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Tansukh Rai JaIn Vs. Nilratan Prasad Shaw and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1966SC1780; 1965(0)BLJR533; [1965]2SCR6
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 64A; Motor Vehicles (Bihar Amendment) Act, 1949 - Sections 64A; Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1956; Constitution of India - Article 254 and 254(2); Motor Vehicles (Bihar Amendment) Act, 1953
AppellantTansukh Rai Jain
RespondentNilratan Prasad Shaw and ors.
Cases ReferredDeep Chand v. The State of Uttar Pradesh
Excerpt:
.....inappealable orders of the regional transport authority were required to be preferred to the state transport authority - appeal: [tarun chatterjee & h.l.dattu, jj] dismissal of appeal by high court without giving proper hearing to parties high court holding that the appeal has become infructuous in view of appellants retirement but granted limited relief to him that he should be paid principals salary and consequential benefits, on account of his ad hoc officiation on the basis of high courts earlier interim order - appellant not satisfied with the limited relief granted to him and therefore challenged high court order - held, appeal ought no have been decided on merits without giving proper hearing to parties. high court therefore was directed to dispose of special appeal..........transport authority may pass suchorder in relation to the case as it deems fit : provided that the statetransport authority shall not entertain any application from a person aggrievedby an order of a regional transport authority, unless the application is madewithin thirty days from the date of the order : provided further that the statetransport authority shall not pass an order under this section prejudicial toany person without giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.' 7. 'bihar section 64a : the state government may, on application madeto it in this behalf, within thirty days of the passing of the order in thecourse of any proceedings taken under this chapter by any authority or officersubordinate to it, call for the records of such proceedings, and afterexamining such.....
Judgment:

Raghubar Dayal, J.

1. This appeal, on certificate granted by the High Court of Patna, raisesthe question whether section 64A of the Motor Vehicles Act as introduced by theMotor Vehicles (Bihar Amendment) Act, 1949 (Bihar Act XXVII of 1950),hereinafter referred to as Bihar section 64A, was not applicable to proceedingsfor grant of permit for inter-State routes. This question, however, was decidedby this Court in S. K. Pasari v. Abdul Ghafoor (Civil Appeal No. 306 of 1964,decided on 4-5-64). It was held that it was applicable to cases ofstage-carriage permits for inter-State routes.

2. The respondent prayed, in view of the observations in Abdul Mateen v. RamKailash Pandey : [1963]3SCR523 for permission to challenge the validityof the aforesaid section on the ground that Parliament, by the Motor Vehicles(Amendment) Act, 1956 (Act No. 100 of 1956), has introduced another section 64Ain the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (Act IV of 1939), hereinafter referred to asCentral section 64A and that thereby Bihar section 64A must be taken to havebeen repealed by necessary implication.

3. The question arises in this way. The appellant Tansukh Rai Jain, was oneof the applicants for the stage-carriage permit for an inter-State routebetween Bihar and Orissa. The State Transport Authority, Bihar, granted thepermit to the United Motor Works & Co. Ltd. The appellant and respondentNo. 1, Nilratan Prasad Shaw, appealed to the appellate authority, the DeputyMinister of Transport, Bihar, against the order of the State Transportauthority. The appellate authority reversed the order and granted the permit toShaw, respondent No. 1. Thereafter, the appellant went in revision to the BiharGovernment, in view of Bihar s. 64A. The Transport Minister set aside the orderof the appellate authority and granted the permit to Jain, the appellant. Shaw,respondent No. 1, then filed a writ petition in the High Court and prayed forthe quashing of the order of the Transport Minister and for the restoration ofthe order of the appellate authority granting the permit to him. The High Courtallowed the writ petition holding that Bihar section 64A did not apply tostage-carriage permits for inter State routes and that therefore the BiharGovernment was incompetent to revise the order of the appellate authority.

4. It is urged for the respondent that the provisions of Bihar s. 64A arerepugnant to those of Central section 64A and are therefore void in view ofclause (1) of Art. 254. It is also urged that the Central Act has repealedBihar section 64A by enacting Central s. 64A in the exercise of the power ithad under the proviso to Art. 254(2). If the provisions of Bihar section 64Aare repugnant to any extent with those of Central section 64A, Bihar section64A will be void to the extent of the repugnancy in view of clause (1) of Art.254 of the Constitution. As the Central Act was enacted by Parliamentsubsequent to the enactment of Bihar section 64A, the provisions of the mainpart of clause (2) of Art. 254 will not apply to make Bihar section 64A goodwithin the State of Bihar, even though it had received the assent of thePresident, as those provisions applied when the Central Act is enacted earlierthan the State law. We have therefore to see whether the provisions of Biharsection 64A are repugnant to those of Central section 64A.

5. The tests for determining whether a certain provision of a State law isrepugnant to the provisions of a law made by Parliament are stated thus, inDeep Chand v. The State of Uttar Pradesh [1959] Supp. 2 S.C.R. 8 :

'Repugnancy between twostatutes may thus be as-certained on the basis of the following threeprinciples :

(1) Whether there is directconflict between the two provisions;

(2) Whether Parliament intendedto lay down an exhaustive code in respect of the subject matter replacing theAct of the State Legislature; and

(3) Whether the law made byParliament and the law made by the State Legislature occupy the samefield.'

6. We may now refer to the two sections, Central section 64A and Biharsection 64 :

'Central section 64A : TheState Transport Authority may, either on its motion or on an application madeto it, call for the record of any case in which an order has been made by aRegional Transport Authority and in which no appeal lies, and if it appears tothe State Transport Authority that the order made by the Regional TransportAuthority is improper or illegal, the State Transport Authority may pass suchorder in relation to the case as it deems fit :

Provided that the StateTransport Authority shall not entertain any application from a person aggrievedby an order of a Regional Transport Authority, unless the application is madewithin thirty days from the date of the order :

Provided further that the StateTransport Authority shall not pass an order under this section prejudicial toany person without giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.'

7. 'Bihar section 64A : The State Government may, on application madeto it in this behalf, within thirty days of the passing of the order in thecourse of any proceedings taken under this Chapter by any authority or officersubordinate to it, call for the records of such proceedings, and afterexamining such records pass such order as it thinks fit.'

8. The words 'subordinate to it' in Bihar section 64A, were omitted by theMotor Vehicles (Bihar Amendment) Act, 1953 (Bihar Act I of 1954). This washowever not noticed when Bihar section 64A was quoted in Pasari's case (CivilAppeal No. 306 of 1964, decided on 4-5-64).

9. First we have to see whether there is any direct conflict between Centralsection 64A and Bihar section 64A. Such a conflict, to a certain extent, canarise if Bihar section 64A be construed literally. The language of Biharsection 64A is very general and empowers the State Government to revise anyorder made in the course of any proceedings taken under Chapter IV and passsuch orders as it thinks fit. It must, however, be so construed, if possible,as not to come in conflict with the provisions of the Central Act. The power ofrevision vested in the State Government under its provisions are to come intoplay only when the Central Act does not provide any remedy against the ordersproposed to be revised. Certain orders have been made appealable under section64 of the Act. The power of revision therefore will arise and will be exercisedafter the appellate power is exhausted and not when the aggrieved person hasnot appealed against the order. Similarly, it will be available only againstnon-appealable orders after the aggrieved person has taken action under Centralsection 64A. The aggrieved person cannot have recourse to action under Bihar section64A without first taking action under Central section 64A. To the extent thatthe language of Bihar section 64A can cover the cases open to appeal and torevision under section 64 and Central section 64A respectively, it will be indirect conflict with the provisions of the Central 'Act' and Bihar section 64Awill be void to that extent.

10. Bihar section 64A, it is argued for the respondent, is wholly void as byCentral section 64A Parliament intended to lay down an exhaustive code inrespect of the said subject matter of revisions. It is also urged that Biharsection 64A is wholly void as both that section and Central section 64A coverthe same field. On these very grounds, it is urged that by enacting Centralsection 64A Parliament has repealed by implication Bihar section 64A as it wascompetent to do in view of the proviso to clause (2) of Art. 254.

11. Repeal, by implication, is not to be easily inferred. It is to beexpected that when Parliament was aware of the provisions of Bihar section 64Aand of Art. 254 of the Constitution and it intended to repeal Bihar section64A, it would have expressly stated so. There is nothing in Central section 64Aor in any other provision of the Act which expressly states that Bihar section64A is repealed. We are of opinion that the mere fact that Central section 64Adeals with revisions against non-appealable orders of the Regional TransportAuthority is not sufficient to conclude that Parliament intended to repealBihar section 64A.

12. The language of Bihar section 64A is very wide and covers all ordersmade by any authority or officer in the course of any proceedings taken underChapter IV of the Act. The only limitation on the exercise of the revisionalpower conferred on the State by Bihar section 64A is that the State cannot suomotu exercise that power. It can exercise it when moved on application by someperson aggrieved with the order he seeks to be revised. Such orders can beorders of the State Transport Authority, the Regional Transport Authority orany other authority or officer. Central section 46A provides for revisionsagainst the orders of the Regional Transport Authority and does not provide forrevisions against the orders of the prescribed authority to whom appeals couldbe preferred under section 64. Central section 64A can therefore preclude theState Government from entertaining revisions against non-appeal-able orders ofthe Regional Transport Authority, but cannot preclude the operation of Biharsection 64A in regard to other orders. It is not provided in the Act that theorder passed by the State Transport Authority in the exercise of its revisionaljurisdiction under Central section 64A would be final. If such a provision hadbeen made it might have been possible to urge that Parliament intended that theorder of the State Transport Authority in revision was not to be interferedwith by any authority. The absence of such an expression therefore leads to theinference that Parliament did not intend that there be no interference withsuch orders of revision. Further, it may be noticed that section 64 does notexhaust the list of all appealable orders. Its clause (i) provides for anappeal by a person aggrieved by any other order which may be prescribed.'Prescribed' means 'prescribed by rules made under the Act'. Sub-section (1) ofsection 68 empowers the State Government to make rules for the purpose ofcarrying into effect the provisions of Chapter IV which consists of sections 42to 68. Sub-section (2) specifies certain matters with respect to which rules bemade. Its clause (za) mentions 'any other matter which is to be or may beprescribed.' It follows that the State Government can make rules providing forcertain orders to be appealable under s. 64 and thus reduce the orders whichotherwise would come within the ambit of Central section 64A. The orders madeappealable under the rules framed by a State would not be open to revisionunder section 64A as it provides for revisions against non-appealable ordersonly. It is clear therefore that Parliament cannot be imputed the intention tomake the provisions of section 64A to be so exhaustive and complete as to leadto the necessary conclusion that thereby it intended to repeal the provisionsof Bihar section 64A which gave power to the State of Bihar to revise ordersmade by authorities or officers in proceedings under Chapter IV.

13. The provisions of Bihar section 64A and Central section 64A are not suchthat they cannot be complied with simultaneously, except for the contingencyalready mentioned, i.e., when an application is made to the State Government bya person aggrieved by such an order of the Regional Transport Authority whichbe not appealable under section 64. In such a case, the State Government cannotexercise its power under Bihar section 64A against the orders of the RegionalTransport Authority, though it would be free to exercise that power at a laterstage after the State Transport Authority had disposed of the revision, if any,made to it. Revision, in the first instance, against non-appealable orderspassed under Chapter IV must go to the State Transport Authority an in respectof such orders Parliament must be taken to have varied the provisions of Biharsection 64A.

14. We therefore hold that Bihar section 64A is neither void nor has beenrepealed by Central section 64A and that its scope has been limited only tothis extent that revisions against such orders of the Regional TransportAuthority which are not appealable have to be preferred to the State TransportAuthority.

15. In the present case the State Government of Bihar revised the order madeby the appellate authority. It was competent to do so. The High Court was inerror in holding otherwise.

16. We therefore allow the appeal with costs, set aside the order of theHigh Court and restore that of the State of Bihar granting permit to theappellant Jain.

17. Appeal allowed.


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