1. This writ petition has been filed by the petitioner, Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation under Article 226 of the Constitution for quashing the order (Annexure D) dated 12th July, 1973 passed by the Regional Transport Authority, Sagar (respondent No. 1) and also the permit issued to the respondent No. 2 in pursuance of the said order.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the petitioner is a State Transport Undertaking established under Section 3 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950. The petitioner is operating its stage carriages on Sagar Jabalpur via Sanodha, Garhakota, Abhana, Jabera and Katangi under Scheme No. 9 approved under the provisions of Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'). A portion of this route between Garhakota and Abhana has been allowed to be operated by private operators under the Scheme with a restriction not to pick up and set down passengers between the aforesaid portion.
3. The respondent No. 2 applied on 26-6-1973 to the respondent No. 1 for grant of a temporary permit for the route Patharia-Jabalpur via Garhakota, Damoh, Tejgarh, Tendukheda and Patan (Annexure C). Before this application was moved by the petitioner, the respondent No. 1 had determined the scope for grant of a permanent stage carriage permit (one return trip daily) for the instant route vide its order dated 12th June 1973 (Annexure B). With reference to theapplication of the respondent No. 2 for the grant of a temporary permit, a detailed note was prepared by the Secretary to the Authority which is Annex. D dated 28-6-1973. The Secretary put up the application of the respondent No. 2 with his note for consideration before the respondent No. 1. Respondent No. 1 vide its order dated 12-7-1973 having approved the note of the Secretary was satisfied that there existed a temporary need and granted a temporary permit in favour of the respondent No, 2 for a period of two months. This order was written under the note of the Secretary and as such that is also Annexure D. Thus, in pursuance of this order, the respondent No. 2 has been issued a temporary permit (Annexure E) for a period from 1-8-1973 to 30-9-1973. The petitioner being aggrieved by the temporary grant has come up before this Court for quashing of the same.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended before us that since the order does not show application of mind by the respondent No. 1 regarding determination of a particular temporary need and there being no finding to the effect also, the grant of a temporary permit in the present case has been without jurisdiction and as such is liable to be quashed. In support of this contention, learned counsel referred to the following decisions of this Court, Raipur Transport Co. (P.) Ltd. v. Regional Transport Authority, Jabalpur, 1966 MPLJ 605; Hotchand Tekchand Bhatia v. Secy., R. T. A., Indore, Misc. Petn. No. 287 of 1970, D/- 29-8-1970 (Madh Pra) and Surguja Raigarh Roadways (P.) Ltd. v. Secy., Regional Transport Authority, Bilaspur, Misc. Petn. No. 663 of 1970, D/-28-1-1973 (Madh Pra). On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 contended that there is determination of a particular temporary need by the authority and as such the grant of a temporary permit was fully justified and needs no interference by this Court.
5. Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of opinion that the petitioner's contention has no substance and as such must be rejected. It is not disputed by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the note of the Secretary dated 28-6-1973 and the order of the Regional Transport Authority passed under the same note, both together would form a composite order for the purpose of grant of a temporary permit in the present case. If that is so, and rightly not disputed by the learned counsel, then it is difficult to accept the contention of the counsel. The particular temporary need has been determined in the present case as is clear from theorder, which arose on account of the traffic on the route. The Region Transport Authority has determined the scope of grant of a stage carriage Permit on the route and a notification in pursuance to that inviting applications for the grant is being issued. But in the meanwhile there was particular temporary need for the travelling public is evident from the records of the case. The aughority has given a finding to that effect which reads as under:
'There is a particular temporary need to fill this vacancy by providing service under a temporary permit.........'
This finding is quite independent of the finding as we see from that there is a permanent need. If the finding would have been that since there is a permanent need, therefore, there is a temporary need, in that case; the finding would be vitiated as that cannot be termed as a temporary need. But in the present case as held earlier that the determination of a temporary scope is not on that basis but on a clear finding that though arrangements are being made for introducing a permanent service on the route, there is a particular temporary need in the meanwhile for the travelling public, that is to say, even if there may be a permanent need but in a particular circumstance there can also exist a particular temporary need, as in the present case, and in that situation the Regional Transport Authority would be fully justified in granting a temporary permit to meet that particular need of the travelling public. We are supported in our view by the decision of the Supreme Court in The M. P. State Road Transport Corporation v. B. P. Upadhyaya, AIR 1966 SC 156. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in paras 6 and 7 have held as under :--
'With regard to the construction of Section 62(c) of the Motor Vehicles Act there is divergence of opinion among the various High Courts. In Jairamdas v. Regional Transport Authority, ILR (1956) 6 Raj 1053 = (AIR 1957 Raj 162), it was held by the Rajasthan High Court that in a case where the Regional Transport Authority was of the view that the existing regular bus service was not sufficient to meet the traffic and decided to increase the number of regular buses plying on the route, it had the power to grant a temporary permit till the necessary formalities for increasing the regular permits were gone through and that this would amount to a temporary need. The same view has been taken by the Assam High Court in Chandi Prasad Mahajan v. The Regional Transport Authority, Gau-hati, ILR (1952) 4 Assam 9 = (AIR 1953 Assam 74), in which it was said that Section 62 (c) of the Motor Vehicles Act isquite general in terms and is not restricted to an existing particular need but includes a particular temporary need created by the inability of Government or an individual to provide transport immediately. A contrary view has been expressed by Madras High Court in Sri Rama Vilas Service Ltd. v. Road Traffic Board, Madras, AIR 1948 Mad 400, by Kerala High Court in Balagangadharan v. Regional Transport Board, Quilon, AIR 1958 Ker 144, by Nagpur High Court in Shah Transport Co., Chhindwara v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1952 Nag 353, and Mysore High Gourt in Mallasattappa v. Chairman, Regional Transport Authority, Bangalore, AIR 1959 Mys 114.
For the reasons already expressed, we hold that the view taken by the Rajasthan High Court in ILR (1956) 6 Raj 1053 = (AIR 1957 Rai 162) and the Assam High Court in ILR (1952) 4 Assam 9 = (AIR 1953 Assam 74), as to the interpretation and the effect of Section 62 (c) of the Motor Vehicles Act is correct.'
Thus, in the present case, we are satisfied that the Regional Transport Authority has determined a particular need and on that basis it has jurisdiction to grant a temporary permit in favour of the respondent No. 2.
6. We may now refer to the decisions cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner in support of his contention. The first case is 1966 MPLJ 605 (supra). The facts of this case are entirely different. On the application of the State Road Transport Corporation for a temporary permit for the route in question, the Regional Transport Authority granted a temporary permit stating-- 'the route is included in the Nationalization Scheme commencing from 23rd March, there is also a need to start this service to facilitate direct connection between Jabalpur and Raipur'. Thus, on this finding of the authority this Court was of the view that whenever there is a permanent need, temporary need cannot be presumed and on that account the temporary grant in that case was quashed.
7. The next case is Misc. Petn. No. 287 of 1970, D/- 29-8-1970 (Madh. Pra.) (supra). In this case the temporary grant was quashed on the ground that this Court was unable to agree that the reasons were sufficient in that case to hold that a temporary need existed. This view was taken as the Secretary to R.T.A. had allowed the application for the temporary grant for two months merely by saying 'extended for two months'. Thus, in the order no temporary need was shown.
8. The last case is Misc. Petn. No. 663 of 1970, D/- 28-1-1971 (Madh. Pra.) (supra). The facts of this case are alsoquite different. There was a demand for a through service from Ambikapur to Kharsia. The Secretary to the Regional Transport Authority, Bilaspur, asked the M. P. S. R. T. C. to apply for a temporary permit on that route and the same was granted on their so applying. The temporary grant was challenged on two counts, viz., that since applications for permanent permit were pending, there cannot be a temporary grant for the same route in view of the first proviso to Section 62 of the Act, and also no particular temporary need existed. Since in the opinion of this Court no temporary need existed, the temporary grant was quashed.
9. Thus, it is clear that the aforesaid three citations referred to us by the learned counsel for the petitioner have no bearing to the facts and circumstances of the present case, as we are of the opinion that in the present case there is a clear finding of the authority with regard to the determination of the particular temporary need. That being the position, it would not be justified to interfere with a valid order when there is no error in the exercise of jurisdiction by the authority. It may be that detailed reasons have not been given for arriving at the finding regarding the temporary need. But that would not make the order without jurisdiction; more so when we are satisfied with the determination of the temporary need by the Regional Transport Authority.
10. For the reasons stated above, this petition fails and is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 150/-, if certified. The remaining security amount shall be refunded to the petitioner.