C.S.P. Singh, J.
1. The petitioner was granted a public carrier permit. He, thereafter, approached the Regional Transport Authority, Bareilly for a recommendation to the Delhi Transport Authority so as to enable him to get his permit countersigned by that authority for the purpose of plying his public carrier in the State of Delhi as well. Manohar Lal Chawla, respondent No. 3, had also applied for a similar privilege. The Regional Transport Authority, Bereilly however, recommended the case of the petitioner. The Transport Authority at Delhi countersigned the permit of the petitioner. Subsequently an appeal was preferred by Manohar Lal Chawla, respondent No. 3 before the Appellate Tribunal against the recommendation made by the Regional Transport Authority, Bareilly, respondent No. 2. A number of preliminary objections were taken by the petitioner to the appeal but they were overruled. On merits the Appellate Tribunal held that the Regional Transport Authority, Bareilly was in error in making the recommendation in favour of the petitioner who was an individual operator, for, it took the view that on account of the directions of the Inter-State Commission such inter-State route permits should be issued only to Transport Companies holding not less than five public carrier permits and not to an individual. In this view of the matter the Appellate Tribunal allowed the appeal, and referred the case back to the Regional Transport Authority for a decision afresh on merits. It is this order of the Appellate Tribunal which is challenged by the petitioner by this petition.
2. The matter of the grant of public carrier permits is covered by Sections 54 and 55 of the Motor Vehicles Act. By the first proviso to Section 55 of the Act, the Regional Transport Authority can grant preference in the matter of permits to a registered Co-operative Society. The preference is confined by this proviso to Co-operative Societies and to no other person. That being so, the ambit of the preference cannot be extended to bodies other than Co-operative Societies. Any attempt to do so would be in transgression of the statute. The Appellate Tribunal has fallen into an error, in allowing the appeal on the consideration that the permit should have been granted to a Transport Company, which had more than five public carrier permits as they were viable units. The order of the Appellate Tribunal also suffers from another infirmity. The Appellate Tribunal, while deciding the appeal, discharged a quasi-judicial function and in doing so it has to apply its own independent judgment and could not dispose of the matter by accepting wholesale administrative directions issued by the Inter-State Commission. The Inter-State Commission does not have any statutory power to issue any direction for the guidance of Tribunals while exercising appellate powers. The order of the Appellate Tribunal is patently erroneous and deserves to be quashed.
3. The writ petition is accordingly allowed and the order of the Appellate Tribunal (Annexure 'C') to the petition is quashed. As no one appears to oppose this petition, there shall be no order as to costs.