1. The Regional Transport Authority. Bilaspur, by an order, dated 4-1-1964, granted a contract carriage permit to the respondent No. 3. Under this permit the respondent No. 3 is entitled to ply his tempo (a six-seater motor vehicle) within a radius of 10 miles from Bilaspur centre. The petitioner was an objector. The petitioner holds a number of permits on Bilaspur-Chakrabhata route--a distance of less than 10 miles. The contention of the petitioner before the Regional Transport Authority was that the contract carriage permit-holders use their vehicles as stage carriages and instead of carrying passengers from one point to another on the route under a single contract, they pick up passengers and set them down just like stage carriages. The petitioner was affected by this activity, as no time is fixed for them and they pick up the Bilaspur-Chakrabhata passengers before the carriages of the petitioner reach the place
The petitioner, therefore, requested the Regional Transport Authority to exclude the operation of the respondent No. 3 over Bilaspur-Chakrabhata route. In any case, it was urged that a condition should be incorporated in the permit that no passenger shall be picked up during the journey from one point to another in the area of operation. It was also urged that the grant in favour of the respondent No. 3 would result in piercing the ceiling imposed by the Regional Transport Authority. The objections were negatived by theRegional Transport Authority and the permit was granted as already stated. The State Transport Appellate Authority also negatived the objections and dismissed the appeal by order, dated 6-3-1965. The petitioner seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing the permit in favour of the respondent No. 3 and the orders of the Transport Authorities, referred to above.
2. In our opinion, the Transport Authorities were right in the view taken by them. The mere possibility of misuse of a permit cannot be made a ground for refusing the grant of a permit. The remedy for preventing misuse lies in vigilance on the part of the Transport Authorities and the police authorities. An honest applicant cannot he legally refused the permit because of illegal activities of others. The stage carriage permits and contract carriage permits are granted to satisfy different kinds of needs of the travelling public. There is no inconsistency in the grant of stage carriage permits and contract carriage permits on the same route, as they cater to different needs. Only because the petitioner holds stage carriage permits on Bilaspur-Chakrabhata route, that cannot he made a ground for excluding the operation of a contract carriage on that route. The objection as to the piercing of the ceiling was not reiterated before us.
3. It was then urged that, in any case, the Regional Transport Authority should have incorporated in the permit a condition prohibiting the permit-holder from taking passengers and setting them down while plying the vehicle from one point to another in the area specified in the permit. It was urged that under Section 51 of the Motor Vehicles Act the Regional Transport Authority had the necessary power to impose such a condition. In the absence of such a condition, no action could be taken against the permit-holder under Section 60 of the Act This contention also is without substance. Section 51 does not in terms authorise the Regional Transport Authority to impose the condition in question. In fact, it is not necessary to incorporate the condition. That condition is implicit in the grant of contract carriage permit.
Under Section 2 (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 'contract carriage' is defined to mean a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward under a contract expressed or implied for the use of the vehicle as a whole at or for a fixed or agreed rate or sum and from one point to another without stopping to pick up or set down along the line of route passengers not included in the contract and includes a motor can notwithstanding that the passengers may pay separate fares The definition clearly indicates that a contract carriage cannot take any passengers for different destinations at one and the same time under separate contracts; nor can the passengers be picked up in the route. Section 60 (1) (b) of the Motor Vehicles Act authorises the Regional Transport Authority to cancel or suspend a permit if the holder of the same allows it to be used in any manner not authorised by his permit.
If the holder of a contract carriage permit acts in the manner suggested by the petitioner, that would be using the vehicle in a manner not authorised and the provisions of Section 60 (1) (b) would be attracted. It is, therefore, not correct to say that unless the condition prohibiting the picking up of passengers and selling them down is incorporated in the permit no action under Section 60 can be taken. The holder of such a permit can also be prosecuted under Section 123 of the Act if he uses the vehicle in a manner not permitted by the permit.
4. For the reasons staled above, we are satisfied that the petition is without substance.The petition is, therefore, dismissed with costs. Hearing fee Rs. 100. The balance of the securitydeposit, after deduction of costs, shall be refunded to the petitioner