1. This writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution has been directed by the petitioner. MadhyaPradesh State Road Transport Corporation, against the order dated 25-6-1973 passed by the Regional Transport Authority, Sagar (respondent No. 1) granting a temporary permit in favour of Gulabchand Jain (respondent No. 3).
2. The facts of the case in brief are that earlier the respondent No. 1 had granted a temporary permit vide its order dated 25-4-1973 in favour of the respondent No. 3 for the route Sagar, Jabalpur via Rehli, Garhakota, Abhana, Teigarh and Tendukheda. This permit was valid for a period of one month with the expiry date as 25-6-1973. As it appears from the record that some persons had applied for grant of new regular permanent stage-carriage permit for the same route and those applications after being received by the respondent No. 1 had been sent for publication in the M. P. Rajpatra. In the meanwhile since the validity of the temporary grant was expiring, the respondent No. 3 again and one more person, Nemichand Jain, applied for the grant of a temporary permit for the same route. Both the applicants desired the temporary grant for a period of four months in their respective applications. The Regional Transport Authority granted temporary permit again to the respondent No. 3 for a period of two months with effect from 27-6-1973 overruling the objection of the petitioner against the grant. The impugned order is Annexure E. Three grounds have been stated in the said order for the temporary grant which are as under:--
(i) The need of one additional service for Sagar, Jabalpur and vice versa route has been established by the grant of first temporary permit that too on payment of P/Tax at 70% rate, at convenient hours.
(ii) There had been no interference from the High Court of M. P., Jabalpur, on a writ petition having been filed by the M. P. S. R. T. C. along with a request for interim stay as intimated by the grantee of temporary permit.
(iii) Applications which have been made suo motu for grant of permanent permit for additional service have been sent for publication in the M. P. Rajpatra.
The petitioner being aggrieved by the impugned order (Annexure E) has come up in the present petition before this Court.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the order of the respondent No. 1 is without jurisdiction inasmuch as the same has been passed in contravention of First Proviso to Section 62(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') and also that the three reasons stated in the order for the temporary grant do not justify aparticular temporary need under Section 62 (1) (c). On the other hand, learned counsel for respondent No. 3 contended that the impugned order is valid and requires no interference.'
4. Having heard learned counsel of the parties, we are of the opinion that this petition must be allowed. It will be necessary to reproduce the First Provisc to Section 62 (1) of the Act for the appreciation of the first submission made by the learned counsel for the petitioner which reads as under:--
'Provided that a temporary permit under this section shall, in no case, be granted in respect of any route or area specified in an application for the grant of a new permit under Section 46 or section 54 during the pendency of the application.'
A plain reading of the aforesaid proviso makes it clear that a Regional Transport Authority has no jurisdiction to grant a temporary permit for a route for which application or applications for grant of stage carriage permit axe pending before the same authority. The words 'during the pendency of the application' in the proviso have reference to a period of time earlier to the disposal of the application by the authority. In pur opinion, pendency is the state or condition of being undecided and it would cover the period from the time the applications for the grant of permanent permit under Section 46 of the Act are received till they are disposed of under Section 57 of the Act. The wordings of the proviso are very clear and unambiguous and there cannot be any different interpretation. That being the clear position of law, in the present case since the finding of the respondent No. 1 is that the applications for grant of fresh permit for the same route under Section 46 are pending before the said authority, we hold that it had no jurisdiction to grant temporary permit for the same route. Therefore, in the present case, grant of temporary permit being in violation of First Proviso to Section 62 (1) of the Act, the order has to be quashed on this ground alone. We would like to observe that the Regional Transport Authority has acted in utter disregard of the specific provision of the law. It is hoped that in future while granting permits it would look into the provisions of law and apply its mind to them. Learned counsel for respondent No. 1 raised a novel submission before us that if the proviso is given its literal meaning then the grant, of a temporary permit for a route can always be jeopardised by an interested operator on the route by making an application for a permanent permit. We see no substance in this contention. The settled rule of interpreting or construing a statute isto seek the intention of the Legislature. A statute is to be construed according 'to intent of them that make it' and the duty of the judicature is to act upon the true intention of the Legislature--the mens or sententia legis. In Robert Wigram Craw-ford v. Richard Spooner, (1846-51) 4 Moo Ind App 179 at p. 187 (PC) Lord Brougham stated the importance of the test of the statute in the following words:
'.........If the Legislature did intendthat which it has not expressed clearly; much more, if the Legislature intended something very difficult; if the Legislature intended something pretty nearly the opposite of what is said, it is not for Judges to invent something which they do not meet with in the words of the text............'
Thus, where the words have a plain meaning, the Courts ace not to get busy themselves with supposed propositions as have been advanced in the present case by the learned counsel for the respondent No. 3. If we agree with the submission of the learned counsel it would reduce the First Proviso to Section 62 (1) of the Act to a futility which is not permissible.
5. The second contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that all the three reasons given by the respondent No. 1 for grant of a temporary permit are extraneous and neither of them constitute a particular temporary need under Section 62 (1) (c) of the Act. In our opinion, the submission is correct. Once a grant of a temporary permit for the route cannot by itself be a reason for grant of a subsequent temporary permit for the same route without there being factual determination of a persisting temporary need by the Regional Transport Authority. Similarly, if this Court did not interfere with the first grant of temporary permit, that also could not give jurisdiction to the Regional Transport Authority to grant a subsequent temporary permit again for the same route on that basis. Particular temporary need has a meaning with reference to the need of the travelling public and that cannot be assessed on the basis that this Court did not interfere with the earlier temporary grant. Each time the authority in granting temporary permit must determine itself about the existence of a particular tempopary need objectively for a period not exceeding four months at a time and then decide the matter whether the circumstances justify the grant or not. Again, even the third basis for the temporary grant that applications for grant of a permanent permit for the route are pending also cannot be a reason for granting a temporary permit in view of the First proviso to Section 62(1) (c) of the Act about which we have already dealt in detail in para. 4 above. Since all the reasons given by the respondent No. 1 for the grant of a temporary permit are extraneous to the particular temporary need, the impugned order of the respondent No. 1 is liable to be quashed on this ground also.
6. In the result, the petition succeeds and is allowed with costs. The order dated 25-6-1973 passed by the Regional Transport Authority, Sagar, is hereby quashed. Counsel's fee Rs. 150/-, if certified. The amount of security deposited by the petitioner shall be refunded to it.