1. This is an application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ of certiorari for quashing a decision dated 9th June 1965 of the State Transport Appellate Authority dismissing an appeal preferred by the petitioner against an order dated 31st July 1964 of the Regional Transport Authority, Bilaspur cancelling a permit held by him in respect of Jashpur-Tori route. A writ of certiorari has also been sought for quashing the order of the Regional Transport Authority.
2. The petitioner's permit in question had been cancelled earlier also by the Regional Transport Authority on 6th May 1963 for failure to maintain the route. That order was, however, set aside in appeal--by the State Transport Appellate Authority on the ground that the permit was cancelled without complying with the proviso to Section 60(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. The appellate authority by its order dated 11th November 1963 remitted the matter to the Regional Transport Authority for a fresh decision in the matter after giving to the petitioner an opportunity of hearing as contemplated by the proviso to Section 60 (1). It appears that after the making of this remand order by the appellate authority the Regional Transport Authority listed in the agenda for its meeting of 7th July 1964 the subject of 'considering the order of the State Transport Appellate Authority dated 11th November 1963.' At that meeting the petitioner was present. After hearing him the Regional Transport Authority held that the applicant had failed to prove that he had maintained the service on Jashpur-Tori route. On this finding of non-maintenance of the route, the Regional Transport Authority cancelled the petitioner's permit. The appellate authority also took the view that the petitioner had failed to maintain the route and accordingly dismissed the appeal preferred by the applicant against the order of the Regional Transport Authority.
3. Shri Tankha, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, contended that the cancellation of the petitioner's permit for Jashpur-Tori route was invalid inasmuch as despite the direction given by the State Transport Appellate Authority, the Regional Transport Authority totally omitted to give to the applicant an opportunity to furnish his explanation to the intended cancellation as required by the proviso to Section 60(1). In our view, this contention must be accepted. Under Section 60 (1) the transport authority is empowered to cancel or suspend a permit for such period as it thinks fit on any ground or grounds mentioned in clauses (a) to (f) of that sub-section. The proviso to Section 60(1) lays down that no f permit shall be cancelled unless an opportunity has been given to the holder of the permit to furnish his explanation. It is evident from Section 60(1) that the person proceeded against must first be apprised of the allegations against him falling under categories enumerated in Section 60(1) entailing the cancellation or suspension of his permit. Unless he is informed precisely of the allegations, it is clearly impossible for him to furnish his explanation and to show cause against cancellation or suspension of the permit. When the person concerned is informed of the allegations, then it is open to him to show that the allegations are not true or even if true they cannot constitute any ground for cancelling the permit under Section 60(1).
4. Now, here, what the Regional Transport Authority did was simply to give a notice to the petitioner to appear before it and to give proof of maintenance of the route. The petitioner was never informed by the Regional Transport Authority of any allegation against him which, according to the authority, fell under any of the clauses specified in Section 60 (1) and which, if proved, would justify the cancellation of the permit. Merely asking the petitioner to give proof of maintenance of service on the route is not the same thing as asking him to show cause or explain why his permit should not be cancelled because of any act or acts falling under the enumerated categories in Section 60(1). The entire order of the Regional Transport Authority is nothing but a welter of confusion and utterly fails to show the ground or grounds falling under Section 60(1) which persuaded him to cancel the petitioner's permit for Jashpur-Tori route. In these circumstances, the order of cancellation passed by the Regional Transport Authority and the decision of the appellate authority affirming it cannot be sustained.
5. For these reasons, this petition is allowed. The decision dated 9th June 1965 of the appellate authority and the order dated 31st July 1964 of the Regional Transport Authority, Bilaspur, cancelling the petitioner's permit for Jashpur-Tori route are both quashed. There will be no order about costs. The outstanding amount of the security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.