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Sardar Surendra Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Appeal No. 55 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1966All455
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 68E, 68G and 68G(2); Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantSardar Surendra Singh
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateS.N. Kacker, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateB.D. Agarwal, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....any existing permit is cancelled or the terms thereof are modified, there shall be paid by the state transport undertaking to the holder of the permit compensation the amount of which shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (4) or sub-section (5), as the case may be. ' from these provisions it clearly follows that if a permit is cancelled or its terms are modified us a consequence of the nationalisation of a route, compensation would have to be paid by the state, but in lieu of paying cash compensation it would be open to the r. kacker contends that there is no difference on principle between interference with the frequency of the services and increase of the operators on a particular route and if the former could not be done, the latter can also not be..........the state government on 29-9-1959. clause (4) of that notification reads:'persons other than the state transport undertaking will not be permitted to ply any road transport service on the route or portions thereof specified in clause (2) above except those noted below; ...................' 5. the names of the appellant and 52 other operators were noted below the notification and there was a remark that 'for meerut-baghpat-baraut-chhaprauli-ramalakakripur route who shall be allowed to ply on baghpat-baraut portion of the route mentioned in clause (2) above' in clause (4) of the notification it was clearly stated: (1) that the route had been nationalised, (2) that other vehicles would not be permitted to ply on the route and (3) that the 53 operators would continue to ply on the.....
Judgment:

Jagdish Sahai, J.

1. This special appeal by Sardar Surendra Singh is directed against the judgment of Oak, J. dated 8-14963, dismissing writ petition No. 1566 of 1961 filed by the appellant.

2. There is a route Meerut-Chhaprauli (hereinafter referred to as route No. 1). This route is divided into three parts (1) Meerut-Baghpat, (2) Baghpat-Baraut, and (3) Baraut-Chhaprauli. The portion Baghpat-Baraut forms part of another routes also, that is, Delhi-Saharanpur route (hereinafter referred to as route No. 2). There is yet a third route Dehradun-Luchman Jhoola route (hereinafter referred to as route No 3).

3. The Delhi-Saharanpur route was nationalised under the provisions of Chap. IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act). When the notification under Section 68-C of the Act was issued in respect of this route, it was proposed to place some restriction on the right of the appellant to pick up passengers between Baghpat and Baraut, though the appellant was to he allowed to pass that route. However when the notification under Section 68-D was issued, this restriction was withdrawn, with the result that the appellant continued to ply his stage carriage on the Meerut-Chhaprauli route even after the nationalisation of Delhi-Saharanpur route. Route No. 3 was also nationalised. The respondents Nos. 1 to 13 (in the writ petition) plied stage carriages in the Hardwar zone, which right they lost on account of the nationalisation of route No. 3. The transport authorities under the law had to compensate those respondents for the loss of the right to ply in the Hardwar zone. Consequently the Regional Transport Authority, Meerut, (hereinafter referred to as the R. T A.) passed resolution No. 107 offering respondents Nos. 1 to 13 route No. 1 by way of compensation under Section 68-C of the Act. The offer having been accepted, permits were issued to them for plying stage carriages on that route.

4. By means of writ petition No. 1566 of 1961 resolution No. 107 passed by the R. T. A. was challenged. In the writ petition as many as fifteen grounds were taken Mr. Kacker, the learned counsel for the appellant, however, pressed only one. He did not formally abandon the others, but did not press them in view of Mohammad Jafar v. Regional Transport Authority, Meerut, Writ No. 1870 of 1961. dated 5-10-1962 (All). In respect of route No. 2 a notification under Section 68-D was issued by the State Government on 29-9-1959. Clause (4) of that notification reads:

'Persons other than the State Transport Undertaking will not be permitted to ply any Road Transport Service on the route or portions thereof specified in Clause (2) above except those noted below;

...................'

5. The names of the appellant and 52 other operators were noted below the notification and there was a remark that 'for Meerut-Baghpat-Baraut-Chhaprauli-Ramalakakripur route who shall be allowed to ply on Baghpat-Baraut portion of the route mentioned in Clause (2) above' In Clause (4) of the notification it was clearly stated: (1) that the route had been nationalised, (2) that other vehicles would not be permitted to ply on the route and (3) that the 53 operators would continue to ply on the Baghpat-Baraut route.

6. The submission that was made on behalf of the appellant before Oak, J. was that resolution No. 107 passed by the R. T. A. had the effect of modifying the Government notification dated 29-9-1959 issued under Section 68-D of the Act. This submission did not find favour with Oak, J. and he dismissed the writ petition.

7. Mr. Kacker. who has appeared for the appellant before us, has reiterated before the same submission that he made before Oak, J. Annexure A to the counter-affidavit is a true copy of resolution No. 107 passed by the R. T. A. it reads:--

'To consider the question of offering alternative routes under Section 68-G (2) of the M. V. Act 1939 in lieu of compensation to the following displaced operators of Hardwar-Rishikesh-Lachhmanjhoola-Dehra Dun-Rishikesh and Dehra Dun-Narendra Nagar routes, whose stage carriage permits have been cancelled or their renewal refused as a result of publication of the approved scheme under Section 68-D in respect of those routes............'

Sections 68-A (2) and 68-G fall in Chap. IV-A of the Act which was introduced by means of an Amendment Act. That Chapter is headed is ''Special provisions relating to State Transport Undertakings'. The purpose of Chap. IV-A of the Act was to provide for the manner of nationalising routes. Section 68-G (1) clearly provides that 'where, in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (b) or Clause (c) of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F, any existing permit is cancelled or the terms thereof are modified, there shall be paid by the State transport undertaking to the holder of the permit compensation the amount of which shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Sub-section (4) or Sub-section (5), as the case may be.' Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G reads:--

'Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1), no compensation shall be payable on account of the cancellation of any existing permit or any modification of the terms thereof, when a permit for an alternative route or area in lieu thereof has been offered by the Regional Transport Authority and accepted by the holder of the permit.'

From these provisions it clearly follows that if a permit is cancelled or its terms are modified us a consequence of the nationalisation of a route, compensation would have to be paid by the State, but in lieu of paying cash compensation it would be open to the R. T. A. to offer to the persons whose permits are being cancelled or the terms of their permits are being modified an alternative route and if that offer is accepted it would be deemed to be sufficient compensation for the purposes of Chap. IV-A. Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G does not require that if an alternative route is offered to persons mentioned in Section 68-G (1) of the Act, persons already operating on the route offered would be heard. Even though the law did not require the appellant and 52 persons who were plying their stage carriages on route No. 1 to be heard in fact the R. T. A. did hear them before passing resolution No. 107. These persons objected to the respondents Nos. 4 to 13 being given permits under Section 68-G (2) to ply their stage carnages on route No. 1, but notwithstanding the objections the R. T. A. passed resolution No. 107.

8. As staled earlier the only submission that Mr. Kacker, the learned counsel for the appellant, has made before us is that the effect of the resolution No. 107 of the R. T. A. is to modify the Government notification, dated 29-9-1959. Section 68-E of the Act deals with the cancellation or modification of scheme and reads:--

'68-E. Any scheme published under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D may at any time be cancelled or modified by the State transport undertaking and the procedure laid down in Section 68-G and Section 68-D shall, so far as it can be made applicable, be followed in every case where the scheme is proposed to be modified as if the modification proposed were a separate scheme.'

Admittedly in the present case the procedure contemplated by Sections 68-G and 68-D was not followed before resolution No. 107 was passed. The first question that requires consideration whether in fact or in the eye of the law resolution No. 107 has the effect of modifying the scheme as notified in the Government notification, dated 29-9-1959. In our judgment it does not. The scheme as such has been left intact and all that has been done is that sonic persons have been granted permits to ply on route No. 1 under the provisions of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G of the Act. Section 68-G is a special provision which deals with compensation and contemplates the grant of permits on another route by way of compensation without hearing the persons operating on that route. As we have said earlier, the scheme has been left intact. It is true that the vehicles of the respondents Nos. 4 to 13 would also ply on the Baghpat-Baraut, part of route No. 1, but that does not mean that the scheme of nationalisation has been modified or affected. The circumstance that on the Baghpat-Baraut route the buses of the respondents Nos. 4 to 13 would also ply is only an indirect effect or the incidental result of the order passed under Section 68-G (2) of the Act. We are, therefore, unable to agree with the learned counsel that there has been in fact or in the eye of the law, any modification of the scheme. Mr. Kacker placed reliance upon J. Y. Kondala Rao v. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, AIR 1961 SG 82. In that case the scheme prepared under Section 68-D of the Act contained the Following note:--

'The frequency of services on any of the notified routes or within any notified area shall, if necessary, be varied having regard to the traffic needs during any period'

A rule was also framed which was similarly worded. At p. 93 of the judgment their Lordships observed:--

'We are, therefore, definitely of opinion that the rule confers power on the State Transport Undertaking to modify substantially the scheme in one respect, though that power can only be exercised under Section 68 of the Act in the manner prescribed thereunder. This rule is void and, therefore, the said note was illegally inserted in the schemes.'

In that case under Rule 5 of the Rules the State Transport Undertaking conferred upon itself the power to vary the frequency of services and that rule and the note made, in pursuance thereof were challenged. Mr. Kacker contends that there is no difference on principle between interference with the frequency of the services and increase of the operators on a particular route and if the former could not be done, the latter can also not be done, in our judgment Kondala Rao's case, AIR 1961 SC 82, is clearly distinguishable. There the scheme itself which was solemnly and validly framed was sought to be interfered with by framing a rule. On the principle that a scheme once framed could only be disturbed under the provisions of Section 68-E of the Act and no rule could be framed to render ineffective the provisions of Section 68-E of the Act, the Supreme Court held the rule and the note to be without jurisdiction. In the present ease the scheme, as we have already pointed out, is not interfered with at all. It is only an incidental result of an order passed under Section 68-G (2) of the Act that the number of operators has been increased only with regard to a part of route No. 1 and not the whole route. When the legislature enacted Section 68-G (2), it must have been aware of the existence of Section 68-E of the Act, also. In fact, the whole Chap. IV-A in which these two provisions fall was inserted in the Act simultaneously. If the legislature did not think it proper to enact for granting a hearing to existing operators on a particular route on which other operators who were being displaced because of nationalisation of another route were being permitted to ply and did not in its wisdom think it proper to apply the provisions of Section 68-E to the proceedings under Section 68-G, it is obvious that the intention was that in such a case the existing operators had no right to be heard and it could not be treated to be a modification of a scheme. There is difference between doing indirectly a thing which one cannot do directly, and the incidental result of a thing validly and bona (Me done. In the present ease we have said earlier that the R. T. A. only acted in accordance with the provisions of Section 68-G (2) of the Act in passing resolution No. 107 and even though there was no obligation on them to have heard the petitioner, he was in fact actually heard. For the reasons mentioned above we arc of the opinion that Kondala Rao's case, AIR 1961 SG 82, is clearly distinguishable.

9. Mr. Kacker also placed reliance upon Nilkanth Prasad v. State of Bihar, AIR 1962 SC 1135. In our opinion this case is also distinguishable, as it does not deal with the question of modification of a scheme. The orders challenged in Nilkanth Prasad's case, AIR 1962 SC 1135, were those of the State Transport Authority by which it set aside the renewal of the permits on certain routes granted by the South Bihar Regional Transport Authority, Patna. We are not concerned with a case of refusal to renew, but with the question whether while passing an order under Section 68-G (2) it is necessary for the R. T. A. to have recourse to the provisions of Sections 68-C and 68-D of the Act and on this question Nilkanth Prasad's case, AIR 1962 SC 1.135, is silent.

10. We would also like to point out that Section 68-E itself provides that the procedure laid down in Sections 68-C and 68-D would be applicable only so far as it is possible to apply it. In other words the procedure need not be followed if the matter does not admit of its application, in the circumstances of the ease, We, therefore, see no merits in the submission of Mr. Kacker that the procedure provided by Sections 68-C and 68-D should have been followed in the present case while passing the order under Section 68-G (2) of the Act. The R. T. A. was not considering the question of the nationalisation of Delhi-Saharanpur route when it passed resolution No. 107. In Mohammad Jaipur's case. Writ No. 1870 of 1961 dated 5-10-1962 (All), it was observed as follows:

'It the permits of respondents Nos. 3 to 10 suffer from any defect on account of the aforesaid act of the R. T. A. and hence cannot be regarded as valid permits, the right to take action thereon lies in hands other than those of the petitioner.'

It was intended to lay down in Jahti's case. Writ No 1870 of 1961, dated 5-10-1962 (All), that the petitioners in that case would have no cause of action. It is well settled that no person has a right as such to a permit: see Veerappa Pillai v. Raman and Hainan Ltd., AIR 1952 SO 192. It is equally well settled that no person is entitled to a particular amount of money by way of profits. It is elementary that an operator cannot be heard to say that if the strength of a particular route is increased, his financial interest would suffer and consequently the increase should not be allowed. The transport services exist to serve the public and not to allow people to make profits at the cost of the public interest. The only grievance of the appellant is that by increase in the number of operators as a consequence of resolution No. 107, the profits of the appellant would be reduced. Even if that is so, that does not confer on the petitioner a right of action, and on that ground he has in our opinion no right to maintain the writ petition and the appeal.

11. For the reasons given above we are satisfied that there are no merits in this special appeal. If is accordingly dismissed with costs.

12. The interim order, dated 28-8-1963 stands discharged to the extent that it restrainsopposite parties 9 to 13 from plying, but it shallbe implemented by the appellant so far as itdirects the payment of Rs. 250 p.m. to eachof the respondents Nos. 9 to 13. All amountsdeposited by the appellant shall be paid torespondents Nos. 9 to 13.


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