1. This writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution has been filed to challenge the vires of the amendment made by the Punjab Government in the Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1940, by notification No. 3971/T, dated the 28th June 1954.
2. Pritam Bus Service Limited of Jullundur City is a holder of 12 stage carriage permits and owns 14 passenger transport vehicles. It is engaged in transporting passengers on various routes radiating from Julhmdur. By this amendment Sub-rule (c) has been added to Rule 4.20. This sub-rule reads:--
'A Regional Transport Authority may attach to any stage carriage permit or contract carriage permit anyone or more of the following conditions, namely:--
(c) that the holder of a permit for a stage carriage shall provide uniforms to drivers and conductors as specified by the Regional Transport Authority.'
In consequence of tin's amendment this sub-rule was added as a condition to the stage carriage permits hy the Regional Transport Authority, Jullundur. Under this sub-rule two sets of summer and winter uniforms have to be provided to drivers and conductors of motor vehicles plying under the stage carnage permits. The petitioner objects to incurring expenditure for providing these uniforms and also-objects to the amendment becoming a condition in the stage carriage permits.
3. The Motor Vehicles Act is a Central Act. Section G8 of the Act empowers a State Government to make rules for the purposes of Ch. IV of the Act. This Chapter beginning from Section 42 and ending with Section 68 lays down various provisions to control transport vehicles plying on various routes. Section 68 so far as it is relevant for the present purposes reads as follows:--
'68(1). A State Government may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of (his Chapter.
(2). Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, rules under this section may bemade with respect to all or any of the followingmatters, namely:--
(f) the balges and uniform to be worn by drivers and conductors ot stage carriages and contract carriages;
It is therefore clear that a State Government can make rules under the Central Act regarding uniforms to be worn by drivers and conductors. Under Section 48(d) a Regional Transport Authority can attach to a stage carriage permit any prescribed condition after consideration ot matters set forth in Section 47 and these matters include consideration of the interest of the public generally. Rule 4, 20(c) is obviously a prescribed condition and therefore if the rale is valid then its inclusion in the stage cairiago permits must be held to be valid and in accordance with law. This inclusion may cany with it the possibility of punishment for contravention of the rule as laid down under Section 112 of the Act, but this is only a corollary to the making ofavalid rule and if the rule is valid then its infringement must ho dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
4. Therefore it is necessary to decide if the Rule 4.20(c) is valid. The vires of this rule is impugned on the grounds (1) that the power of prescribing uniforms cannot he delegated to a Regional Transport Authority and (2) that the power given to the Regional Transport Authority is absolute in nature and arbitrary without any restriction or control and is liable to be abused and on this ground it is illegal. It is argued that under this rule it is open to the Regional Transport Authority to prescribe any number of uniforms and of any quality however expensive and thereby impose intolerable and impossible conditions on permit holders.
5. Now Regional Transport Authority is constituted under Section 44 of the Act. An application for permit has to be made to this Authority under Section 55, while Sections 47 and 48 lay down matters that should be considered in dealing with permit application and for imposing conditions on permit holders. Section 68(2)(f) empowers the State Government to make rules regarding badges and uniforms to be worn by drivers and conductors.
When enacting this provision of law the Legislature considered that a rule regarding uniforms, etc., would carry out the object and purpose of the Act. The impugned rule authorises the Regional Transport Authority to prescribe uniforms. It is obviously convenient that such a rule should bo enforced by the State Government through the Regional Transport Authority which is an Authority dealing with applications for stage and contract carriage permits. The rule regarding uniforms could only be enforced though this Authority and the setting up of any other machinery would only have resulted in confusion and also inconvenience to the transport trade.
The Central Legislature has laid clown that Regional Transport Authority is to be formed in all regions and has imposed certain duties on this Authority. It appears to me that under the Motor Vehicles Act the Legislature has laid down the principle that rule for prescribing uniforms and badges to be worn by drivers and conductors should be made by the State Government and the Regional TransportAuthority can be given the power to enforce it as a condition of permit.
I can therefore see no room for legitimate grie-vanec that this matter of detail ot prescribing the uniforms should have been lelt to the Regional Trans-port Authority vide Harishankar Bagla v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, (1955) 1 SCR 380: (AIR 1954 SC 463) (A). This delegation to the Regional Authority cannot by any means be considered to be dele-gallon of legislative powers. 1 have therefore no hesitation in rejecting this contention of the learned counsel.
6. It is then urged that the rule has been framed in such a way that it gives arbitrary and unregulated power to the Regional Transport Authority to prescribe any quality of uniform, however expensive, and it is argued that this power is liable to be abused as it is open to the Regional Transport Authority to prescribe a uniform which may make it impossible for the private transport trade to function on commercial basis.
It is, however, conceded that in the present case the uniform prescribed is of a type which imposes a burden on permit holders but not an intolerable burden. Shri Tek Chand, learned counsel for the petitioner, in fact at one stage admitted that the prescribed uniform can be supported on humanitarian ground but he considers that ground to be foreign to his arguments. I am, however, of the opinion that the rule cannot be impugned in the present case on this ground.
The rule carries out the purposes of the Act and if it is at any stage used in a way as suggested by the learned counsel then the persons engaged in the transport trade can, if so advised, challenge the order as violating the fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen of the country under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. Admittedly such a posi-tion has not arisen in the present case and therefore this contention must be rejected.
7. For all these reasons 1 see no force in tho petition and dismiss it with costs which I assess at Rs. 100 (one hundred).