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Shri themmalapuram Bus Transport Ltd., Palghat Vs. the Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.S. No. 302 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1958Ker109
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 60; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 41, Rule 5; Evidence Act, 1872 - Sections 115
AppellantShri themmalapuram Bus Transport Ltd., Palghat
RespondentThe Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode
Appellant Advocate M.U. Issac, Adv.
Respondent Advocate C.M. Kuruvilla, Govt. Pleader
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred(B) & John v. Thomas
Excerpt:
motor vehicles - suspension of permit - section 60 of motor vehicles act, 1939, order 41 rule 5 of code of civil procedure, 1908 and section 115 of evidence act, 1872 - transport authority suspended permit of bus belonging to appellant under section 60 - appellant filed appeal which was dismissed without saying anything about date on which suspension was to commence - court to decide date on which suspension was to commence - no order of appellate court affecting date from which period was to run - period to run from date of decree of first court - permit of bus therefore suspended for period of 45 days with effect from 25.10.1955. - .....in ext. a as the date on which the suspension was to commence, it obtained a stay from the appellate authority the secretary, central road traffic board, madras, whose successor, the secretary, central road traffic board, trivandrum, is the 2nd respondent to this appeal.on 27-12-1955 by his order ext. b, the appellate authority dismissed the appeal without saying anything about the date on which the suspension was to commence, and on 2-2-1956 the company filed a petition under art. 226 of the constitution before the madras high court praying that the orders, erts. a and b, be quashed. it also obtained a stay. this petition was eventually heard by a judge of this court (m. section menon j.), and it was dismissed. it is against this dismissal that the present appeal has been.....
Judgment:

Raman Nayar, J.

1. The appellant in this case, the Shri Themmalapuram Bus Transport Ltd., Palghat, is a bus operator. By his order, Ext. A dated 21-9-1955, the 1st respondent, the Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode, suspended the permit of a bus belonging to the appellant company under Section 60 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. The suspension was for a period of 45 days and the order said that it was with effect from 25th October, 1955. Against this order the company appealed, and, on 12-10-1955, before the date specified in Ext. A as the date on which the suspension was to commence, it obtained a stay from the appellate authority the Secretary, Central Road Traffic Board, Madras, whose successor, the Secretary, Central Road Traffic Board, Trivandrum, is the 2nd respondent to this appeal.

On 27-12-1955 by his order Ext. B, the appellate authority dismissed the appeal without saying anything about the date on which the suspension was to commence, and on 2-2-1956 the company filed a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution before the Madras High Court praying that the orders, Erts. A and B, be quashed. It also obtained a stay. This petition was eventually heard by a Judge of this Court (M. Section Menon J.), and it was dismissed. It is against this dismissal that the present appeal has been filed.

2. Two contentions were taken before M. Section Menon J. One was that the 1st respondent, viz., the Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode had no authority to make an order under Section 60 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1939. We agree with the learned Judge that there is no substance in this contention. It is not disputed that under Rule 134-A of the Madras Motor Vehicles Rules 1940 made under Section 68 read with Section 44 (5) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 the Regional Transport Authority, Mala-bar, which is the authority competent to inflict the penalty of suspension under Section 60 of the Act, can validly delegate its power to its secretary, the Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode. Nor is it disputed that, at a meeting held on 14-7-1949, the Regional Transport Authority passed a resolution in the following terms :

'To consider the proposed delegation of powers under Rule 134-A ot the Madras Motor Vehicles Rules to the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority (Regional Transport Officer) and to approve his action under R. 135. Approved'

What is disputed is that this resolution does in fact effect such a delegation. It is apparent on its very face that it does and we are unable to accept the argument that the approval signified was only with regard to the second part of the resolntion namely the action of the secretary under R. 135. The word 'approved' applies to the entire resolution, and there can be no doubt that the proposed delegation of powers under Rule 134-A, namely, the power to suspend a permit under Section 60, was approved.

3. The other contention taken was that the period of suspension specified in Ext. A, namely, 45 days from 25-10-1955, having long since expired that order had become infruc-tuous and incapable of execution, and M. Section Menon J. was invited to issue a writ of prohibition forbidding the respondents from giving effect to the order of suspension embodied in Ext. A and confirmed by Ext. 3. In other words, the contention meant that since by reason of the indulgence of a stay sought and obtained by the company from the appellate authority, the order of suspension could not be given effect to on the date specified in Ext. A and left unmodified by Ext. B, the company must go scot-free, that it must be deemed to have served its sentence of suspension during the period of the stay. This is calculated to make an ass of the law, and the contention was thus repelled and, in our opinion, rightly repelled, by the learned Single Judge:

'There is no merit in this contention. The power to stay is a necessary corollary to the power to entertain an appeal or revision. Its exercise stops further proceedings, and in the case before me the effect of the 'stay orders' as I see it, was to postpone the commencement of the 45 days' suspension from 25-10-1955 to a point of time subsequent to the cancellation of those orders,'

4. We would go further and say that the effect of the stay granted by the appellate authority was to cancel the direction in Ext. A that the suspension was to take effect on 25-10-1955. That direction was not an integral or even an essential part of the order of suspension made under Section 60 of the Act, The essence of that order was that the permit was suspended for 45 days, and the direction was only an ancillary direction regarding its execution. The effect of a stay granted by an appellate authority is to suspend the order of the original authority until the disposal of the appeal and then give effect to it subject to the decision in the appeal.

The appeal in this case not having been disposed of by 25-10-1955, the date on which according to the direction in the original order Ext. A, the suspension was to commence, the effect of the stay was to set aside that direction. In fact, the very prayer by the company that the order of suspension should not be given effect to pending the appeal necessarily implied a prayer that, unless the appeal be sooner disposed of, the direction that the suspension should commence on 25-10-1955 be set aside. Having thus got the direction set aside the company cannot turn round and say, that the direction is still in force merely because the final order in the appeal says nothing about it.

5. The decisions in Bhola Nath Bhutta-charjee v. Kanti Chundra Bhuttacharjee, ILR 25 Cal 311 (A); Ramaswami Kone v. Sirndra Kone, I LR 31 Mad 28 (B) & John v. Thomas, 1956 KLT 761: ((S) AIR 1957 Trav-Co 94 (C), have been cited before us on behalf of the appellant. But those cases which deal with the effect of an appellate decree which is silent with regard to the time fixed by the original decree for the performance of a condition precedent, seem to have little bearing on the present case. In those cases the original decree required the party concerned to do a certain thing within a certain period from the date of the decree as a condition precedent for securing a benefit, and there was no stay or other order by the appellate Court preventing him from doing that thing within the time allowed, in other words, no order of the appellate Court affecting the date from which the period was to run.

Therefore it was held that, in the absence of an order by the appellate Court, enlarging the time or directing that the period was to run from the date of its decree, the period would run from the date of the decree of the first Court. Here in the case before us there is no question of any party being asked to do anything within a certain period but only an order of punishment directed to take effect on a certain day, and that direction, regarding the date on which the penalty is to be enforced, being set aside by an order of stay passed by the appellate authority. The effect of the dismissal of the appsal from the punishment is that punishment remains without any direction as to when it should be enforced.

6. We are told that, in effect and in substance, the order, Ext. A, suspends the permit from 25-10-1955 to 9-12-1955, and we are asked to read the order in that way. As against this, it is argued on behalf of the respondents that, even so the direction regarding the periodduring which the suspension is to be in force would be an ancillary direction in the nature of a ministerial direction and no part of the 'Judicial' order of punishment under Section 60 of the Act, and therefore liable to alteration by the 1st respondent who is the authority competent to execute the order of punishment. What the order actually says is, 'The permit of the bus is therefore suspended for a period of 45 days with effect from 25-10-1955'. We have read it as it runs, and see no reason to read it differently. The argument advanced on behalf of the respondents does not therefore arise for consideration.

7. We dismiss the appeal with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/- (one hundred).


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