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Nand Lal Vs. the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan, Jaipur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 194 of 1977
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Raj67; 1977()WLN587
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 2(20), 64(1) and 64A
AppellantNand Lal
RespondentThe State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan, Jaipur and ors.
Appellant Advocate K.C. Sharma, Adv.
Respondent Advocate O.P. Sharma, Adv. for Non-petitioner No. 3
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredJagjit Singh v. State of Rajasthan
Excerpt:
.....- section 64(1)(f)--appeal lies against refusal of renewal of permit but no appeal lies against grant of renewal;no appeal lies against the grant of a renewal. under section 64(1)(e), an appeal lies against the refusal of renewal of a permit but no appeal lies against the grant of the renewal.;writ dismissed with costs - - ' then again, the learned judge proceeded, stating :the very nature of the remedy requires that those who seek it must approach the court in perfect good faith and place all the material facts before the court. where, as here, the court has reason to be satisfied that there has been a deli-berate concealment of facts so as to deceive it, the court will decline to consider the merits and reject the application. air 1956 pat 437 taking a view to the contrary, does..........of thestate or a regional transport authorityto grant a permit, or by any conditionattached to a permit granted to him, orfe) aggrieved by the refusal of renewal of a permit, or (f) being a local authority or police authority or an association which, or a person providing transport facilities who, having opposed the grant of a permit, is aggrieved by the grant thereof or by any condition attached thereto, or may, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal to the state transport appellate tribunal constituted under sub-section (2), who shall, after giving such person and the original authority an opportunity of being heard, give a decision thereon which shall be final.' 10. section 64 of the act provides for a right of appeal against certain orders by the regional.....
Judgment:
ORDER

A.P. Sen, J.

1. This writ petition by one Nand Lal is directed against the order of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan, Jaipur, dated March 26, 1977, rejecting a preliminary objection that the revision preferred by the non-petitioner No 3, Laxman Kumar Arya under Section R4-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, was not maintainable.

2. The material facts, in brief, are these. The petitioner held a stage carriage permit on route Kekri-Ghatiyali, which was to expire on Nov. 10, 1976. In due course, the petitioner applied for renewal of the permit on July 8, 1976 under Section 58 of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter to be referred to as 'the Act'). The substance of the renewal application was duly published in the Ra-jasthan Gazette dated Sept. 9, 1'976, for inviting objections, if any. The matter for the grant of renewal of the permit came up for consideration at a meeting of the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, on Feb. 3, 1976. (Sic) (1977) The R. T. A. vide its resolution No. 11 of even date, granted the renewal applied for, stating that there were no objections received to the grant. Non-petitioner No. 3, Laxman Kumar Arya, who apparently had filed an objection to the grant of renewal of the permit, preferred a revision before the S. T. A. Tribunal. A preliminary objection was raised by the petitioner that the non-petitioner No. 3, Laxman Kumar Arya had the remedy of an appeal under Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act and, therefore, no revision lay under Section 64-A. The S. T. A. Tribunal, by its order dated March 26, 1977, overruled the preliminary objection.

3. The petitioner challenges the validity of the order passed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal on the ground that the Tribunal was in error in holding that a revision against the grant of renewal of a permit lies under Section 64-A and thereby assumed jurisdiction where it has none; and that non-petitioner No. 3, Laxmi Kumar Arya, not having objected to the grant or renewal of his permit under Section 57 (4), had no right to prefer an appeal under Section 64 (1) (f) much less a revision under Section 64-A. There is no substance in any of the contentions.

4. The writ petition must be rejected for two different reasons: firstly, the petitioner is guilty of suppressio veri; and therefore the petition must be dismissed in limine; and secondly, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal has right-ly held that no appeal lies under Section 64 against the grant of renewal and therefore the revision was competent under Section 64-A of the Act.

5. The petitioner has deliberately made a false averment in para No. 2 of the petition to the effect :--

'It may be relevant to state here that no objection by anybody opposing the grant of such renewal in favour of the petitioner was submitted.'

Respondent No. 3, in para No. 2 of his reply has controverted this fact on an affidavit stating :--

'The petitioner knowingly has made a false statement that no objection by anybody opposing the grant of such renewal in favour of the petitioner was submitted. When the fact is that objection against the application for renewal dated 8-7-1976 was filed by the petitioner (answering respondent) and the same was received in the office of the R. T. A. on 8-10-1976 and was entered in Receipt Register at No. 16970 dated 8-10-1976 and the certified copy of which was filed by the answering respondent along with the revision petition duly supported by his affidavit which was not controverted by the petitioner.'

The writ petition must be rejected on this short ground alone.

6. The power which the High Court has under Article 226 of the Constitution, is a discretionary one. It would refuse to exercise its discretion in favour of a party if it makes a false statement or suppresses facts in his application to the Court; In Zikar v. Government of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1951 Nag 16 the Hon'ble R. Kaushalendra Rao J. delivering the judgment of the Division Bench, referred to the decision of Viscount Reading C. J. in case Ex parte Princess Edmond De Polignac (1917) 1 KB 486, where a rule nisi for a writ of prohibition was obtained on false statements in the affidavit and observed :--

'The Court held that it was not necessary to examine the merits. Viscount Reading C. J. with whom Rindley and Low JJ. agreed stated the rule thus:

'Where an ex parte application has been made to this Court for a rule nisi or other process, if the Court comes to the conclusion that the affidavit in support of the application was not candid and did not fairly state the facts, but stated them in such a way as to mislead the Court as to the true facts, the Court ought, for its own protection and to pre-vent an abuse of its process, to refuse to proceed any further with the examination of the merits. This is a power inherent in the Court, but one which should only be used in cases which bring conviction to the mind of the Court that it had been deceived. Before coming to this conclusion a careful examination will be made of the facts as they are and as they have been stated in the applicant's affidavit, and everything will be heard that can be urged to influence the view of the Court when it reads the affidavit and knows the true facts. But if the result of this examination and hearing is to leave no doubt that the Court has been deceived, then it will refuse to hear anything further from the applicant in a proceeding which has only been set in motion by means of a misleading affidavit.' The decision was upheld by the Courtof Appeal.'

Then again, the learned Judge proceeded, stating :--

'The very nature of the remedy requires that those who seek it must approach the Court in perfect good faith and place all the material facts before the Court. Otherwise the Court might be misled to pass orders the consequences of which may be far reaching and even irreparable. What acts are material in a particular case would necessarily depend on the nature of the order, direction or writ sought. Where, as here, the Court has reason to be satisfied that there has been a deli-berate concealment of facts so as to deceive it, the Court will decline to consider the merits and reject the application. The rule stated bv Viscount C. J. is very salutary.'

In the present case, the petitioner is guilty of suppressing the material facts in his application and made an attempt to mislead the court in issuing a show cause notice.

7. On merits, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal was right in its construction of the provision contained in Section 64 (1) (e) of the Act. Section 64-A of theAct reads as follows :--

'64-A. Revision.--The State Transport Appellate Tribunal may, either on its own motion or on an application made to it, call for the record of any case in which an order has been made by a State Transport Authority or Regional Transport Authority and in which no appeal lies, and if it appears to the StateTransport Appellate Tribunal that the order made by the State Transport Authority and Regional Transport Authority is improper or illegal, State Transport Appellate Tribunal may pass such order in relation to the case as it deems fit and every such order Shall be final.

A revision lies in a case to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal in which no appeal lies.

8. The question is as to whether an appeal is competent against an order of the Regional Transport Authority under Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act granting permit or of a renewal of a permit.

9. The provisions of Section 64 (1) of theAct, so far as material, are as follows :--

'64. Appeals.--(1) Any person :--(a) aggrieved by the refusal of theState or a Regional Transport Authorityto grant a permit, or by any conditionattached to a permit granted to him, orfe) aggrieved by the refusal of renewal of a permit, or

(f) being a local authority or police authority or an association which, or a person providing transport facilities who, having opposed the grant of a permit, is aggrieved by the grant thereof or by any condition attached thereto, or

may, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal constituted under Sub-section (2), who shall, after giving such person and the original authority an opportunity of being heard, give a decision thereon which shall be final.'

10. Section 64 of the Act provides for a right of appeal against certain orders by the Regional Transport Authority or the State Transport Appellate Tribunal. The different clauses of Section 64 deal with different situations, each independent of the others, A party claiming a right of appeal must bring bis case within one of the clauses enumerated therein. There is a distinction between the grant of a permit and renewal of a permit. The right of appeal conferred upon a person under Clause (1) (a) is in respect of the refusal of the grant of a permit or by any condition attached to a permit granted to him. The right of appeal conferred by Clause (1) (f) is in respect of the grant of a permit and such. appeal may be preferred by a local au-thority or police authority or an association which, or by a person providing transport facilities who, having opposed the grant of a permit, is aggrieved by the grant thereof or by any condition attached thereto. In contrast to this, Clause (1) (e) of Section 64 only provides for an appeal against the refusal of a renewal of permit. There is no right of appeal provided against the grant of renewal. That is clear enough from a plain reading of the different clauses of this section.

11. With respect, the decision of Das C. J. and Imam J. in Mahabir Motor Co. Bhagalpur v. State of Bihar. AIR 1956 Pat 437 taking a view to the contrary, does not lay down good law. Their Lordships failed to draw the distinction between the grant of a permit and the renewal of a permit in Clauses (a) and (e) of Section 64 (1) of the Act. In my view, they were also not right in holding that the expression 'grant' in Clause (f) includes also the renewal of a permit. These are, in my view, two different things altogether. Merely because a person has the right to oppose a renewal, it does not imply that he could be brought at par with a person, who having opposed to the grant of the permit, is aggrieved by the grant. Clause (f) should be read as to confine it to a case where a person having opposed the grant of a permit, as distinguished from the renewal of a permit, is aggrieved by the grant. No doubt under Sub-section (2) of Section 58, an application for renewal is to be disposed of as if it were an application for a permit. That section only deals with procedure and has no relevance in the construction of Section 64 (1) (f). It is apparently wrong to suggest that Clause ff) of Section 64 (1) relates not merely to the grant of a permit but also the renewal of a permit; and consequently, that a person who is aggrieved by the order of renewal, has the right to perfer an appeal under Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act. Such a construction will result in absurdity, as it would render Section 64 (1) (e) entirely nugatory. The Legislature, in its wisdom, has conferred a right of appeal against the refusal of renewal of a permit as opposed to the grant of renewal. In the case of grant of renewal, there is no right of appeal provided at all.

12. The decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Ram Gopal v. Anant Prashad AIR 1959 SC 851 is clearly distinguishable. There, there were competing claims. There were two applications in respect of the same permit,one of which was by way of renewal to which objections had been filed and the other was a fresh application for the grant of a permit, Their Lordships held that an order granting a renewal of the permit amounts, in fact, to refusal to grant the permit to the person making a fresh application and therefore he would be a person as aggrieved under Clause (a). The. reason for the decision is obvious. In dealing with such an appeal under Clause (a), the appellate authority has jurisdiction to cancel the permit granted to the non-applicant because Clause (f) does not, in any way, restrict the power of the Appellate Tribunal to grant all proper reliefs jn the appeal under Clause (a). In dealing with this aspect, their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Ram Gopal's case, AIR 1959 SC 851 (supra) observed (at p. 854) :--

'...The different clauses in the section deal with different situations. Each is independent of the others. Clause (f) deals with a case where an objection had been filed against the fresh grant or the renewal of a permit but the permit has none the less been granted or renewed. The clause gives the objector a right of appeal against the result of the rejection of his objection if he is one of the persons mentioned in it. The clause gives him that right irrespective of the fact whether he has a right of appeal under any of the other clauses or not. It does not say that a permit granted or renewed cannot be questioned except at the instance of the persons mentioned in Clause (f); it does not affect the right of appeal under the other clauses. If an appeal lies under any of the other clauses, that of course must be an effective appeal and the appellate authority must therefore have all powers to give the relief to which the appellant is found entitled.'

That, however, was a case of competing claims. As already stated, when there were two applications in respect of the same permit, one of which is by way of renewal to which objections have been filed and the other is an application for fresh grant, the appellate authority may, while dealing with an appeal under Section 64 (1) (f) against the refusal of a fresh permit, set aside the renewal of the permit.

13. I am fortified in my view that no appeal lies against the grant of a renewal, by the views expressed by the majority of the High Courts. Under Section 64 (1) (e), an appeal lies against therefusal of renewal of a permit, but no appeal lies against the grant of the renewal. In Central Provinces Transport Services. Jabalpur v. State Transport Authority. Bombay ILR (1961) Bom 174, it was observed :--

'From the language used in Clauses (a), (e) and (f) of this section it would be clear that the Legislature has deliberately drawn a distinction between grant of a permit and renewal of a permit. Under Clause (a) where a person who has applied for, grant of a permit is refused the permit, he is entitled to prefer an appeal. Under Clause (f) if a person or authority has opposed the grant of a permit to another and is aggrieved by the grant of the permit, the person or the authority can prefer an appeal. Under Clause (e) a person aggrieved by the refusal of the renewal of permit is entitled to prefer an appeal. There is no express provision entitling a person who has opposed the renewal of a permit to appeal against the order of the R. T. A. to renew the permit.'

It was further observed,--

'In this connection it is to be noted that the Supreme Court has drawn a distinction between the grant of a permit and the renewal of a permit. Grant of permit confers a substantive right on the parties and one of the rights incidental to that right is the right of renewal of the permit. In V. C. K. Bus Service v. R. T. Authority, AIR 1957 SC 489, Ven-katarama Ayyar'J. of the Supreme Court observed as follows (p. 492) :--

'A reeding of the relevant provisions of the Act and of the rules leads indubitably to the conclusion that a renewal is a continuation of the permit previously granted. The fact that the grant of renewal is not a matter of course, or that it is open to the authorities to impose fresh conditions at the time of renewal does not, when the permit is in fact renewed, alter its character as a renewal.' Bearing in mind this decision, if we look at Clause (f), the only conclusion which can be drawn is that it provides for appeals against orders granting permits and not for appeals against orders granting renewal of permits.'

To the same effect, are the decisions in Prabhat Transport Union v. Mathura Prasad Shrivastava, 1943 Nag LJ 117 (App Tri); M. Basha v. C. Sultan Beig, AIR 1959 Mys 17 and Kuriakose v. Regional Transport Authority, ILR (1967) 1 Ker 502.

14. These authorities have laid down that a person aggrieved by the refusal to renew his permit is entitled to prefer an appeal under Section 64 (1) (e) of the Act, but a person who has opposed the renewal of a permit, has no right to appeal against the order of the Regional Transport Authority granting the renewal of the permit. That is a view which is in consonance with the plain meaning of Section 64 (1) of the Act. I am entirely in agreement with the view expressed in these decisions. That being so, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal was right in rejecting the preliminary objection that the revision preferred by respondent No. 3, Laxman Kumar Arya, under Section 64-A of the Act was not maintainable.

15. It is, however, necessary to notice a few authorities cited by the learned counsel for the petitioner, which are of no avail. In Civil Writ Petn. No. 1926 of 1970, Modern Transport, Kota v. S. T. A. Rajasthan, Jaipur, decided on July 7, 1'971 (Raj), Gattani J. appears to have taken the view that an appeal lies under Section 64 (1) (d) of the Act against the order of the Regional Transport Authority granting of counter-signature. That decision, I am afraid, is against the plain wording of this Section 64 (1) (d). The decision was reversed by a Division Bench in Samarathmal v. Jugaldas, AIR 1974 Raj 104 on another point. In my view, the decision of Gattani J. having been reversed, his observations that a person aggrieved by the grant of counter-signature, is entitled to prefer an appeal under Section 64 (1) (d) of the Act, cannot be accepted. In Civil Writ Petn. No. 472 of 1974, Raghuveer v. S. T. A. T. decided on July 11, 1974 (Raj), Joshi J. has held that the petitioner, not having objected to the grant, could not prefer a revision under Section 64-A of the Act. That is, however, an entirely a different matter.

16. Lastly, the contention is that the definition of the term 'permit' as defined in Section 2 (20) of the Act, as interpreted by this Court in Jagjit Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1968 Raj 24 includes a renewed permit, and therefore the expression 'grant' in Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act includes also the renewal of a permit. I am afraid, the contention cannot be accepted. In Jagjit Singh's case (supra), the Court was not concerned with the construction of Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act at all. It is an authority for the proposition that a renewed permit being in continuation of the original permit, ifthe grant of permit is set aside, the renewal of that permit is automatically setaside.

17. In view of the aforesaid discussion, the writ petition fails and is dismissed with costs. Hearing fee Rs. 100/-.


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