R.L. Gulati, J.
1. This is a petition by truck owners and two of their associations. The petitioners have their business premises in the following five areas which are business centres in Kanpur city :
(a) Collector Ganj.
(b) Canal Range,
(c) Rizvi Road, Nai Sarak,
(d) Luqman Mohal, Canal Range,
Previously they used to load and unload goods in front of their business premises abutting the road patri where the trucks use to be parked. On October 17, 1969 the senior Superintendent of Police, Kanpur, issued an order under Section 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act read with Rule 183 of the Rules framed thereunder prohibiting the parking of heavy vehicles at any time during the day or night in certain localities of Kanpur except under a permit to be granted by him or the Superintends it of Police City, Kanpur. Roads which were affected by this order are situate in Collectorganj, Rizvi Road, Ifti-kharabagh, Birhana Road and Canal Range. This affected the business of the transporters like the petitioners.
2. It is stated that in order to relieve congestion from the streets of Kanpur and to facilitate the transport business the Nagar Mahapalika, Kanpur, decided in 1962 to establish a scheme known as 'Transport Nagar' Kanpur. A large area was proposed to be given to the transporters on lease for purposes of establishing their business in that area. To meet the rising demand from the transporters for land the scheme was extended in 1969 whereby similar plots were allotted to transporters in another locality. The petitioners have alleged that they have not been allotted plots by the Nagar Mahapalika for setting up their business premises and they cannot carry on business on account of prohibitory order issued by the Senior Superintendent of Police. They have thus approached this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for a writ of certiorari quashing the order of the Senior Superintendent of Police and for a writ of mandamus to the Nagar Mahapalika to grant sites to them so that they may carry on their transport business.
3. Sri N. D. Pant, learned counsel appearing for the Nagar Mahapalika, Kanpur, has urged that the petition is not maintainable inasmuch as the petitioners Nos. 1 and 2 are transport associations, which have no locus standi to file the writ petition and some of the petitioners have already been provided sites. With, regard to the remaining petitioners it is stated that they did not comply with the conditions for the grant of a site in the Transport Nagar Scheme and in any case the controversy raised in this petition is essentially a controversy of fact which cannot be decided on a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. Mr. Dhawan, learned counsel for the petitioners stated that it is wrong that the petitioners did not comply with the conditions for allotment of sites. According to him, the petitioners' applications were never considered by the Nagar Mahapalika. In my opinion it is not necessary to enter into this controversy, because this writ petition must fail on another vital point.
4. So far as the order passed by the Senior Superintendent of Police is concerned, it is not denied that he was competent to pass such an order under Section 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act read with Section 183 thereof. As the impugned order recites it has been passed in the interest of public safety and convenience. Mr. Dhawan does not dispute that such an order could be validly passed by the Senior Superintendent of Police, if in his opinion, it was necessary so to do in order to relieve, congestion and in the interest of public safety and convenience. The Senior Superintendent of Police thus has not exceeded his jurisdiction and his order cannot be said to suffer from any infirmity.
5. So far as the allotment of business sites is concerned, it has not been shown that the Nagar Mahapalika, Kan-pur, was under any statutory obligation to make available to the petitioners sites for their business. A person can ask for a writ of mandamus only to enforce a legal right or liability. The petitioners have shown no such right in their favour, nor is the Nagar Mahapalika under any such liability. It is no doubt true that the scheme was evolved by the Nagar Mahapalika and the representatives of the transporters to provide business sites to transporters in less congested areas. But that scheme was not the result of any statutory obligation. It is obvious that the Nagar Mahapalika cannot go on meeting the increasing demand for sites from the transporters, because of the limited availability of suitable land.
6. The other grievance of the petitioners that the Nagar Mahapalika is charging exhorbitant prices for the sites also cannot give them any cause of action. Mr. Pant has stated that previously the Nagar Mahapalika allotted plots of land at a fixed price by drawing lots which was much lower than the market price. But after the passing of the U. P. Nagar Mahapalika (Amendment) Act, 1972 (Act No. XXIV of 1972), the NagarMahapalika is obliged to lease out its land at the market price. Section 3 of the aforesaid Act has amended Section 129 by substituting sub-section (5) which now provides that no immovable property belonging to the Mahapalika shall be sold, leased or otherwise transferred for a sum less than the market value thereof. In order to fetch market value the Mahapalika now puts the plots to auction and no one can find fault with it. This submission of the learned counsel in my opinion is right. There is no law under which the Nagar Mahapalika can be forced to lease out the plots of land at a price less than the market price. I am, therefore, of opinion that neither the prohibitory order passed by the Senior Superintendent of Police nor anything done by the Nagar Mahapalika can be said to infringe the petitioners' fundamental right to carry on business under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution as alleged by the petitioners. The restrictions imposed by the Senior Superintendent of Police are restrictions which are reasonable having regard to public safety and convenience and the Mahapalika is under no obligation to provide to the petitioners alternative sites for business. Of course, the Nagar Mahapalika will not practice discrimination by arbitrarily refusing to consider the petitioners' application for allotment. Indeed Mr. Pant has stated that the Nagar Mahapalika has still some plots available and if the petitioners are prepared to pay the price and comply with the other requirements the plots can be allotted to them and the Mahapalika will have no objection.
7. While the prohibitory order passed by the Senior Superintendent of Police cannot be questioned on any legal ground, it is desirable that in case the petitioners are not able to secure the business sites in the Scheme evolved by the Nagar Mahapalika, the Senior Superintendent of Police may permit the petitioners to park their vehicles before their business premises for an hour or two during night time as has been the case hithertofore under the interim orders of this Court dated 13th November, 1970.
8. With these observations the petition is dismissed. But in the circumstances there will be no order as to costs.