K.N. Singh, J.
1. This petition is directed against the order of the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun, granting stage carriage permits to the respondents. The petitioners had alternative remedy under the Motor Vehicles Act to challenge the said order before the State Transport Authority. In the circumstances the writ petition has abated under Section 58 (2) of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, and the various interim orders passed in the writ petition stand vacated. The parties will bear their own costs.
2. A prayer was made by Shri L. P. Naithani, learned counsel for the contesting respondents, that the monies de-posited with the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun, respondent No. 1, in pursuance of the interim orders passed by this Court on applications made by various respondents may be directed to be paid over to the respondents concerned. This prayer was opposed by Shri S. N. Kacker, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners, on the ground that under the interim orders passed by this Court the monies deposited by the petitioners were to be paid to the respondents concerned in the event of the writ petition being dismissed. It was urged that since the writ petition has not been 'dismissed' but stands 'abated' under the provisions of Section 58 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, this Court has no jurisdiction to pass the order prayed for by Shri Naithani, or any further order.
3. Having heard counsel for the parties we are of opinion that the objection raised by counsel for the petitioners cannot be sustained.
4. Before dealing with the question raised by counsel for the petitioners it would be useful to have certain facts. By its resolution No. 11 dated 2/4-8-1971 the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun, increased the strength of Saharanpur-Vikashnagar and allied routes from 40 to 60 and also resolved that number of services to be performed on this route shall also be increased proportionately when the permits for the increased vacancies are granted. The Regional Transport Authority by its resolution took a decision on February 16, 197,3, whereby it granted 20 permits to the contesting respondents. By a subsequent order dated February 23, 1573, the Regional Transport Authority requested the President, Saharanpur-Vikashnagar Motor Operators' Union, to increase the number of services from 28 to 42 and to start 42 services provisionally with immediate effect. It is this decision of the Regional Transport Authority dated February 16, 1973, and its order dated February 23, 1973, which were sought to be quashed in the present writ petition. The petitioners had also moved an application for interim relief along with the writ petition and an ex parte order was passed on February 27, 1973, whereby respondents 2 to 22 were restrained from plying their vehicles on the route in question on the basis of the permanent permits issued to them. It was, however, made clear that the order will not be applicable to those amongst the aforesaid respondents who had already started plying their vehicles pursuant to the permits granted to them. Subsequently several applications were made on behalf of the contesting respondents with a prayer that the ex parte order dated February 27, 19-7-3, may be vacated. These applications were made by two categories of respondents. One was of those respondents who had already obtained the permits before the ex parte order aforesaid was passed. The ether was of such of them who had not been able to obtain the permits by that date. The ex parte order was vacated in respect of those respondents who had already obtained permits before the said order was passed. On the applications which had been made by the second category of respondents the ex parte order was, in place of being vacated, modified in so far as they were concerned. The petitioners were directed to deposit with the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun. such amount of money as was specified in the orders passed on the applications filed by these respondents to compensate the said respondents for the loss which they would suffer as a result of not being permitted to ply their vehicles on the basis of the impugned decision and order of the Regional Transport Authority and it was provided therein that in the event of the writ petition being dismissed the monies deposited by the petitioners shall be paid to the respondents concerned.
5. As seen above the ex parte order was not applicable to those of the respondents who had already started plying their vehicles pursuant to the permits granted to them. It was subsequently vacated in respect of such of the respondents who had already obtained permits before the date of the order. However, it continued to be operative as against such of the respondents who had not been able to obtain the permits by the date on which the ex parte order was passed subject of course to the condition referred to above. But for the order passed by this Court as against them, these respondents also would have been able to ply their vehicles after obtaining the permits. They were, however, restrained from doing so and were in the event of the writ petition being dismissed, to be compensated for the loss which accrued to them on account of the injunction issued against them by payment of the monies which the petitioners were directed to deposit every month with the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun.
6. It is true that the writ petition has not been 'dismissed' but has been abated in view of the provisions contained in Section 58 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, In our opinion, however, it will not make any difference. The effect even of the writ petition standing abated is that the impugned orders stand intact even today. It is the spirit of the interim orders passed by this Court and not the form which is relevant for determination of the question which has been raised by counsel for the petitioners. The spirit of these orders was that if ultimately the petitioners were unsuccessful in getting the decision and order impugned in the writ petition quashed the monies which they will have to deposit as a condition precedent to the interim orders being granted in their favour shall be paid to the respondents concerned to compensate them for the loss which they would sustain on account of the said orders. In such matters the court has inherent power to see that no prejudice is caused to anyone on account of its own act. The principle contained in the maxim actus curiae neminem grava-bit, fan act of the court shall prejudice no man) is well known.
7. In Jai Berham v. Kedar Nath (AIR 1923 PC 269) it was held that it is inherent in the general jurisdiction of the Court to act rightly and fairly according to the circumstances towards all parties involved. Relying on the observations made by Cairns. L. C. in Rodger v. The Comptoir d'Escompte de Paris ((1971) 3 PC 465) it was further held that one of the first and highest duties of all courts is to take care that the act of the court does no injury to any of the suitors. The principle that an act of the court shall prejudice no man was emphasized also by the Supreme Court in Jagannath Singh v. Ram Naresh Singh ((1971) 1 SCJ 180).
8. In this view of the matter we are of opinion that the order prayed for by Shri Naithani can be passed by this Court notwithstanding the fact that the writ petition has abated under Section 58 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, and are consequently unable to uphold the objection raised by counsel for the petitioners.
9. We accordingly direct the Regional Transport Authority, Dehradun, respondent No. 1, to pay the monies that may have been deposited by the petitioners with the said authority in pursuance of the interim orders passed by this court to such of the respondents on whose applications the petitioners were required to make the deposits and to whom the monies deposited were to be paid in the event of the writ petition being dismissed. In doing so, the said Regional Transport Authority shall keep in mind the directions contained in the interim orders.