S.K. Dhaon, J.
1. This writ petition is directed against an order dated 30-3-84 passed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the Tribunal), rejecting the application for interim relief made by and on behalf of the petitioner in an appeal pending before it.
2. The Regional Transport Authority,Varanasi, rejected the application for therenewal of the permit of the petitioner,Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner preferred an appeal. Section 134 (1-A) MotorVehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referredto as the Act) empowers the Tribunalto pass an interim order in an appealagainst an order refusing to renew a particular permit. The sheet-anchor of theAct is public interest, i.e., the interestof the travelling public and around it theentire machinery rotates. In this background Section 134 (1-A) of the Actshould be read. The legislative intentin enacting the said provision is thattill the matter of renewal is disposed offinally status quo should be maintained.Therefore, the legislature contemplatesthat normally the Tribunal should exercise its powers under Section 134 (1-A) infavour of an appellant before it. Nodoubt, the power vested in the Tribunalis discretionary but it is trite that it exercises a quasi judicial power. It is alsoexiomatic that even discretionary powerscannot be exercised arbitrarily. Someplausible reason, though in brief, shouldbe recorded while refusing to exercisepowers under Section 134 (1-A). If theTribunal, prima facie, finds that the interest of the public will suffer in anymanner by the continued operation ofthe vehicle of a particular operator itshould be a good ground for refusing toexercise the power under Section 134(1-A). In the instant case, however, theTribunal has rejected the application onthe ground that the grant of interim relief to the petitioner will tantamount toa decision on the merits of the appeal inasmuch as the petitioner will get thesame relief which he may get at the finalhearing. The approach of the Tribunalis based on an extraneous consideration.It appears that the provisions of Section134 (1-A) were not focussed before theTribunal. The impugned order suffersfrom a manifest error of law.
3. The impugned order dated 30-3-1984 passed by the Tribunal is quashed. The Tribunal is directed to reconsider the application made by the petitioner for grant of an interim relief to him within three days of the production of a certified copy of the order before it. Needless to say, that the Tribunal will keep in mind the observations made above.
4. Since I have heard the learnedStanding Counsel in opposition to thispetition I am passing a final order without formally admitting the petition. Thewrit petition, therefore, stands allowed.There shall, however, be no order as tocosts.