N.D. Ojha, J.
1. This Special Appeal has been filed against the judgment of a learned Single Judge dismissing a writ petition filed by the appellant. The appellant. Brij Bahadur Lal, held a regular stage carriage permit on Panari-Sitapur route which was to expire on May 28, 1970. Before that date, however, a scheme was published by the State Transport Undertaking under Section 68-C of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for nationalising that route. The appellant applied for renewal of his permit on November 17, 1969 and the Regional Transport Authority by its resolution dated April 24, 1970 renewed the permit for three years with effect from May 29, 1970. The scheme published under Section 68-C of the Act as aforesaid was approved and the said scheme as approved was published on August 29, 1970 as required by Section 68-D (3) of the Act. On the scheme being so published the Regional Transport Authority cancelled the appellant's permit on September 12, 1970 and subsequently granted him a compensatory permit vide its resolution dated January 10/11, 1972 on Jhansi-Mahoba route, On this route. Noor Mohammad, respondent No. 3 held a temporary permit which was due to expire on May 31, 1972. He had also applied for the grant of a permanent stage carriage permit on this route which was pending on January 10/11, 1972, the date on which the appellant was granted a compensatory permit on this route. The said Noor Mohammad filed a revision before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal against the srant of the compensatory permit to the appellant. The Tribunal allowed the revision of Noor Mohammad on June 2, 1972, and quashed the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority dated January 10/11, 1972 aforesaid. This order of the Tribunal was challenged by the appellant in a writ petition which was dismissed by a learned Single Judge of this Court. Aggrieved Brij Bahadur Lal has filed this Special Appeal.
2. Learned counsel for the appellant has made three submissions :--
(1) That the permit issued under the Act is a physical document and has to be actually cancelled notwithstanding that it ceased to be effective within the meaning of the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F of the Act and that the State Transport Appellate Tribunal was in error in holding that the appellant's permit having ceased to be effective under the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F did not require any cancellation and that consequently the appellant was not entitled to a compensatory permit under Section 68-G since that section applied only where a permit had been cancelled or modified under Sub-section (1-D) (2) of Section 68-F;
(2) That Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G was independent of Sub-section (1) of the said section and a compensatory permit could be granted to the appellant under Sub-section (2); and
(3) That the provision contained in Section 68-G for the grant of a compensatory permit only to those whose permit had been cancelled or modified under Section 68-F (1-D) (2) of the Act was hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of India in so far as it excluded the benefit of a compensatory permit to a person who held a renewed permit under the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F.
3. Dealing with the first submission it is to be noted that Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F lays down that save as otherwise provided under Sub-section (1-A) or Sub-section (1-C), no permit shall be granted or renewed during the period intervening between the date of publication, under Section 68-C of any scheme and the date of publication of the approved or modified scheme, in favour of any person for any class of road transport service in relation to an area or route or portion thereof covered by such scheme. In view of the mandatory prohibtion aforesaid the appellant would not have been entitled to the renewal of his permit but for the proviso to the aforesaid subsection which authorises renewal of a permit for a limited period. The same proviso contains a specific stipulation that the permit so renewed shall cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D. Section 68-G Sub-clause (1) provides for the grant of compensation to the holder of an existing permit which has been cancelled or whose terms have been modified in the exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (b) or Clause (c) of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F. Those two sub-clauses refer to an 'existing permit'. It is obvious that a permit can be cancelled or its terms can be modified only till it exists. Existing means that which is in existence. Existence in its turn means life. An existing permit therefore, means a living permit. Section 58 (a) of the Act lays down that a stage carriage permit or a contract carriage permit other than a temporary permit issued under Section 62 shall be effective without renewal for such period, not less than three years and not more than five years, as the Regional Transport Authority may specify in the permit. The maximum period for which a permit can be effective is five years. On the expiry of those five years the authority to ply a stage carriage would cease notwithstanding the fact that the holder of the permit may physically be in possession of it even after the expiry of five years. It is the period for which a permit remains effective which emerges as the guiding factor, and not the physical holding of a permit in determining the existence or life of the permit. The proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F which enables the issue of a permit for a limited period itself lays down the tenure or the life of such permit, namely, till the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D. A renewed permit, issued under this proviso shall, therefore, remain in life or be an existing permit only till the contingency referred to in the said proviso happens. In fact by operation of law it would be deemed to be one of the terms of the renewed permit that it shall cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D and can be treated to be void thereafter. In V.C.K. Bus Service v. The Regional Transport Authority. (AIR 1957 SC 489) a permit was renewed to be effective till the decision of a writ appeal. On the writ appeal being dismissed the question arose about the validity of the permit. It was held that the permit so renewed became ineffective at least as from the date on which the writ appeal was decided and that the Regional Transport Authority was right in treating it as having become void. It was also held that there was no legal obstacle to employing a condition in the permit even though no such condition specifically existed in it that the renewal should stand cancelled if the right of the appellant to the original permit was negatived by the High Court.
4. We are, therefore, of opinion that the words 'for a limited period' in the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F mean the period which synchronises with the publication of the notification of the approved scheme under Section 68-D (3) of the Act and even if the period mentioned in the renewed permit goes beyond the date of such publication the renewed permit ceases to be effective on the date of such publication. Thereafter it can be treated as void. It does not remain an existing permit nor does it require any cancellation under Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F.
5. The document known as permit and physically possessed of by its holder can be equated with an order of allotment issued under the U.P. (Temporary) Control of Rent and Eviction Act. Once the order requiring an accommodation to be let or not to be let is set aside by a superior authority it ceases to be effective notwithstanding the fact that the paper through which the landlord was required to let or not to let the accommodation in question remains in physical possession of the landlord even after the order has been set aside by the superior authority. The mere physical possession of the permit by its holder would, therefore, in our opinion not be a relevant consideration for determining the question as to whether such a permit is an existing permit requiring cancellation under Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F. The first submission of learned counsel, therefore, fails.
6. We are unable to agree with the second submission either. Emphasis was placed by learned counsel on the non obstante clause 'notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1)' in Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G. It was urged that because of this clause the provisions of Sub-section (11 which refer to Sub-clause (b) or Sub-clause (c) of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F will not be applicable for the grant of a compensatory permit under this sub-section. On a plain reading of Sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 68-G it is, however, clear that Sub-section (2) is only complementary to Sub-section (1) and is not independent of it. It supplements something as a proviso to subsection (11 of Section 68-G. Sub-section (11 requires that the holder of an existing permit shall be paid compensation if such permit is cancelled or its terms are modified. Sub-section (2) lays down that no such compensation shall be payable on account of the cancellation of an existing permit or any modification of the terms thereof when a permit for an alternative route or area in lieu thereof has been offered. The phrase 'on account of the cancellation of an existing permit or any modification of the terms thereof in Sub-section (2) necessarily refers to the cancellation or the modification of the terms of the permit as contemplated by Sub-section (1). We are therefore of opinion that a compensatory permit under Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G can be granted to a person only if an existing permit held by such a person has been cancelled or its terms have been modified in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (b) or Clause (c) of Sub-section (21 of Section 68-F.
7. In regard to the last submission made by learned counsel suffice it to say that the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F deals with a situation and with a class of persons entirely different than the one contemplated by Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F. The proviso to Sub-section (1-D) refers to the holder of a renewed permit for a limited period which permit is to cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D. Such person, in view of the main Sub-section (1-D), was a person the term of whose permit had expired and who was not entitled to its renewal but for the proviso and within its framework. On the other hand Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F refers to that class of permit-holder whose term of permit had not expired and who held an existing permit on the relevant date. The principles governing the classification are that the classification must be based on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or objects grouped together from others left out of the group and that differentia must have a rational nexus with the object of the statute. So long as these principles are properly followed the statute making the classification would be valid; so long as there is equality and uniformity within each ground even though due to fortuitous circumstances or a particular situation some included in a class or group may get some advantage over others. See V.J. Ferreira v. Bombay Municipality, (AIR 1972 SC 845). The object of Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68-F of the Act obviously is that no permit is to be granted or renewed during the period intervening between the date of publication under Section 68-C of any scheme and the date of publication of the approved or modified scheme in favour of any person or any class of road transport service in relation to an area or route or portion thereof covered by such scheme. Further, Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F provides that for the purpose of giving effect to the approved scheme in respect of a notified area or notified route the existing permits in respect of such area or route are to be cancelled or their terms are to be modified as required by Clauses (b) and (c). If keeping in view these principles the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) laid down that any renewed permit issued for a limited period under the said proviso shall cease to be effective on the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68-D it clearly has a rational nexus with the object of the statute. The classification is obviously based on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes holder of a renewed permit under the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) and an existing permit-holder within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-F. It is not the case of the appellant that there has been any discrimination inter se the holders of a renewed permit under the proviso to Sub-section (1-D).
8. For all these reasons the submission of learned counsel based on infringement of Article 14 of the Constitution also, therefore, fails.
9. No other point has been urged before us. In the result the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.