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C.T. Service Vs. the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Palghat and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberO.P. No. 1941 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Ker200
ActsKerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1961 - Rule 242
AppellantC.T. Service
RespondentThe Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Palghat and anr.
Appellant Advocate K.C. Sankaran and; K. Paramesh, Advs.
Respondent Advocate Govt. Pleader,; V.M. Prabhakaran Nair and; Jose K. Kochu
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredKalusingh v. Transport Appellate Tribunal
Excerpt:
- - what was sought to be contended was that the order in question was not one 'tentatively' sanctioning revised timings and that it had effectively and finally disposed of the 3rd respondent's application for revision of timings......fixed to 6-10-1971. the petitioner, it is alleged, submitted a written objection objecting to the revised timings sought for by the 2nd respondent. the matter was heard on 6-10-1971 and on 30-11-1971 the r.t.a. passed the order which is impugned in this writ petition. the r.t.a. tentatively revised the timings for the buses run by the 2nd respondent and made that effective from 1-12-1971. by the said order those who object to this were requested to file their representation on or before 15-12-1971. this order is challenged before me.2. the main ground of attack made by the petitioner is that the 1st respondent has no jurisdiction to tentatively revise the timings and to make it effective before hearing the objections of the petitioner. rule 242 of the motor vehicles rules provides for.....
Judgment:
ORDER

G. Viswanatha Iyer, J.

1. The petitioner is a bus Operator running bus services between Palghat-Valancheri via Shornur and Pal-ghat-Shornur. The 2nd respondent is operating two pucca stage carriages KLR 5197 and KLR 4818 on the route Guru-vayoor-Palghat. The 2nd respondent ap-plied to the 1st respondent Regional Transport Authority for a change of the timings in respect of the aforesaid two buses. Ext. P-l is the copy of that application Notice of that application was given to the petitioner by a memo dated 24-9-1971 In that memo a conference was fixed to 6-10-1971. The petitioner, it is alleged, submitted a written objection objecting to the revised timings sought for by the 2nd respondent. The matter was heard on 6-10-1971 and on 30-11-1971 the R.T.A. passed the order which is impugned in this writ petition. The R.T.A. tentatively revised the timings for the buses run by the 2nd respondent and made that effective from 1-12-1971. By the said order those who object to this were requested to file their representation on or before 15-12-1971. This order is challenged before me.

2. The main ground of attack made by the petitioner is that the 1st respondent has no jurisdiction to tentatively revise the timings and to make it effective before hearing the objections of the petitioner. Rule 242 of the Motor Vehicles Rules provides for the change of timings which can be made by the R.T.A. or the Secretary on delegation of the power. That rule provides that the State or Regional Transport Authority may from time to time by a general order prescribe a schedule of timing for stage carriages other than those belonging to the State Transport Undertakings or by a special order prescribe the schedule of timings for each carriage other than that belonging to the State Transport Undertaking. It also provides that a variation of the timings of a service may be effected after giving an opportunity to the interested permit-holders to represent their case. This rule, according to the petitioner, does not empower the 1st respondent to tentatively revise the timings, make it effective and then hear the objections of the petitioner and others on a future date. It is true that the 1st respondent has got jurisdiction to alter the timings from time to time. But before he decides to alter them he must give opportunity to the other permit-holders to represent their case and after hearing them take a decision on the ques-tion of revision of the timings. It does not empower him to tentatively revise the timings, make it effective and then hear the objections. Unfortunately, this is what has been done by the 1st Respondent in this case.

3. In support of his contention that the 1st Respondent has no jurisdiction to pass an order of this type the petitioner's counsel relies on the decision of Justice Gopalan Nambiyar reported in R. K. V. Motors & Timbers Ltd. v. Regional Transport Authority, Trivandrum, 1968 Ker LT 73. There also a similar order was the subject-matter of consideration. In that case the respondent therein had asked for a revision of timings and the petitioner had objected to the revision. After considering the objections a tentative revision was made and it was brought into effect by the R. T. A. That was challenged as illegal and in considering that question the learned Judge has, in paragraph 3, stated as follows:--

'3. The main objection raised by the petitioner's counsel, to the impugned order was that neither the Regional Transport Authority nor its Secretary had any jurisdiction to 'tentatively' sanction revised timings, as was done by the impugned order. That it had jurisdiction to give such 'tentative' sanction was not seriously asserted on the side of the respondents. What was sought to be contended was that the order in question was not one 'tentatively' sanctioning revised timings and that it had effectively and finally disposed of the 3rd respondent's application for revision of timings. Statedly, the impugned order purports to sanction only 'tentatively' revised timings for the 3rd respondent's vehicle, and nothing has been made out before me to show that the apparent is not the real A Division Bench of the Mysore High Court ruled in K. N. Srinivasaih v. Mysore State Transport Appellate Tribunal. (AIR 1962 Mys 87) that there is no authority to tentatively sanction the revised timings.' In this case also the facts are similar. It cannot be contended that the 1st Respondent has made any final conclusion as regards the revision which he has proposed to give effect to. But, as per the Rule 242 he has to take a decision after hearing the objection of the petitioner and others, if any. Here apparently the order proceeds on the basis that be has not made a decision. If he has made a decision there is no meaning in mentioning in the order that the revised timings will be tentative and he will hear the obiections of the petitioner and others. It has also to be stated that the timings proposed by him in Ext. P-4 are the timings which the 2nd Respondent had asked for in his letter Ext. P-1. That was objected to by the petitioner at the hearing. There is no meaning in proposing the same timings as tentative and then calling upon the petitioner to file his obiections, if any. The 1st Respondent should have taken a decision on the obiections and passed orders. I agree with the observations of Justice Nambiyar in 1968 Ker LT 73 and hold that this order was passed without jurisdiction.

4. A decision of the Raiasthan High Court reported in Kalusingh v. Transport Appellate Tribunal, (AIR 1970 Raj 149) was brought to my notice in support of the contention of the 2nd Respondent that the R. T. A. has got power to give provisional timings before taking a final decision. In that case a rule similar to Rule 242 is not seen to be in force, and so the Court took the view that an order refusing the timings is only administrative in character and for passing the administrative order and giving effect to it a notice may not be necessary and that even if such a notice is deemed proper, objections can be heard after the provisional timings are given effect to. In this case Rule 242 prohibits any variation of the timings of a service before hearing the opposite party. Therefore, the decision of the Raiasthan High Court reported in AIR 1970 Raj 149 is not applicable.

5. In the result, I set aside Ext. P-4 and direct the 1st Respondent to take up the request of the 2nd Respondent for alteration of his timings and pass revised order within three weeks from today.


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