1. This petition is directed against the grant of a temporary permit for the four months from 4-11-1956 to 3-3-1957 to the 2nd respondent. Messrs. N. V. Motor Service, Kozhikode, by the 1st respondent, the Regional Transport Authority, Malabar. The order granting the temporary permit is Ex. P2 which reads as follows:
'With reference to this office notification 1st cited, applications from the marginally noted operators:--
1. Sri. N. V. Motor Service, Kozhikode.
2. ' R. L. M. S., Ootty.
3. ' O. O. Transport Co., Kozhikode.
4. ' C. W. M. S. Ltd., Kohzikode.
5. ' D. Vasudevan Nambooripad, Kozhi-kode 3.
were received for the grant of a temporary permit for one bus to ply on the route Kozhikode -- Suitansbattery Via Kunnamangalam, Vaitiri, Chundale and Kalpetta for a period of four months from 4-11-1956.
I consider that Sri. N. V. Motor service who is running the service on the route on Temporary permit expiring on 4-11-1956 can continue in the interest of public service. The temporary permit is therefore granted to Sri N. V. Motor Service, Kozhikode, in respect of their bus MDM 3401 (chev 43, 34 passengers) to run on route between Kozhikode and Sultansbattery Via Kunnamangalam, Vaitiri, Chundale and Kalpetta, for a period of 4 months from 4-11-1956 to 3-3-1957, or till the issue of pucca permit on the route 13 decided by the Regional Transport Authority whichever is earlier'.
2. The first complaint by the petitioner (No. 4 of the applicants mentioned in Ex. P2) is that the order does not disclose any valid reason for preferring the 2nd respondent to the petitioner. I cannot agree. A reason is indicated in the order, viz., the fact that the 2nd respondent was already running a service on the route on the basis of a temporary permit (Ex. P1) and that reason should be considered as sufficient in the circumstances of the case.
3. The petition invokes Section 57(7) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1939, which provides:
'When a Regional Transport Authority re-fuses an application for a permit of any kind, it shall give to the applicant in writing its reasons for the refusal'.
The contention based on Sub-section (7), however, is not pressed before me in view of the Pro-vision in Section 62 to the effect that in granting a temporary permit a Regional Transport Authority is not bound to follow the procedure laid down in Section 57.
4. Section 62 (inclusive of the Madras amendment) reads as follows:
'A Regional Transport Authority may, at its discretion, and without following the procedure laid down in Section 57, grant permits, to be effective for a limited period not in any case to exceed four months, to authorise the use of a transport vehicle temporarily-
(a) for the conveyance of passengers on special occasions such as to and from fairs and religious gatherings, or
(b) for the purpose of a seasonal business, or
(c) to meet a particular temporary need, or
(d) in such circumstances as may, in the opinion of such authority, justify, the grant of such permits, and may attach to any such permit any condition it thinks fit' and the main argument before me is that Ex, P1 should be considered as a bar to Ex. P2.
5. Ex. P1 granted a temporary permit 'for 4 months from 4-7-56 to 3-11-56 or till the regular route bus is put on the road whichever is earlier on grant by R. T. A. Malabar' and Ex. P2 'for a period of 4 months from 4-11-1996 to 3-3-57, or till the issue of pucca permit on the route is decided by the Regional Transport Authority whichever is earlier'. The contention is that the Regional Transport Authority had become functus officio under Section 63 with the issue of Ex. P1 and cannot grant a second temporary permit on the expiry of the first as has been done in this case.
6. In Writ Petn. No. 71 of 1956 (A) Of the High Court of Madras, Balakrishna Iyer, J., stated as follows:
'The next comment of Mr. Seshadri was this. In pursuance of the Government memorandum successive temporary permits were granted to the Swarnambigai Motor Service and the issue of such successive temporary permits involves a contravention of Section 62 of the M. V. Act.
It was argued on behalf of the Government that there is nothing in this section to prohibit the grant of successive temporary permits. It being said that Clause (d) permits the renewal of temporary permits indefinitely. I am not saying that the power granted under Section 62 exhausts itself when it is exercised on a single occasion. The R. T. A. Tanjore may for instance issue temporary permits in connection with the Mahamaham festival, it may issue temporary permits in connection with a 'Kumbhabhihsekham' also, it may also issue temporary permits in connection with yet another festival. These occasions need not of course be of a religious character. But they mustbe 'occasions' or there must be special circumstances arising each a time which make the grant of a temporary permit necessary or expedient. It would draw pointed attention to certain words in the opening paragraph of Section 62 'to be effective for a limited period not in any case to exceed four months.' The words 'not in any case' seem to make it plain that the four months' period should never be exceeded and this prohibition cannot be lawfully circumvented by the successive issue of temporary permits to the same Individual. If the words of the statute had been 'to be effective for a limited period not to exceed four months on a single occasion' I might have accepted the argument put forward by the Government but, that is not how the words stand. The words are 'not in any case to exceed four months'. That being so, it is open to serious doubt whether the issue of successive temporary permits as in this case was in order'.
7. It is not possible to say that a need in order to be considered as temporary within the meaning of Section 62 should not last or be expected to last for more than four months. As I understand the section the temporary needs visualised by it may be:
(a) of a duration of four months or less; or
(b) of a duration of more than four months; and in cases arising under (b) successive permits can be issued and the need covered, the only inhibition being against any of the permits so issued having a duration in excess of four months. In this view Ex. P 2 is not liable to be set aside and the petition must fall.
8. Under (a) also successive permits may be required, as for example, when a permit is issued for two months and the need concerned extends over a further Period of two months.
9. In the light of what is stated above it is unnecessary to consider the other arguments advanced on behalf of the respondents and they are not considered in this judgment.
10. The petition falls and is hereby dismissed; but in the circumstances of the case without any order as to costs.
11. During the course of the argument Mr. K. P. Abraham, learned counsel for the petitioner, drew my attention to Section 64 of the Act as amended by the Motor Vehicles (Madras Amendment) Act, 1954, and the creation of a State Transport Appellate Tribunal In the Madras State. No such Tribunal exists in this State and according to Mr. Abraham the position as to appeals and revisions in cases arising in the District of Malabar are at present confused and indefinite. The Kerala Adaptation of Laws Order, 1956 does not appear to deal with the point and I dare say the learned Advocate General will give his immediate attention to the matter.