1. The petitioner, in O. P. No. 1302 of 1985, a bus operator, is the appellant herein. The 3rd respondent, R.T. A., Palghat, by Ext, P5 order dated 20-9-1984, granted a stage carriage permit, in the route Palghat-Pazhambalakode to the 1st respondent, rival operator. Ext. P5, was confirmed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal by Ext. P13 order dated 25-1-1985. Petitioner's challenge against Exts. P5 and P13 orders was unsuccessful before a learned single Judge. And hence this Writ Appeal.
2. The crux of the controversy is as to whether the route Palghat-Pazhambalakode is a medium route or a short route. If it is the former, i.e. more than 40 Kms., the petitioner should succeed and if it is the latter i.e. less than 40 Kms. the preference given to the 1st respondent is justified and beyond challenge. This Court appointed Advocate Sri P.K. Suresh Kumar as Commissioner, to get the distance of the route measured. He did so on 23-2-1985. According to the said report, the distance of the 'onward' journey, Palghat-Pazhambalakode, along the route, adopting one way traffic system prevalent in the said onward route, is 39 Kms. 819 metres up to zero milestone plus 514 metres to the pointwhere the stage carriage terminates, totalling to 40.359 Kms. (40.333?). But on the 'return' journey, the distance is only 39.040 kms.
3. Siyaraman Nair, J. held that 'in view of the fact that the distance involved on the onward journey is only a few metres more than 40 Kms. and that if the average of the two distances is taken, the route can be classified only as a short route, I am not persuaded in this case to accept the submission on behalf of the petitioner that the matter requires reconsideration.' The O. P. was dismissed. The petitioner has come up in Writ Appeal.
4. We heard Smt. Sumathi Dandapani, learned counsel for the appellant. Counsel stressed the fact that the learned Judge was in error in striking an average and in holding that the route is only a short route. It is contended that the longer distance, on the onward route, 40.359 Kms. (40.333?) should be held to be decisive and so construed, the route being a medium route, the matter should have been directed to be re-considered.
5. We are unable to accept the submission of the appellant's counsel for more reasons than one. In a case, where the route is one and the same, but due to peculiar traffic regulations, the onward journey of the route, has necessarily to conform to 'one way' traffic regulations, as a sequel to which it becomes 40.359 Kms. (40.333?) but on the return journey, the same route is only 39.040 Kms., in order to determine the distance 'of the route', there is nothing unfair or illegal or illogical or patently arbitrary, if the average of the distances is taken into account. There is no error in doing so. On the other hand, if any one of them alone is reckoned, either the onward or the return, it will be unfair and arbitrary. We concur with Sivaraman Nair, J. and hold that no interference is called for in Writ Appeal. Appellant's counsel brought to our notice the decision of George Vadakkel, J. in Kissan Roadways' case 1981 Ker LT 689. The issue that arose for consideration in that case was different and the said decision has no application herein.
6. We should also state that even if, the distance of the onward journey in the route alone is taken into account, it is only in excess of .359 Kms. (.333?) just above 40 Kms. The excessive distance, compared to the total distance and in all the circumstances of the case is only very negligible -- a trifle. Law does not concern itself about trifles -- Broom's Legal Maxims, Reprint 196, P. 88; & Karthiyayani Amma v. Varkey 1965 Ker LT 332. In this view also, the judgment under appeal does not call for any interference.
7. The view taken by the learned single Judge is certainly a plausible one. We may also state that even if two views are possible in the matter, it cannot be said that the view adopted by the learned single Judge is 'perverse'. On this reasoning also, no interference is called for in the Writ Appeal -- See Neelakanta Kartha v. Registrar 1978 Ker LT 408 & Rajalekshmi Motor Service v. Govt. of Kerala, 1959 Ker LJ 1425 at p. 1430 para 14: (AIR 1960 Ker 229 at p. 231 para 14).
8. We dismiss the Writ Appeal in limine.