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P. Kanchiah Vs. the District Manager, A.P.S.R.T.C. Vizianagaram and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 762 of 1982
Judge
Reported inAIR1983AP104
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 68FF
AppellantP. Kanchiah
RespondentThe District Manager, A.P.S.R.T.C. Vizianagaram and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR. Venugopal Reddy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateC. Ananda Rao, Standing Counsel and Government Pleader for Transport and ;T. Venkataramana, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....temporary permit to run bus on route was made by appellant under section 68ff - application rejected by authority on ground that section 68ff cannot be invoked in present case - applicability of section 68ff was in question - court observed that to exclude applicability of section 68ff it is not necessary that transport authority should operate maximum number of buses mentioned in scheme - it is sufficient even if minimum number of buses prescribed in approved scheme are operated by authority - in present case as 1 bus is commenced to be operated by authority section 68ff could not be invoked and appeal accordingly dismissed. - - 68-f (1-c) clearly envisaged a situation where application for a temporary permite is not made under s......of three buses and the minum of one bus on the route the approved scheme was implemented by the state transport undertaking by commencing to operate a minimum of one bus.2. the appellant herein applied tot he secretary, regional transport authority, for the grant of a temporary permit to run a second bus on the route in question on the ground that the approved scheme provided for the operation of a maximum number of three buses but that the state transport undertaking was only operating one bus. the said application was made under the proviso to s. 68ff of th motor vehicles act but that application was rejected by the secretary, r.t.a. by his order dated 1-4-1982.3. aggrieved against the said order the appellant preferred writ petition no. 2599 of 1982. p.a. choudary, j. dismissed the.....
Judgment:

Chennakesav Reddi, J.

1. In G.O. Ms. No. 243 Transport Department dated 20-3-1979 the state Government approved a scheme providing for the exclusive operation of the transport service on the route srikakulam to Nivagam, by the A.P. State road Transport corporation the scheme provided for the operation of a maximum of three buses and the minum of one bus on the route the approved scheme was implemented by the state transport Undertaking by commencing to operate a minimum of one bus.

2. The appellant herein applied tot he secretary, regional Transport authority, for the grant of a temporary permit to run a second bus on the route in question on the ground that the approved scheme provided for the operation of a maximum number of three buses but that the state Transport undertaking was only operating one bus. The said application was made under the proviso to S. 68FF of th Motor vehicles Act But that application was rejected by the secretary, R.T.A. by his order dated 1-4-1982.

3. Aggrieved against the said order the appellant preferred writ petition No. 2599 of 1982. P.A. Choudary, J. Dismissed the writ petition, holding that in a case where the state Transport Undertaking had already for the grant of a permit for the minimum number of buses sanctioned under the scheme the proviso to S. 68FF cannot be rightly invoked. He accordingly dismissed the writ petition. Aggrieved against the said order this writ appeal is preferred by the appellant.

4. The only question that arises for consideration in this writ appeal and that has been debated in some detail by the learned counsel for the parties is :What is the true and real scope and sweep of the proviso to S. 68FF of the Motor vehicles Act. It is therefore, necessary to look at the section in some depth and detail along with the proviso.

'68-FF. Restriction on grant of permits in respect of a notified area or notified route:-

Where a scheme has been published under Sub-sec.(3) of S. 68-D, in respect of any notified area or notified route, the state transport authority or the regional transport authority as the case may be shall not grant any permit except in accordance with the provisions of the scheme:

Provided that where no application for a permit has been made by the state Transport undertaking in respect of any notified area or notified route in pursuance of an approved scheme, the state Transport Authority or the Regional Transport Authority as the case may be may grant temporary permits to any person in respect of such notified area or notified route subject to the condition that such permit shall cease to be effective on the issue of a permit to the state Transport undertaking in respect of that area or route.

5. S. 68FF Places a ban on the grant of permits in respect of a notified area or route excepting in accordance with the provisions of the scheme. The proviso however engrafts an exception to the section. Under the proviso the state Transport Authority or the Regional Transport Authority (may) permit to any person in respect of such notified area or notified route, subject to the condition that such permit shall bease to be effective on the issue of a permit to the state Transport undertaking in respect of that area or route, when no application for a permit has been made by the state Transport undertaking in respect of the notified area or notified route in pursuance of the approved scheme.

6. The learned counsel for the appellant pleads that while the scheme provides for the operation of a maximum number of three buses, the state Transport undertaking has made application only for one permit and is only plying one bus and therefore the secretary, Regional Transport Authority erroneously declined to grant a temporary permit to the appellant. In other words, the contention is that the proviso to S. 68 FF would be attracted whenever the state Transport undertaking does not apply and obtain permits for the maximum number of buses sanctioned by the scheme. It is true that the approved scheme provides for plying a maximum number of three buses and a minimum of one bus. Under R. 316 of the A.P. Motor vehicles Rules an approved scheme has to be published in form No. STU-AS-52 Under column 6 of the prescribed form the state Transport undertaking has to give the maximum and minimum number of buses that are proposed to be operated on the route to the complete exclusion of other persons it is obvious that the minimum number of buses is given keeping in view of the existing traffic needs and the general interest of public and maximum number of buses is mentioned taking into consideration the future needs and the seasonal needs if any of the public. It would be inexpedient and indeed improper for the state Transport Undertaking to run maximum number of buses, irrespective of the traffic needs of the time. Under the approved scheme a minimum of one bus was proposed to be operated by the state Transport Undertaking to run maximum number of buses, irrespective of the traffic needs of the time. Under the approved scheme a minimum of one bus was proposed to be operated by the state Transport undertaking. The state Trasnport undertaking applied for a permit on the notified route in pursuance of the approved scheme. It is now operating a bus on the notified route. Therefore, it is not possible to hold that no application for a permit has been made in pursuance of the approved scheme by the state Transport Undertaking. Therefore, the proviso to S. 688FF cannot be invoked when the state Trasnport undertaking has applied for and obtained a permit for the minimum number of buses on the route in the approved scheme. The Supreme Court in A. Viswanatha Rao v. State of Mysore. : [1968]3SCR198 had occasion to consider the validity of the prescription of maximum and minimum in the approved scheme published under section 68-D of the Motor vehicle Act. Ramaswamy J., affirming the earlier decision of the Court in B.H. Aswathanarayana singh v. State of Mysore : [1966]1SCR87 :

'It is true that in B.H. Aswathanarayana singh v. State of Mysore : [1966]1SCR87 , it was pointed out by this Court that if the proportion which the minimum bears to the maximum is so great, and the gap between the two, is so wide as to make the prescription of the maximum and the minimum amount to a fraud on Ss. 68-C and 68-E the scheme will stand vitiated. But at the same time it was explained that it was not possible to lay down specifically at what stage the fixing of minimum and maximum would turn into fraud; but it is only when the gap between the minimum and maximum is so freat that it amounts to fraud on the Act that it will be open to a Court to hold that the scheme is not in compliance with S. 68-C and is hit by 68-E. The gap between the minimum and maximum would bepend upon a number of factors, particularly on the variation in the demand for transport at different seasons of the year'.

7. Thus it is clear that the maximum and minimum number of vehicles prescribed in the approved scheme will depend on a number of factors particularly on the variation in the demand for transport at different seasons of the year. It is not necessary that the state Transport undertaking should ply maximum number of vehicles always prescribed in the approved scheme to exclude the application of the proviso to S. 68-FF of the Act. It is sufficient if the minimum number of buses prescribed in the approved scheme are operated by the state Transport undertaking. The same is the opinion expressed by Jayachandra reddy J., in W.P. No. 8543 of 1981, D/- 29-1-1982.

8. The learned counsel for the appeallant tried to graner great support from the decision of the Supreme Court in praveen ansari v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal Lucknow, : [1981]1SCR981 in support of his contention that if the state Transport undertaking does not apply for maximum number of permits prescribed under the approved scheme, for the remaining number of permits the persons who have applied for temporary permits ought to be granted if they are eligible and qualified, for the benefit of the travelling public. We do not think that the decision relied upon has any relevancy to the facts of this case. In that case the maximum number of buses to be operated on the route was prescribed at 13. Later the strength was raised to 20. The state Transport undertaking applied for the grant of 3 temporary permits alone although 17 temporary permits could be granted. The Supreme Court held (at p. 518):

'If the corporation applied for temporary permits undoubtedly the state Transport authority cannot grant permit to any one else if the corporation has applied for all the permits. But S. 68-F (1-C) clearly envisaged a situation where application for a temporary permite is not made under S. 68-F (1-A) by the corporation and there is felt need for providing transport service on the route in question'.

Further in para 9 the Supreme Court observed:

'If the corporation has made application for temporary permits covering all the vacancies the matter ends there But if the corporation does not apply for all the permits but for some the inescapable conclusion is that for the remaining strength the corporation has made no application for the temporary permits and S. 68-F (1-C) would be squarely attracted'.

9. There as here, as we have already noticed, the minimum number was not prescribed and actually the strength was increased from 13 to 20, having regard to the interest of the travelling public But the state Transport undertaking applied only for 3 Temporary permits or which the corporation has made no application temporary permits could be granted to other persons who have applied and who are eligible.

10. In the result, the writ appeal fails and it is accordingly dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/-.

11. Writ appeal dismissed.


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