1. By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation calls into question a notification dated 24th May, 1968 issued by the Regional Transport Authority Indore, the respondent to this petition, inviting applications for grant of permits on the routes mentioned in the notification and fixing ceiling on these routes.
2. The impugned notification has been issued by the respondent under Section 47 (3) and Section 57 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. The notification is challenged on the ground that it includes routes and areas falling within the schemes Nos. 16, 36, 47 and 53, which were approved under Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act. The learned counsel for the petitioner has shown from Annexure 'D' to the petition how numerous routes falling within the schemes have been included in the notification by the respondent.
3. A scheme made under Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act has the force of law: H. C. Narayanappa v. State of Mysore, 1960-3 SCR 742 at p. 752=(AIR 1960 SC 1073 at p. 1078). Further, as a scheme is finally made by an order of the State Government approving it, it is also an 'order' within the meaning of that word as it occurs in Section 68-B and in terms of that section has effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in Chapter IV of the Act. An approved scheme has thus the effect of overriding the powers of the Transport Authorities under Chapter IV in so far as those powers may be inconsistent with the scheme. It was therefore, not open to the respondent to have invited applications for permits or to have fixed any ceiling limit in respect of areas and routes falling within the approved schemes, which were to be operated by the State Transport Corporation. The respondent seems to be under the impression that a route falling within a scheme is limited to the notional line running between two points and a permit can be granted between two different points, which will be a new route even if it includes whole or portion of the road falling within the route in the scheme. This is not the correct legal position as has been explained by the Sucreme Court in a number of cases. A route or area in Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act or in any scheme made under that Chapter does not merely mean the notional line between two points on the road, but also the actual road over which the omnibuses run; (C. P. C. Motor Service, Mysore v. State of Mysore, 1962 Supp 1 SCR 717=(AIR 1966 SC 1661) Nilkanth Prasad v. State of Bihar, 1962 Supp 1 SCR 728=(AIR 1962 SC 1135) Roshanlal Gautam v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1965-1 SCR 841 = (AIR 1965 SC 991). A notified route, which falls within the scheme, thus includes the road within the two points of the route and an approved scheme cannot be evaded by including this road or any portion of it between two other points and thus giving it a colour of a new route. The position would be that in respect of an area or a road falling within a notified scheme, no action can be taken in derogation of the scheme. As the notification issued by the respondent affects areas and routes which fall within approved schemes, the notification cannot stand and must be quashed. It would be open to the respondent to issue a fresh notification restricting its operation to the areas and routes not falling within any approved scheme.
4. The petition is allowed. The notification dated 24th May, 1968 issued by the respondent is hereby quashed. There will be no order as to costs of this petition. The amount of security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.