1. The petitioner has to stagecarriage permits for the Vypeen-Pallippuram route. The Regional Transport Authority, Trichur (1st respondent), invited applications for four more stage carriage permits on the said route by a notification dated 3-7-1956.
2. Fifty-five persons including the petitioner and respondents 2 to 5 applied. On 5-2-1957 the list respondent granted a permit each to respondents 2 to 5 and rejected the other applications.
3. The petitioner and some of the others whose applications were rejected appealed to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, under Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. The petitioner's Appeal was numbered as Appeal No. 110 of 1957 and the other appeals, as Appeal Nos. 73, 74, 79, 81 and 100 of 1957. Respondent Nos. 1 to 5 in (his petition were respondent Nos, 1 to 5 in the aforesaid appeals as well.
The appeals were heard together and by a common order dated 8-8-1957 the Tribunal directed as follows:
'In the result, the order of the Regional Transport Authority, Trichur, dated 31-1-57 granting 4 permits to respondents 2 to 5 (applicants Nos. 3, 20, 26 and 27) is set aside and the case is remanded for proper disposal in the light of the above observations. The R. T. A. need consider only the applications of the appellants and respondents 2 to 5. Order accordingly'. (Ext. PI).
5. After the remand the Regional Transport Authority (1st respondent) dealt with the matter afresh in the proceedings dated 24-8-1957 and said:
'The Board has considered the whole matter with care and attention and have again come to the conclusion that in the interests of the public one permit should be given to each of the following four applicants.
1. Palluthusseri Oil Mills, Vypeen. (Respondent No. 2)
2. Managing Director, Vypeen Union Ltd., Nayarambalam (Respondent No. 3)
3. M. T. Ittiachan. (Respondent No. 4)
4. K. N. Parameswara Menon. (Respondent 5)'.
6. On the same day the Regional Transport (Authority also sanctioned one temporary permit each to respondents 2 to 5. The following is an extract of the proceedings in that behalf:
Item No. I. Issue of temporary permits on the Vypeen-Pallippuram route for the convenience of the travelling public -- consideration of.
Sanctioned one temporary permit to each of the following applicants.
(1) Vypesn Union, Ltd,, Nayarambalam.
(2) Palluthusseri Oil Mills, Vypeen, Cochin.
(3) M. T. Ittiachan, Manappilly, Ayyampilly.
(4) K. M. Parameswara Menon, Kaippillil House, Cheral' (Ext. R2)
7. Tt is the validity of this order that is challenged before me. The prayer in the petition is that this court should
'Call up the records of the first respondentBoard in respect of its proceedings dated 24-8-1957 granting one temporary permit each to respondents to 5 and
(a) quash the same as made without jurisdic-on and in violation of the law.
(b) quash the permits issued to respondents 2 to 5 pursuant to the above proceedings,
(c) prohibit the respondents 2 to 5 from plying their buses under the invalid temporary permits,and
(d) pass such other order or direction as this Honourable Court deems necessary in the interest of justice'.
8. The four temporary permits were granted under
Section 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. The material portion of that section reads as follows:
'A Regional Transport Authority may with-out 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 purposes of a seasonal business; or
(c) to meet a particular temporary need and nay attach to any such permit any condition it thinks fit, or
(d) pending decision on an application for the renewal of a permit: Provided that a temporary permit under this section shall, in no case, be granted in respect of any route or area specified in an application for the grant of a new permit under Section 46 or Section 54 during the pendency of the application'.
It is not contended before me that the grant of the temporary permits is bad on the - ground that the reason therefor does not come within (a), (b), (c) or (d) and I must make it clear that I have not investigated the case from that point of view.
9. The only contention is that the grant othe temporary permits is hit by the proviso to Section 62. It follows that in order to succeed the petitioner must establish that the applications for thegrant of new permits under Section 46 were pendingat the time the temporary permits were granted torespondents Nos. 2 to 5.
10. In paragraph 2 of the affidavit filed on behalf of the 1st respondent it is clearly stated that:
'The proceedings for granting pucca permits to respondents 2 to 5 was passed on 24-8-1957 before the proceedings for granting temporary permits was passed'.
There is no reason to disbelieve the statement and I hold that the temporary permits were as a matter of fact granted only after the disposal of the applications for the grant of new permits under Section 46 of the Act.
11. Confronted with the statement extracted above the argument of counsel for the petitioner was that even though four of the fifty-five applications were allowed by the 1st respondent and the rest rejected, those petitions should nonetheless be considered as pending until:
(a) the time for the filing of appeals under Section 64 of the Act is over; or
(b) the temporary permits are actually, issuedin pursuance of the grant under Section 62. I see no justification for saying that the words 'during the pendency of the application' will include any period of time subsequent to the disposal of the applications by the Regional Transport Authoity.
12. Pendency is the state or condition of be ing undecided and the pendency of the applications should end with their determination by the Regional Transport Authority, The wording of the proviso is clear and unambiguous to that effect and I see no reason for a different interpretation.
13. In re Tabrisky 1947-2 All ER 182 (A) Lord Greene, M. R., said:
'It is common learning that the object of a proviso is to cut down or qualify something which has gone before and: ''it would be contrary to the ordinary operation of a proviso to give it an effect which would cut down those powers beyond what compliance with the proviso renders necessary'.
Over a hundred years earlier the Supreme Court of the United States observed:
'Where the enacting clause is general in its language and objects, and a proviso is afterwards introduced, that proviso is construed strictly and takes no case, out of the encting clause which does not fall fairly within its terms. In short, a proviso carves special exceptions only out of the encting clause; and those who set up any such exception, must establish it as being within the words as well as within the reason thereof'
and referred to the proposition as a general rule of law
'Which has always prevailed, and become consecrated almost as a maxim in the interpretation of statutes'. United Statea v. Dickson, (1841) 15 Pet. 141) (B).
14. Certain decisions under S, 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, Chinnakaruppan Chetty v. Meyyappa Chetty, AIR 1916 Mad 732 (1) (C); Hathi Ram v. Hazi Mohammad, AIR 1954 All 141 (D) Anna Malai Chetty v. B. A. Thornhill, AIR 1931 PC 263 (E) and under Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882; Moti Chand V. British India Corporation Ltd., Cawnpore, AIR 1932 All 210 (F); Setappa Gounclan v. Muthia Goundan, ILR 31 Madl 268 (G) and Nallakumara Goundan v. Pappayl Animal, AIR 1945 Mad 219 (H) were cited by counsel for the petitioner in support of his interpretation of the words 'during the pendency of the application', Section 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure deals with stay of suits and Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act enacts the doctrine of lis pendens expressed in the common law maxim ut lite pendente nihil innovetur. These decisions cannot possibly control or modify the meaning of the clear words with which I am concerned and I consider it quite unnecessary to discuss them in this judgment,
15. The petition fails and is hereby dismissed. In the circumstances of the case, however, I shall desist from making any order as to costs.