Skip to content


Mohan Lal Rikhab Chand Oswal Vs. State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Jaipur and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 2168 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Raj52; 1972()WLN671
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 57, 57(3), 57(5) and 57(7); Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules - Rule 82; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 3, Rule 4
AppellantMohan Lal Rikhab Chand Oswal
RespondentState Transport Appellate Tribunal, Jaipur and ors.
Appellant Advocate B.L. Maheshwari, Adv.
Respondent Advocate N.L. Pareek, Adv. (for No. 3),; R.K. Kapoor, Adv. (for Nos. 4 and 5) and;
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredGodika Transport Co. v. Transport Appellate Tribunal. Jaipur. By
Excerpt:
.....mentioned in that notification annexure 3, i am of the view that looking to the para 2 of this notification it was quite sufficient in the eve of law so as to be notice to these respondents as well, 13. the matter of respondent no. or the state transport authority to reject the application of a person aspiring for the grant of stage carriage permit simply because he has failed to appear on the date when his application is going to be considered......dismissed the applications of respondents bhera ram and lumba ram on the ground that their learned counsel shri m. c. bhandari had withdrawn the applications. the application of respondent subhas transport company was, however, considered and rejected on merits vis-a-vis the petitioner. 7. 'the tribunal' by its order dated 13-9-1971, which is the impugned order. partly accepted all the five appeals, cancelled the permits granted by 'the r. t. a', and remanded the cases to 'the r. t. a.' with certain direction. hence this writ petition. 8. when the writ petition came lor hearing the learned counsel for the respondents nos. 4 and 5 challenged the maintainability of the writ petition on two grounds viz:-- (i) one writ petition against the respondents nos. 3 to 7 is invalid, and (ii) the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.D. Gattani, J.

1. This writ petition. which seeks the quashing of the order of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan Jaipur (hereinafter referred to as 'the Tribunal') dated 13-9-1971 in respect of Jodhpur Soiat City via Sardar Samand route, has arisen out of the following circumstances:--

2. Jodhpur-Sojat City via Sardan Samand route lies in the Jodhpur Region. During the relevant Period there were two vacancies on this route. The petitioner applied to the Regional Transport Authority. Jodhpur Region. Jodhpur (hereinafter referred to as 'the R. T A.') on 22-9-1970 for the grant of a non-temporary stage carriage permit on this route. That application was duly published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 24-12-1970. Respondent No. 3 Shri Narsingh also on 25-1-1971 applied for the grant of two such permits, to the same authority. His applications were published in the Rajasthan Raipatra dated 1-4-1971. Similarly the application of respondent No. 7 Shri Shiv Lal was also published in the Rajasthan-Rajpatra dated 1-4-1971.

3. In the meeting of 'the R T A.' scheduled for 29th to 31st March, 1971, 11 applications for the grant of non-temporary stage carriage permits came up for consideration. 'The R. T. A.', however, adjourned that consideration to 4-5-1971 as one Jan Mohammed objected to the consideration on the ground that his application even though filed earlier than those 11 applications, was not listed in that item for considerations. 'The R. T. A.' ordered the Publication of the application of Jan Mohammed first and deferred the consideration of all the applications to its meeting of 4-5-1971; the agenda for which was published in the extra-ordinary Raipatra dated 2-4-1971.

4. In Its meeting dated 4-5-1971 'the R. T. A.' after considering all the applications filled up the two vacancies by granting one permit to the petitioner Mohan Lal and the other to one Bharat Singh.

5. Respondents No. 3 Nar Singh, No. 4 Bhera Ram, No. 5 Lumba Ram, No. 6 Messrs. Subhas Transport Company and No. 7 Shiv Lal whose applications were rejected by 'the R, T. A.' preferred appeals to 'the Tribunal'. The petitioner, however, could not ply the bus because of the stay order passed by 'the Tri-bunal' In one of these appeals.

6. It might be stated here that 'the R. T. A', rejected the applications of respondents Nos. 3 and 7 Nar Singh and Shiv Lal on the ground that they were absent on 4-5-1971. It dismissed the applications of respondents Bhera Ram and Lumba Ram on the ground that their learned counsel Shri M. C. Bhandari had withdrawn the applications. The application of respondent Subhas Transport Company was, however, considered and rejected on merits vis-a-vis the petitioner.

7. 'The Tribunal' by its order dated 13-9-1971, which is the impugned order. partly accepted all the five appeals, cancelled the permits granted by 'the R. T. A', and remanded the cases to 'the R. T. A.' with certain direction. Hence this writ petition.

8. When the writ petition came lor hearing the learned counsel for the respondents Nos. 4 and 5 challenged the maintainability of the writ petition on two grounds viz:-- (i) one writ petition against the respondents Nos. 3 to 7 is invalid, and (ii) the petitioner knowingly wrongly stated in the petition that his bus has been lying idle.

9. So far as the first point is concerned similar point was raised in S. B. Civil Writ Petn. No. 1217 of 1969. M/s. Godika Transport Co. v. Transport Appellate Tribunal. Jaipur. By order D/-. 14-12-1971 (Raj) this Court repelled the preliminary objection raised in that writ petition. After hearing the learned counsel for both the sides I do not find any reason to differ from that view.

10. As regards the second point It was urged by the learned counsel for the respondents that according to the petitioner his vehicle remained altogether idle from 1-1-1971 to 21-12-1971. whereas according to the petitioner's additional affidavit on this point he himself admitted that he used his bus for 48 days in all during that period. It is, therefore, urged that the petitioner having told lie in his writ petition and having not come with clean hands, is not entitled to any relief from this Court On the other hand, it has been, urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that what the petitioner meant by writing in the writ petition and the affidavit filed along with it was that in spite of purchasing a bus of 1965 model, he could not ply it for a single day on this route and that his bus has been idle all this while vis-a-vis this route. This appears to be a plausible explanation and this point, therefore, also does not require any further consideration.

11. Coming to the writ petition on merits. If was contended by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the applications of respondents Narsingh and Shiv Lal were rightly rejected by 'the R. T. A.' as they were not vigilant enough to appear and plead their case on 4-5-1971 when the applications came up for consideration before 'the R. T. A.'. In this connection it was further urged that the applications of these respondents were not even ripe or mature for consideration and for this reason also they could not be considered in that meeting of 'the R. T. A.'. So far as this latter point is concerned suffice it to say that the impugned order of 'the Tribunal' does not show that this point was agitated before it of course in the writ petition it is said that this point was agitated before the Tribunal', but the latter did not discuss it in its impugned order. However. I am not satisfied with the affidavit filed along with the writ petition to hold that this point was argued out before 'the Tribunal' but was not discussed by it in its impugned order. The reason for this is that there is no authoritative affidavit. The petitioner has no doubt deposed so in his affidavit but he is not conversant with the English language and there is nothing on record to show that arguments were heard in Hindi. It would have been better if an affidavit of the learned counsel, who argued the petitioner's case before 'the Tribunal' was filed in this respect. This point, therefore, will not be taken into consideration.

12. Next it was urged that 'the Tribunal' was wrong in holding that respondents Narsingh and Shiv Lal had no notice of the hearing of their applications. The argument of the learned counsel for respondent No. 3 Narsingh is that when his application was published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra under Section 57 of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') inviting representations, no date, time or place was fixed for considering the application and the representations, if any. On the other hand, it was mentioned in that notification that time, date and place for hearing the application and representations would be notified separately and according to this respondent no separate notification thereafter was issued. The learned counsel for the petitioner, however, has relied upon Annexure 3, which is extract of the notification published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 2-4-1971 notifying the next meeting of 'the R. T. A.' to be held on 4th. 5th and 6th May, 1971 at 10 a. m. in the Committee Hall of the Collectorate, Jodhpur. Item No. 6 of the Agenda in this notification is the consideration of application of permit for Jodhpur-Soiat via Sardar Samand, Marwar Junction route. This notification further states that all other applicants, if any whose applications were ripe for hearing may also attend that meeting and the objector may also attend it. It is not the case of the respondent No. 3 that individual notice was required regarding the date time and place of the meeting of 'the R. T. A.'. Even though the names of respondents Nos. 3 and 7 Narsingh and Shivlal are not specifically mentioned in that notification Annexure 3, I am of the view that looking to the para 2 of this notification it was quite sufficient in the eve of law so as to be notice to these respondents as well,

13. The matter of respondent No. 3 Narsingh, however, does not rest here. It has been, contended by Mr. Pareek and rightly in my opinion, that even if Annexure 3 may be treated as notice to his client for the next meeting of 'the R, T. A.' which was to be held on 4th 5th and 6th May, 1971. 'the R. T. A.' had no jurisdiction to dismiss the application of Narsingh simply because he was not present in that meeting. The question which arises is whether 'the R. T. A.' had right or jurisdiction to reject the application of the absentee applicants without going into the merits of their applications at all? It might be stated here that if 'the R. T. A.' had given any reason worth the name for dismissing the applications of the respondents, who were absent in that meeting, say holding that since they were absent 'the R. T. A.' was of the opinion that they were no more interested in pursuing their applications, the matter would have been quite different as 'the R. T. A.' in that case could be said to have rejected the application after giving some reason. However, this thing is not applicable to the case of the respondents Nos. 3 and 7 in the present writ petition. As stated above, their applications were rejected simply because they were absent.

14. It is, therefore, to be seen whether according to the provisions of 'the Act' the applications of the respondents Nos. 3 and 7 could be dismissed because they were not present when the applications regarding this route including their own were to be considered. The learned counsel for the petitioner in this regard referred to Rule 82 (a) of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, which provides for hearing of applications or, objections and which reads as under :--

'Rule 82 (a) 'When an application for any permit is considered at a meeting of the State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Authority and the applicant desires to be heard in support of his application or has been summoned to appear under the provisions of Sub-rule (f) of Rule 78, the applicant may either appear and conduct his case in person or may be represented by any person authorised by him, in writing in this behalf.

15. In my opinion, this rule does not make it incumbent upon an applicant to be present on the day when his application is to be heard. On the other hand, option is left over to him and he may conduct his case in person or may be represented by any person authorised by him in writing in his behalf if he chooses to be heard. Impliedly this rule favours the case of the respondents Nos. 3 and 7, Admittedly there is no provision either in 'the Act' or in the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules for dismissal of an application simply because of the absence of the applicant. The Motor Vehicles Act along with the Rules made thereunder is self-contained provision on the subject. It will, therefore, not be advisable to take recourse to the provisions of the Civil P. C. for dismissing any application in default because only when and to the extent those provisions are separately made to apply to a proceeding under this Act, they can be availed of. For example, some provisions of Civil P. C, have been made to apply in regard to the claims arising out of the accidental which are to be decided by Tribunal appointed for that purpose. The learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to point out any where if any part of the Civil P. C. or some provisions of it have been made applicable to the conduct of the meeting of 'the R. T. A.' and the State Transport Authority. Then again, Section 57 of 'the Act' deals with the provisions for applying for and granting permits. Sub-sections (5) and (7) of that section, which are relevant, run as follows:--

'Sub-section (5).-- When any representation such as is referred to in Subsection (3) is made, the Regional Transport Authority shall dispose of the application at a public hearing at which the applicant and the person making the representation shall have an opportunity of being heard either in person or by a duly authorised representative.

Sub-section (7). When a Regional Transport Authority refuses an application for a permit of any kind, it shall give to the applicant in writing its rea-sons for the refusal'.

16. From their perusal also it appears that the law does not enjoin upon an applicant, who has applied for grant of a permit of stage carriage to be present when his application is considered.

Of course the law enjoins upon the authority concerned to give the applicant an opportunity to be heard if he so chooses and for that purpose due notice of time, date and place is to be given to the applicant by the Authority. It is to be borne in mind that personal notice in this respect is not necessary and any general notice published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra will also serve the purpose.

17. From the above discussion it can safely be concluded that there is no authority or jurisdiction of the R. T. A. or the State Transport Authority to reject the application of a person aspiring for the grant of stage carriage permit simply because he has failed to appear on the date when his application is going to be considered. To put in other words all applications for the grant of permits which are placed before 'the R, T. A.' or the State Transport Authority are to be considered on merits and a speaking order for the grant or refusal of the permit is necessary. The dismissal of the applications of the respondents Nos. 3 and 7 by 'the R. T. A.' simply because these respondents were absent on that day was illegal and in my opinion has been rightly set aside by 'the Tribunal'.

18. In regard to the cases of respondents Nos. 4 and 5 Bhera Ram and Lumba Ram, it was urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that their counsel Shri M. C. Bhandari gave in writing to 'the R. T. A.' withdrawing their applications and as such those applications were rightly dismissed by 'the R. T. A.', It was further urged that a perusal of the copies of the Vakalatnama filed on behalf of these two respondents show that the learned counsel had a right to withdraw the applications. Contrary to this it has been urged by Shri Kapoor. the learned counsel for these two respondents that the Vakalatnama of either of these two respondents did not give any specific authority to the lawyer to withdraw the applications. It was further urged that the Motor Vehicles Act being a self-contained Act one will have to search power to withdraw the application once filed, if it can be found in the provisions of the Act and the Rules made thereunder. In other words if there is no specific provision of withdrawing the application in the Act or the Rules made thereunder, then that application cannot be withdrawn. Shri Kapoor further urged about the alleged mala fides of Shri M. C. Bhandari, the counsel representing these two respondents before 'the R. T. A.'. In this connection it was urged that even, though there were only two acancies on this route, which were to be filled up. Shri Bhandari not only tool! responsibility of pleading the cases of two respondents Bhera Ram and Lumba Ram, but took brief also on behalf of Madan Lal and the petitioner himself. It was further urged that Shri M. C. Bhandari withdrew the applications not only of these two respondents, but that of Madan Lal also. Of course he did not withdraw the application of the petitioner. Shri Kapoor vehemently urged that his clients were anxious that their cases be pleaded before 'the R. T. A.' but without any authority from his clients and without bringing this fact into their knowledge, Shri M. C. Bhandari withdrew the applications, which, was not justified.

19. I have looked into the copies of Vakalatnama which were filed on behalf of Bhera Ram and Lumba Ram before 'the R. T. A.' From the perusal of these it can safely be said that there is no specific authority given to the counsel to withdraw those applications. Of course it can be said that sometime a counsel has implied authority also to withdraw any application of his client but that can be done only when such a withdrawal is in the interest of the client and if the withdrawal goes against the interest of the client, the question of implied authority does not arise. There is nothing on record to show that the withdrawal on the part of Shri M. C. Bhandari of the applications filed by the respondent Nos. 4 and 5 Bhera Ram and Lumba Ram was in their interest and that the result of the withdrawal came to benefit either of them. On the other hand, there seems to be some force in the contentions raised by Mr. Kapoor that it was ethically also not advisable on the part of Shri M. C. Bhandari to have taken the responsibility for pleading the cases of four persons when there were two vacancies only on this route. Since Mr. Bhandari is not a party to this petition and since the impugned order directs 'the R. T. A.' to enquire into the matter whether these respondents had really authorised Shri M. C. Bhandari to withdraw the applications, it will not be for me to deal with this matter in greater length. I would further point out that all what is to be said in this writ petition, will be for the purpose of deciding this writ petition only and 'the R. T. A.' who is enquiring into the matter as directed by 'the Tribunal' will not be influenced by any of the criticism made above in regard to the conduct of Shri M. C. Bhandari. In the facts and circumstances of the case. I am, therefore, of the view that the finding of 'the Tribunal' in respect of the cases of these two respondents also in the impugned order cannot be said to be without jurisdiction or patently illegal. There-is, therefore, no cause to interfere with that finding in this proceeding.

20. So far as the case of Messrs. Subhas Transport Company is concerned suffice it to say that 'the Tribunal' did not decide their appeal on merit. On the other hand, when 'the Tribunal' thought it proper to remand the case in respect of the four respondents namely, Narsinsh, Bhera Ram. Lumba Ram and Shiv Lal, it was quite advisable on the part of 'the Tribunal' to accept the appeal of Messrs. Subhas Transport Company so that their case may also be simultaneously considered when 'the R. T. A.' considers the cases of all these persons on merits,

21. The result of the above discussion is that there is no force in this writ petition and the same is dismissed. Costs are made easy.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //