clear as clarity could be and does not leave any scope for doubt or hesitation. It declares in so many words that all the appeals pending at the commencement of the Amendment Act 1969 shall be proceeded with and disposed of according to the then existing law, as the Amendment Act had not been passed. As far as the amendment that has been effected by virtue of Section 33 of the Amendment Act, 1969 is concerned its date of commencement is admittedly 1-4-1971. The six appeals in respect of which prohibition is sought were preferred even in the year 1970 i.e. before the commencement of the Amendment Act, i.e. before the commencement of sub-section (2) of Section 64(3) of the Act, these six appeals should be proceeded with and disposed of or if Sec. 64(2) is not on the statute book. To put it in other words, it should be heard and disposed of by the State Appellate Authority.
4. Sri Koti Reddy's argument does not stop with this. He submits that the Government thought it fit to delete Rule 189, thereby doing away with the State Appellate Authority. But obviously realising the difficulty of doing away with Rule 189 it has been subsequently revived under G.O. 1189 with the specific provision that the rule applies to all pending appeals and to all appeals that shall lawfully lie to the appellate authority immediately before the constitution of State Transport Appellate Tribunal. By virtue of this clear provision in Rule 189, which by no means can be said to be repugnant which were filed in 1970 must be proceeded with and disposed of by the Appellate Authority and not by the Tribunal. Therefore, it is the Appellate Authority alone that has got the jurisdiction to dispose of the six appeals.
5. To the same effect is the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in R. Hanumantha Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1971 Andh Pra HC (Notes) 312 (Writ Petns. Nos. 1982 and 22397 of 1971).
6. We have therefore no hesitation in holding that the Appellate Authority alone can hear and dispose of the appeals filed in 1970 and that this writ petition has no merits. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/-.
7. Petition dismissed.