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Bal Mukund Vs. the Regional Transport Authority and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ Petn. No. 212 of 1978
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Raj170
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 68F(1A) and 68F(1AA); Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Act - Sections 62
AppellantBal Mukund
RespondentThe Regional Transport Authority and anr.
Appellant Advocate R.R. Vyas, Adv.
Respondent Advocate R.N. Munshi, Adv. for Non-petitioner No. 2
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
- .....by the learned counsel for the petitioner, in this case, is that the r.t.a. had no jurisdiction to grant temporary permits to the corporation under the provisions of section 68 f (1-a) as amended by the rajasthan act no. 10 of 1974 and 68f (1-aa), which was newly added by the aforesaid rajasthan act. according to the learned counsel for the petitioner such a temporary permit could only be granted by the state transport authority, rajasthan, which alone had the authority to issue a permit under the aforesaid provisions. sub-section (1-a) of section 68f of the act, as amended in rajasthan, authorised the s. t. a. or the r.t.a, as the case may be, to issue a temporary permit as prayed for by the state transport undertaking in the circumstances specified in that subsection. similarly,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Dwarka Prasad, J.

1. There is a bus route from Bhilwara to Deoli via Mandal, Shahpura and Jahajpur (hereinafter referred to as 'the route'). The petitioner is an existing operator of the route. The portion of the route from Bhilwara to Shahpura-Chauraya is part of the notified routes from Ajmer to Bhilwara and Ajmer to Udaipur via Bhilwara, while a draft scheme of nationalisation in respect of Bhilwara-Deoli route has been published under Section 68 C of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated April 3, 1976 and the same is still under consideration of the State Government. According to the petitioner, the State Transport Authority, Rajasthan vide its resolution dated 6/7th Aug. 1970 fixed a limit of 20 permits on the route and according to him 21 vehicles are operating on the route at present, including that of the petitioner.

2. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corooration (hereinafter referred to as 'the Corporation') applied for grant of 21 temporary permits on the route and the R. T. A., Udaipur (hereinafter called 'the R.T.A.') by its order dated Oct. 27, 1977 granted 21 temporary permits to the Corporation, which were issued on Nov. 8, 1977. But this is common ground between the parties that the Corporation did not ply any vehicle on any one of the 21 permits granted to it by the resolution of the R.T.A. dated Oct. 27, 1977. However, on the expiry of the period of earlier temporary permits obtained by the Corporation, it again applied on March 3, 1978 for the grant of 21 temporary permits on the route. The R.T.A. again granted 21 temporary permits to the Corporation for a period of four months by its order dated March 13, 1978. In pursuance of the aforesaid order of the R.T.A., 21 permits were issued to the Corporation by the Secretary, R.T.A. on March 16, 1978, which are valid from March 8, 1978 to July 7, 1978. The aforesaid grant of temporary permits to the Corportion by the order of the R.T.A. dated March 13, 1978 is challenged by the petitioner in this writ petition.

3. The first submission advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner, in this case, is that the R.T.A. had no jurisdiction to grant temporary permits to the Corporation under the provisions of Section 68 F (1-A) as amended by the Rajasthan Act No. 10 of 1974 and 68F (1-AA), which was newly added by the aforesaid Rajasthan Act. According to the learned counsel for the petitioner such a temporary permit could only be granted by the State Transport Authority, Rajasthan, which alone had the authority to issue a permit under the aforesaid provisions. Sub-section (1-A) of Section 68F of the Act, as amended in Rajasthan, authorised the S. T. A. or the R.T.A, as the case may be, to issue a temporary permit as prayed for by the State Transport Undertaking in the circumstances specified in that subsection. Similarly, Sub-section (1-AA) of Section 68F of the Act also authorises the R. T. A. or S. T. A., as the case may be, to grant a temporary permit prayed for by the State Transport Undertaking in respect of any route which comprises of a notified route or area or portion thereof and of any other route or area or portion thereof, specified in any scheme or schemes published under Section 68 C of the Act Thus, both the S. T. A. and the R.T.A. are competent to issue temporary permits under Sub-sections (1-A) and (1-AA) of Section 68 F of the Act, in their respective jurisdictions.

4. According to the amendment of Rule 77 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951, the R. T. A. has been designated as the sole Transport Authority authorised to grant a permit under Chap. IV of the Act, in respect of vehicles used or plied on routes common to two or more regions, lying within the same State or in adjoining States, and such permit granted by the R.T.A of any one region shall be valid in any other region of the State without being counter-signed by the R. T. A. of that other region. In view of the provisions of Rule 77, the R. T. A. of the concerned region was competent to grant a permit, temporary or non-temporary, under Chap. IV of the Act in respect of an inter-regional route. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, contends that the provisions of Rule 77 should not be made applicable in respect of the grant of permits under Chap. IVA and that temporary permits under Sub-section (1-A) or (1-AA) of Section 68 F should be granted by the S. T. A. alone. The basis of this argument is that under Sub-section (1) of Section 68 F the legislature has authorised the S. T. A. alone in the case of inter-regional routes and the R. T. A. in other cases, to issue permits in respect of a notified route to the State Transport Undertaking, in pursuance of an approved scheme of nationalisation. According to the learned counsel for the petitioner, the S. T. A., which is authorised to issue permits on interregional routes under Sub-section (1) of Section 68 F, should alone be considered to be the competent authority for grant of temporary permits under sub-sections (1-A) and (1-AA) of Section 68 F of the Act. I am unable to accept this contention of the learned counsel. It may be pointed out that in Sub-section (1) of Section 68F it has been specifically mentioned that the State Transport Authority alone is competent to grant permits on the notified route in pursuance of an approved scheme of nationalisation, in case such a route is an interregional one 'notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Chapter IV.' Thus, there is a specific provision inconsistent with the provisions of Chap. IV, contained in Sub-section (t) of Section 68 F of the Act. But there is no similar or corresponding provision occurring in Sub-section (1-A) or (1-AA) of Section 68F of the Act. On the other hand, Section 68 B of the Act makes provision for giving overriding effect to the provisions of Chap. IVA, if they are inconsistent with those contained in Chap. IV of the Act. Thus, in case there is no inconsistent provision in Ch. IVA, then the provisions Ch. IV will become applicable. In Sub-section (1-A) and (1-AA) of Section 68F of the Act there is no inconsistent provision in respect of the authority who is empowered to grant temporary permits under those provisions. Moreover, if a temporary permit is not applied for by the State Transport Undertaking under Sub-sections (1-A) and (1-AA) of Section 68-F, then the permit of the existing operator of the concerned route can be renewed under the proviso to Sub-section (1-D) of Section 68 F of the Act for such limited period, as specified in the subsection. It cannot be held that the authority to renew the permit of an existing operator on the very same route would be different from the authority which is empowered to grant a temporary permit in place of such renewal, pending the approval of the draft scheme of nationalisation published under Section 68 C of the Act. It must be remembered that Sub-section (1) of Section 68F of the Act is applicable only to grant of permits after the approved scheme of nationalisation is published under Section 68 D of the Act and not otherwise, while Sub-sections (1-A) to (1-D), including Sub-section (1-AA) of Section 68 F of the Act, are applicable to grant of temporary permits for the period between the publication of the draft scheme of nationalisation under Section 68C and the publication of the approved scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68 D of the Act.

5. For the aforesaid reason, I hold that the R. T. A. had jurisdiction to consider the applications of the Corporation for grant of temporary permits on the route, under Section 68F (1-A) and (1-AA) of the Act. In this view of the matter, it cannot be held that the order passed by the R.T.A. in the present case is without jurisdiction.

6. The next submission made by the learned counsel is that temporary permits have been granted to the Corporation by the R. T. A. on account of extraneous considerations. According to the learned counsel, the Corporation does not have any vehicle which can be used by it for plying on the temporary permits granted to it on the route and further that 21 temporary permits were applied for by the Corporation with the ulterior object that the permits of the petitioner and his co-operators on the route may not be renewed. It has been brought on the record that the permits of 21 operators on the route, including that of the petitioner, have been renewed by the R. T. A., Udaipur by its resolution dated April 29, 1977 for a period ending on March 31, 1978, but on appeal preferred by the concerned operators, including the petitioner, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal allowed the renewal of such permits for a period of three years, subject to the incidence of nationalisation. The Corporation applied for 21 temporary permits on the route which were granted by the R. T. A. on Oct. 27, 1977 for a period of 4 months. Even in spite of the grant of 21 temporary permits on the route in its favour, the Corporation did not ply a single vehicle on the route on the basis of aforesaid temporary permits with the result that the temporary permits, which were granted to the Corporation on the route were allowed to lapse. According to the petitioner, the Corporation had obtained these 21 temporary permits on the route because it had preferred 21 writ petitions in this Court against the grant of renewal of the permits of the existing operators on the route, including the petitioner, and the Corporation probably thought that in case stay orders are passed in those- writ petitions by this Court and the vehicles of the petitioner and other operators were stopped from plying on the route, then the Corporation may ply its vehicles by replacing the vehicles of the private operators, including the petitioner. But the writ petitions filed by the Corporation were dismissed by this Court by its order dated Dec. 21, 1977. Thus, from the entire history of the matter narrated above, it is quite apparent that the Corporation obtained temporary permits on the route merely by way of stand-by arrangement and it intended to ply its vehicles on the route on the temporary permits granted to it by the R. T. A. only if the private operators or some of them ceased to ply their vehicles thereon. It was because of this reason that the temporary permits previously obtained by the Corporation on Nov. 8, 1977 in pursuance of the resolution of the R.T.A. dated Oct. 27, 1977 were allowed to expire without the Corporation plying even a single vehicle on the route during the four months' period for which such temporary permits were valid. The Corporation thereafter obtained 21 fresh temporary permits from March 8, 1978 to July 7, 1978 by the order of the R. T. A. dated March 13, 1978, but as yet it has not started plying its vehicles on the route on the basis of the temporary permits so granted to it. It has been brought to the notice of this Court by Shri Raj Narain, learned counsel appearing for the Corporation that special appeals are pending in this Court in the matter arising out of the renewal of the permits of the existing operators on the route, including the petitioner. This fact further supports the inference that the Corporation intends to ply its vehicles only if the vehicles of the private operators, including the petitioner, cease to ply on the route for some reason or the other. Although in the aforesaid circumstances, it cannot be held that there were any extraneous considerations in the grant of temporary permits to the Corporation in the present case, yet it is absolutely clear that it is intended by the Corporation to utilise the temporary permits granted to it by the R. T. A. only when the existing operators on the route, including the petitioner, or some of them cease to operate their vehicles on the route for any reason. If the petitioner ceases to ply his vehicle on the route for some reason or the other, then he can have no further grievance if the Corporation then starts plying its vehicle on the temporary permits which have already been obtained by it from the R. T. A., Udaipur.

7. With these observations, the writ petition is dismissed as it has no merit. The parties are, however left to bear their own costs.


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