1. This order will dispose of Miscellanecous Petitions Nos. 564 and 565 of 1966. Both these petitions are directed against an order of the State Transport Appellate Authority passed on 31st October, 1906.
2. The case pertains to the grant of stage carriage permits on the route Datia-Chhatarpur, which is an inter-State route, as part of it lies in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Under an arrangement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh, permits for four single trips on this route can be granted by the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior. Initially, two single trip permits were granted to two operators one of them being one Hasanand Dharmsingh. Later on the permit granted in favour of Hasanand Dharmsingh was cabcelled. In this way there was vacancy on this route for three single trip permits. Three operators namely Ratanlal, Sindh. Transport Company and Ram Jiwan Gupta applied for permits on this route. The Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior considered these applications together. The application of Ram Jiwan Gupta was rejected on the ground that as he was not residing in Madhya Pradesh, he could not make the application for permit to the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior. After thus eliminating Ram Jiwan Gupta, the Authority granted a permit for two trips to Ratanlal and a permit for one trip to Sindh Transport Company. Ram Jiwan Gupta then went up in ap-peal to the State Transport Appellate Authority. The Appellate Authority held that Ram Jiwan Gupta was residing at Datia in Madhya Pradesh and his application for permit was maintable. On this finding the Appellate Authority set aside the dismissal of the application of Ram Jiwan Gupta as also the grants made in favour of Ratanlal and Sindh Transport Company and remanded the case to the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior for reconsideration of the applications on merits. Ratanlal (petitioner in M. P. 564 of 1966) and Sindh Transport Company (petitioner in M. P. No. 565 of 1966) have come up to this Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution for quashing the order of the Appellate Authority. Ram Jiwan Gupta is impleaded as respondent in both these petitions.
3. The first contention raised on behalf of the petitioners is that the respondent Gupta was permanent resident of Uttar Pradesh and even if he was temporarily residing at Datia, he was not entitled to make the application for permit to the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior. It is argued that the word 'resides' as it occurs in the second proviso to Section 45 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 refers to permanent residence and not to temporary residence. It is also argued that the finding of the Appellate Authority that Gupta was residing at Datia is apparently erroneous.
4. Section 45 of the Motor Vehicles Act reads as follows:
'Section 45. Every application for a permit shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which it is proposed to use the vehicle or vehicles:
Provided that if it is proposed to use the vehicle or vehicles in two or more regions lying within the same State, the application shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the major portion of the proposed route or area lies, and in case the portion of the proposed route or area in each of the regions is approximately equal, to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which it is proposed to keep the vehicle or vehicles:
Provided further that if it is proposed to use the vehicle or vehicles in two more regions lying in different States, the application shall be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the applicant resides or has his principal place of business.'
5. The question raised is about the meaning of the word 'resides' as it occurs in the second proviso. In its ordinary meaning the word is capable of embracing permanent as also temporary residence. Referring to the word 'resides' in Section 33 of the Registration Act, 1908, the Privy Council in Sarat Chandra v. Bijoy Chand, AIR 1937 PC 46 at P. 47 ovserved:
'The expression 'resides' as used in Section 33, is not defined in the statute; but there is no reason for assuming that it contemplates only permanent residence and excludes temporary residence.'
These observations were quoted and followed by the Supreme Court in Kishore Chandra v. Ganesh Prasad, AIR 1954 SC 316 at p 320.
The meaning of the word 'resides' again came up for consideration before the Supreme Court, in the context of Section 488(8) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, in Jagir Kumar v. Jaswant Singh, AIR 1963 SC 1521 where it was said:
'The said word has been subject to conflicting judicial opinion. In the Oxford Dictionary it, is defined as: 'dwell permanently or for a considerable time; to have one's settled or usual abode; to live in or at a particular place.' The said meaning, therefore, takes in both a permanent dwelling as well as a temporary living in a place. It is, therefore, capable of different meanings, including domicile in the strictest and the most technical sense and a temporary residence. Whichever meaning is given to it, one thing is obvious and it is that it does not include a casual stay in, or a flying visit to a particular place. In short, the meaning of the word would, in the ultimate analysis, depend upon the context and the purpose of a particular statute. In this case the context and purpose of the present statute certainly do not compel the importation of the concept of domicile in its technical sense. The purpose of the statute would be better served if the word 'resides' was understood to include temporary residence.'
Their Lordships then denned the word 'resides' thus:--
'A person resides in a place if he through choice makes it his abode permanently or even temporarily.'
There is nothing in the object or the context of the second proviso to Section 45 of the Motor Vehicles Act which may suggest that the word 'resides' as used therein is confined to permanent residence. In our opinion, the reason why the proviso insists that the applicant should be residing or having a place of business within the region where he applies for permit is that the Regional Transport Authority may be able to easily correspond with him regarding the application. This object will be served even if the applicant has a temporary residence within the region.
On the other hand, if the word 'resides' is construed as limited to persons permanently residing, all persons not permanently resident within the regions through which the interstatal route runs and not having any place of business they, would be completely excluded from making an application for permit. In our opinion, having regard to the object and purpose of Section 45 and the second proviso, the word 'resides' must be construed as including both permanent and temporary residence.
6. The Appellate Authority clearly held that Gupta, at the relevant time was residing in the house of Ramcharan Kori at Datia which he had taken on rent. It is not necessary for a person to reside in a place that he must own the house where he resides. As explained in Kishore Chandra's case, AIR 1954 SC 316 (supra) 'residence only connotes that a person eats, drinks and sleeps at that place and not that he owns it.' In our opinion, even if Gupta was permanent resident of Uttar Pradesh, he was residing at Datia at the relevant time as found by the Appellate Authority. As Datia falls within the region of the Regional Transport Authority, Gwalior, the application for permit made by Gupta to that authority was competent.
7. The second point urged on behalf of the petitioners in Miscellaneous Petition No. 564 of 1966 is that Gupta's application for grant of a permit was restricted to the vacancy arising out of the cancellation of the permit of Hasanand Dharmsingh, and that application should not have been considered along with the application of Ratanlal. It is pointed out that Gupta and Sindh Transport Company mentioned in their applications that they were applying in the vacancy arising out of the cancellation of the permit of Hasanand Dharmsingh, whereas Ratanlal did not qualify his application in that manner. There is no substance in this contention. After the permit of Hasanand Dharmsingh was cancelled, the vacancy arising as a result of it did not bear any separate identity, and it was like any other vacancy on the route. It is, therefore, wrong to say that the applications of Gupta and Sindh Transport Company fall in one category and should have been separately dealt with.
It is true that these applicants mentioned in their applications that they were applying as a vacancy has arisen in place of Hasanand Dharmsingh, but that does not mean that the applications were confined to any particular vacancy; all vacancies on the route stood on the same footing. All applications were for permits on the route and it cannot be said that they could be separately classified with reference to how the vacancy arose on the route. Probably, Gupta and Sindh Transport Company did not know that there were already two vacancies on the route, and therefore, they mentioned in their applications that they were applying for permits as a vacancy has arisen on the cancellation of the permit of Hasanand Dharmsingh. This did not however, result in confining their applications to any particular vacancy. In our opinion, the Transport Appellate Authority rightly held that all the applications by these three applicants should be considered together.
8. Lastly it was contended that as all the relevant material was already on the record, the Appellate Authority should have itself disposed of the applications on merits instead of remanding the cases to the Regional Transport Authority. It would be seen that the Regional Transport Authority had totally failed to determine the claim of Gupta for getting a permit as against the other two applicants to whom the permits were issued on the ground that the application of Gupta was incompetent. In such a situation, the Appellate Authority was fully justified in remanding the cases to the Regional Transport Authority for a fresh decision after determining the rival claims of the three applicants. The course adopted by the Appellate Authority falls within the rule laid down by us in New Jabalpur Transport (P.) Ltd., Jabalpur v. State Transport Appellate Authority, M. P. No. 627 of 1966, D/-13-9-1968 (MP).
9. The petitions fail and are dismissed. Ram Jiwan Gupta will have hiscosts in both these petitions withcounsel's fee Rs. 100 in each. The outstanding amount of security after deduction of costs shall be refunded to thepetitioners.