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Suganchand RamnaraIn Vs. State Transport Appellate Authority and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. Nos. 229 and 360 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1965MP145; 1965MPLJ272
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 57 and 58; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantSuganchand Ramnarain
RespondentState Transport Appellate Authority and ors.
Appellant AdvocateDabir, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateDharmadhikari, Adv. for Anandpur Trust
Cases ReferredRaghunathsingh v. State Transport Appellate Authority
Excerpt:
.....anandpur trust was better qualified than either of the present petitioners for the grant of the permit. suganchand ramnarain, argued that the regional transport authority was clearly in error in inviting fresh applications for the grant of a permit after the order, dated 31st december 1962; that as on the refusal of the renewal of babulal's permit the petitioner was the sole applicant, the regional transport authority should have granted a permit to the applicant after determining their suitability; in this context the order of the appellate authority, dated 31st december, 1962 clearly meant that the regional transport authority should consider the application of messrs. siiganchand ramnarain was clearly barred by time as it had not been made within a period not less than six weeks..........1964 of the state transport appellate authority by which that authority set aside an order of the regional transport authority, gwalior, granting a stage carriage permit for shivpuri-vidisha via ashoknagar route to the applicant gajendrasingh kushwaha in misc. petition no. 229 of 1964 and granted a permit instead to the respondent no. 8 in each petition, namely, shri anandpur trust.3. the material facts are that the permit for the aforesaid route was originally held by one babulal. at the time when the renewal of babulal's permit became due, the petitioner messrs. suganchand ramnarain, in misc. petition no. 360 of 1964 applied for the grant of a permit to them and opposed the renewal of the permit in favour of babulal. the regional transport authority refused to renew babulal's permit.....
Judgment:

Dixit, C.J.

1. This order will also govern the disposal of Misc. Petition No. 229 of 1964.

2. The petitioners in these two cases seek writs of certiorari for quashing an order, dated 16th April, 1964 of the State Transport Appellate Authority by which that authority set aside an order of the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, granting a stage carriage permit for Shivpuri-Vidisha via Ashoknagar route to the applicant Gajendrasingh Kushwaha in Misc. Petition No. 229 of 1964 and granted a permit instead to the respondent No. 8 in each petition, namely, Shri Anandpur Trust.

3. The material facts are that the permit for the aforesaid route was originally held by one Babulal. At the time when the renewal of Babulal's permit became due, the petitioner Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain, in Misc. Petition No. 360 of 1964 applied for the grant of a permit to them and opposed the renewal of the permit in favour of Babulal. The Regional Transport Authority refused to renew Babulal's permit and rejected Suganchand Ramnarain's application on the ground that it was barred by time. Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain then filed an appeal before the State Transport Appellate Authority against the order of the Regional Transport Authority rejecting their application on the ground of limitation. That appeal was allowed by the appellate authority on 31st December 1962; and the Regional Transport Authority was directed to consider the application of Suganchand Ramnarain afresh and decide it according to law. The Regional Transport Authority instead of disposing of the application of Suganchand Ramnarain invited applications for the grant of a permit on the route and thereafter on 3rd May, 1963 the application of Suganchand Ramnarain was published along with the application of other persons including that of the petitioner Gajendrasingh Kushawaha made in response to the invitation.

When all these applications were taken up for consideration by the Regional Transport Authority a preliminary objection was raised on behalf of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain that his applies ion made long before the notification published by the Regional Transport Authority inviting applications should be decided by itself as directed by the appellate authority by its order, dated 31st December, 1962. This objection was overruled by the Regional Transport Authority taking the view that there was no such direction in the order, dated 31st December, 1962 of the appellate authority and that all that was held by that order was that the application of Suganchand Ramnarain was not barred by time. The Regional Transport Authority then proceeded to consider the merits of the various applicants and selected Gajendrasingh Kushawaha for the grant of a permit on the route. Thereafter, Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain and Shri Anandpur Trust, whose applications had been rejected by the Regional Transport Authority, filed appeals before the State Transport Appellate Authority against the order of the Regional Transport Authority. Before the appellate authority each of the appellants urged that the permit should have been granted to them. Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain also raised in their memorandum, of appeal presented to the appellate authority the objection that the Regional Transport Authority erred in overruling their preliminary objection that their application alone should be considered.

The appellate authority considered the claims of all the applicants and found that Shri Anandpur Trust was better qualified than either of the present petitioners for the grant of the permit. It did not express any opinion on the contention raised by Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain in their memorandum of appeal that their application alone should have been considered and that Regional Transport Authority was not justified in inviting fresh applications for the grant of a permit.

4. Shri Dabir, learned counsel for the petitioner Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain, argued that the Regional Transport Authority was clearly in error in inviting fresh applications for the grant of a permit after the order, dated 31st December 1962; that as on the refusal of the renewal of Babulal's permit the petitioner was the sole applicant, the Regional Transport Authority should have granted a permit to the applicant after determining their suitability; and that their application could not be kept pending and fresh applications invited. It was further said that the appellate authority omitted to give any adjudication on this contention of the petitioner Suganchand Ramnarain though it was pressed before that authority. In our opinion, this contention must be accepted. It has been held by this Court in numerous decisions that the Regional Transport Authority has no jurisdiction to defer consideration of an application for a stage carriage permit made to it and to invite fresh applications for considering them along with the one made earlier. (See Saugor Motor Transport Co. Sagar v. Amar Kamgar Passenger Transport Co-operative Society, Ltd. M. P. No. 170 of 1964, dated 23-7-1964 (MP); Orchha Transport Company v. State Transport Appellate Authority, M. P. No. 101 of 1963, dated 24-9-1963 (MP), and the other cases referred to in that decision and Bhojrai Chauksey v. R. T. A. Jabalpur, M. P. No. 263 of 1961, dated 26-10-1961: 1962 MPLJ (NC) 35.

Here, when Babulal's application for renewal of his permit was rejected and when Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain's application was held to be within time by the State Transport Appellate Authority by its order dated 31st December, 1962, Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain were the only persons in the field for the grant of a permit. Their application should have been, therefore, considered on merits as laid down by the decisions referred to above and the Regional Transport Authority was not justified in keeping that application pending and inviting fresh applications for the grant of a permit. It is true that in the order passed by the State Transport Appellate Authority on 31st December, 1962, there was no express direction that the application of Messrs, Suganchand Ramnarain alone should be considered and no fresh applications should be invited by the Regional Transport Authority. But though there was no such express direction, the necessary effect of that order consistent with the decisions referred to above was that the application of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain alone could be considered for the grant of a permit.

The order of the appellate authority had to be considered by the Regional Transport Authority in the context of the facts and circumstances which existed on 31st December, 1962 and on the date on which the Regional Transport Authority had first rejected the application of Suganchand Ramnarain on the ground that it was barred by time. On those dates the position was that the renewal application of Babulal had been rejected and the application of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain held the field. In this context the order of the appellate authority, dated 31st December, 1962 clearly meant that the Regional Transport Authority should consider the application of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain alone for the grant of the permit.

5. Shri Dharmadhikari, learned counsel appearing for the respondent Anandpur Trust was not inclined to dispute the proposition laid down in the cases referred to above. He, however, submitted that the petitioner Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain did not advance before the appellate authority the contention that the Regional Transport Authority was not justified in inviting fresh application and that their application alone should have been considered; and that, therefore, no such objection could be raised in this Court. We are unable to accept this contention. It is true that the impugned order of the appellate authority gives no indication at all whether the contention stated above was or was not put forward on behalf of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain; but this much is clear from the record that it was raised by them in their memorandum of appeal. The appellate authority heard the appeal of Suganchand Ramnarain on 13th April, 1964, that is to say, long after the decision in Misc. Petn. No. 101 of 1963, dated 24-9-1963 (MP) (supra) was pronounced on 24th September, 1963 and the earlier decisions referred to in that case were rendered. It is, therefore, difficult to assume that in the face of several decisions of this Court the substantial objection raised by the petitioner Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain in their memorandum of appeal presented before the appellate authority was not pressed before that authority at the time of the hearing of the appeal. We deliberately say 'assume' because there is no material to show one way or the other whether the objection was or was not pressed at the time of the hearing of the appeal before the appellate authority. Be that as it may, even if it is taken that the objection was not raised before the appellate authority, it being one which goes to the root of the matter can be taken in this Court.

6. Learned counsel for the respondent also contended that Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain did not take any steps, before the filing of the appeal they did before the appellate authority, for challenging the determination of the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, overruling their preliminary objection. The answer to this submission is to be found in the decision of this Court in Misc. Petn. No. 170 of 1964, dated 23-7-1964 (MP) (supra) where in regard to a similar contention it has beer) said that the omission to raise such an objection, without more, does not preclude a party from taking that ground for attacking in appeal or in proceedings under Article 228 the order of the Regional Transport Authority.

7. Relying on the decision of this Court in Raghunathsingh v. State Transport Appellate Authority, Gwalior, Misc. Petn. No. 129 of 1959, dated 6-1-1960 (MP) learned counsel for the respondent also submitted that the application of Messrs. Siiganchand Ramnarain was clearly barred by time as it had not been made within a period not less than six weeks before the date of the expiry of Babulal's permit. This contention is not open to the respondent when the appellate authority has specifically found by its order, dated 31st December, 1962 that Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain applied on 31st January 1962 to the Regional Transport Authority for a fresh grant on the route in question and that they had never stated in their application that they wanted a permit 'in lieu of renewal to be granted to Babulal'. The fact that at the time when the order was pronounced by the appellate authority the respondent was nowhere in the picture makes no difference.

8. If then, as we think, after the order passed by the appellate authority on 31st December, 1962, the application of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain alone could be considered for the grant of a permit, the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, was clearly in error in inviting fresh applications and in granting a permit to Gajendrasingh Kushwaha. For the same reason, the appellate authority was not right in considering the claims of Gajendrasingh Kushwaha and Anandpur Trust for the grant of a permit and in granting a permit to the respondent Shri Anandpur Trust. In this view of the matter it is not necessary to consider whether the appraisal made by the appellate authority of the claims of the contestants is based on relevant and proper considerations or on extraneous factors. In our judgment, the decisions of the appellate authority and the Regional Transport Authority both must be quashed and the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, must be asked to dispose of the application of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain alone for the grant of a permit. It is needless to say that if the Regional Transport Authority finds Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain suitable for the grant of a permit, then the permit has to be granted to them

9. For these reasons, the petition of Messrs. Suganchand Ramnarain is allowed and the decision, dated 1st July, 1963 of the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, and that, dated 16th April, 1964 of the appellate authority are quashed. The other petition is allowed only in so Far as it sought thequashing of the decision of the appellate authority,It is rejected in so far as it relates to the upholding of the order of the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior. The Regional Transport Authority,Gwalior, shall now dispose of the application ofMessrs. Suganchand Ramnarain for the grant of apermit in the light of all that has been said above,In the circumstances of the case, we direct theparties to bear their own costs of these petitions.The outstanding amount of the security depositshall be refunded to the petitioners in both thecases.


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