1. In both these writ petitions the petitioners have challenged the order of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (Annexure 7) dated 5th November, 1982, and as such the same are being disposed of by one single order.
2. The petitioner Ram Dayal in writ petition No. 1801/1982 and Radhey Shyam in writ petition No. 1802/82, were granted one temporary permit each by the Regional Transport Authority (hereinafter called 'the R.T.A.') by a resolution No. 50, D/- 28th August, 1982. The route is Dausa-Gudachanderji, which is 61 Kms. long and 'A' class in nature. The scope on this route was 6 permits to ply four return trips. By resolution No. 7 dated 28th August, 1982, the R.T.A. Jaipur, revised the scope to 8 permits and six return services. The petitioners submitted applications for grant of temporary permits on the two increased scope of permits. The R.T.A. by resolution No. 50 D/- 28th August, 1982, granted one temporary permit each in favour of the petitioners. The order granting temporary permits has been filed as Annexure 3 along with the writ petition. Respondents Ram Kumar and Messrs. Chiranji Lal Madan Lal, who were already existing operators on the said route filed an appeal under Section 64 (l)(f) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter called 'the Act') before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter called 'the S.T.A.T.'). Learned State Transport Appellate Tribunal by her order dated 5th November, 1982, (Annexure 7) allowed the appeal and cancelled the temporary permits granted to the petitioners. Learned S.T.A.T. further directed the R.T.A. to take suitable steps for getting the six services plied by the operators of this route. Aggrieved against the order of the S.T.A.T. the petitioners have filed these writ petitions.
3. Mr. R.N. Munshi, learned counsel for the petitioners, first contended that no appeal was maintainable before the S.T.A.T. under Section 64 (1) (f) of the Act. It was contended that the respondents ought to have opposed the grant of the permit and they having failed to do so were not entitled to prefer an appeal. If a person had an opportunity to oppose an application but failed to do so then he cannot be allowed to file an appeal and he also cannot take the plea that as an appeal does not lie, a revision would be maintainable. In support of the above proposition reliance has been placed on Bheru Lal v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan, Jaipur AIR 1977 Raj 29. However, a similar argument was raised before the S.T.A.T. but the same was repelled.
4. I have gone through the order of the S.T.A.T. and the reasons given in this regard. Learned S.T.A.T. in this regard arrived at the finding that on the basis of the facts and circumstances of the case she was unable to hold that the appellants (respondents Nos. 3 and 4 in the writ petitions) did not oppose the grant of permits and in her view the appeal was maintainable. Learned S.T.A.T. in this regard has found it as a matter of fact that the grant of temporary permits was opposed before the R.T.A. and this finding of fact is supported by material on record and cogent reasons. It does not lie within the scope of writ jurisdiction of this Court to interfere in such finding of fact given by the S.T.A.T. The objection thus of non-maintainability of appeal before the S.T.A. T. has no force and is rejected.
5. Now coming to the merits of the case it was vehemently contended by Mr. Munshi that the R.T.A. had granted the temporary permits by arriving at a conclusion that there was excess traffic on the route and taking into consideration the public convenience it was necessary to fulfil the need by granting temporary permits in favour of the petitioners. It is contended that the learned S.T.A.T. wrongly and erroneously took the view that the temporary permits were granted to the petitioners merely because there was a vacancy of two permits, according to the scope. In fact by the impugned order the S.T.A.T, has limited the scope from 8 permits to 6 permits as the R.T.A. has been directed to take suitable steps for getting the increased services also plied by the existing six operators of this route. It is further contended that in the application for the grant of temporary permit filed by Ram Dayal, petitioner, it was mentioned that the purpose for which permit is required was public convenience. In the application filed by petitioners Radhey Shyam against column No. 4 -- purpose for which the permit is required it was mentioned as under : --
'To meet particular temporary need under Section 62 (1) (c) as the scope had been increased, existing buses are short, looking to the traffic potentialities.' It is thus contended that if the R.T.A. had taken into consideration the above factors of public convenience and traffic potentialities while granting the temporary permits, the S.T.A.T. had no jurisdiction to set aside the order of the R.T.A. granting temporary permits. Mr. Munshi, learned counsel for the petitioners, placed reliance on the wording used by R.T.A. in Annexure 3 dated 28th August, 1982 and contended that the same was passed taking in view the traffic potentialities and the public convenience. He laid stress on the following words used in the above order :
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6. On the other hand, it was contended by Mr. L.L. Sharma, learned counsel for the respondents Nos. 3 and 4, that the temporary permits were granted to the petitioners merely because scope of the permits was increased from 6 permits to 8 permits. If there was overcrowding on the route, then it can be a case for increasing the number of services and does not automatically become a case for grant of temporary permits. Permanent need and temporary need may co-exist, but it cannot be said that in every case of permanent need, a temporary need exists simultaneously. It is also argued by Mr. Sharma that the R.T.A. did not take into consideration the possibility of getting six services plied by the six existing operators. The route is only 61 Kms. in length and 'A' class in nature and a single trip takes only 2 hours. In these circumstances as a temporary measure 6 existing vehicles could easily ply 6 return services and the S.T.A.T. was justified in taking the above factor into consideration and in advising the R.T.A. to take statable steps for getting these six services plied by the existing operators of this route. Placing reliance on Abdul Hehman v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal, AIR 1978 SC 949 it is contended that the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution should be reluctant to interfere with or disturb the decision of specially constituted authorities or Tribunals especially when the Legislature has entrusted the task of granting or renewing the stage carriage permits to the aforesaid authorities or Tribunals which are except-ed to be fully conversant with the procedure and practice and the relevant matters which should engage their attention under the provisions contained in the Act. Mr. Sharma also placed reliance on the following observations made by Gupta J., in Gafoor v. R.T.A. Jaipur, AIR 1976 Raj 166 (at p. 169): --
'As held by this Court repeatedly that merely because vacancies were caused on account of revision of limit of permits on a route and the filling of such vacancies was likely to take some time, it could not be held to be a particular temporary need, unless the R.T.A. also came to the conclusion that the existing vehicles were insufficient to meet the current needs of the travelling public. There is no doubt that a temporary need may co-exist with a permanent need but the mere repetition of this version by the R.T.A. cannot be held to be sufficient for the purpose of Justifying the grant of temporary permits on the route under Section 62 (l) (c) of the Act, to the two respondents unless a further finding was also recorded by the concerned authority that such temporary need did actually exist on the route in question.'
7. Mr. Munshi, on the other hand placed reliance on Vijai Singh v. R.T.A., Jaipur: 1957 Raj LW 550, and Bheru Lal's case (AIR 1977 Raj 29) (supra).
8. I have given my careful consideration to the arguments advanced by learned counsel for both the parties and have thoroughly perused the record.
9. In Bheru Lal's case (AIR 1977 Raj 29) (supra), Sachar, J., took into consideration the following cases of this Court
1. Jagdish Prasad v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal (S.B. Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 980/1975-decided on 24-7-1975 (Raj).
2. S. Sayerdevi v. S.T.A. Tribunal AIR 1976 Raj 164 :
3. Gafoor v. R.T. A., Jaipur. AIR 1975 Rai 166.
4. S.B. Civil Writ petition No. 1869/ 1970-decided on 26-10-1970 (Raj) by Shinghal, J.
10. After considering all the above authorities, Sachar, J., observed (at p. 36):--
'A reference to all these authorities cited by Mr. Vyas would show that where the grant of a temporary permit was set aside, it was either because no purpose was mentioned in the application or that the R.T.A. while granting the permit had not considered any temporary need but had only gone by the fact of existence of a permanent vacancy. This cannot be said in the present case. The purpose mentioned in the application is 'public convenience to meet a particular need.' The R.T.A. has considered the various circumstances and has definitely given a finding that there is a large traffic on this route and that it was for the convenience of the travelling public for further vehicle to be provided for a temporary period and that the grant of a permit would be for the convenience of the public.' From a perusal of the various decisions of this Court it is now well settled that a temporary need may co-exist with a permanent need but merely because there is existence of a permanent vacancy it may not necessarily mean that there is a particular temporary need within the meaning of Section 62 (1) (c) of the Act, It would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each individual case whether a particular temporary need exists or not where there was existence of a permanent vacancy. It is also correct that where no purpose for particular temporary need is mentioned by the applicant in his application for the grant of temporary permit, the R.T.A., has no jurisdiction to grant a temporary permit. It is also well established the R.T.A. has no jurisdiction to grant a temporary permit solely on the ground that there was existence of a permanent vacancy. The R.T.A. while granting a temporary permit should take into consideration the public convenience to meet the particular temporary need. In a case where the scope of non-temporary permits is increased, the question of temporary need arises only for the period during which non-temporary permits under the increased scope are to be finalised. This period cannot be a very long period and if the R.T.A. thinks that the existing buses plied on the route cannot cater to the need of the travelling public and taking into consideration the traffic potentialities and public convenience it is necessary to grant temporary permits, it may certainly grant temporary permits. But while taking all these factors into consideration the B.T.A. while granting temporary permits should also take into consideration whether the existing vehicles plied on the route by existing operators were insufficient to meet the current needs of the travelling public for a short duration till non-temporary permits are granted on the increased scope, In a given case if the R.T.A. arrives at the conclusion that the existing vehicles by increasing their trips can meet such temporary need, it should not grant temporary permits to new applicants but can fulfil the need of the travelling public by adjusting or increasing the trips o: the existing permit holders. If it is no possible to do so, then certainly the R.T.A. should grant temporary permit: to fresh applicants to meet the curren needs of the travelling public. In the present case it is no doubt correct that the R.T.A. has mentioned in its order Annexure 3 dated 28th August, 1982 that the scope, was increased from 6 to 8 vehicles on account of increase in traffic and there was temporary need and taking into consideration the public convenience, the applications for temporary permits were to be accepted but the R.T.A. did not take into consideration the question whether such temporary need could also be fulfilled by the existing operators by increasing more trips. The S.T.A.T. in this regard took into consideration that the route was only 61 Kms. in length and 'A' class in nature and a single trip took only two hours. Already existing 6 vehicles were plying 4 return services and each vehicle was getting an average of 80 Kms. per day. The two additional services granted to two temporary permit holders are getting an average of 120 Kms. per day while the existing permit holders are only getting 80 Kms. per day as before. In these circumstances, the S.T.A.T., took the view that the R.T.A. should take suitable steps for geting 6 services plied by the operators of this route. In my view, even if for public convenience 6 return services were necessary, in the facts and circumstances of this case, where the route was only 61 Kms, in length and 'A' class in nature and a single trip took only two hours, and already there were 6 vehicles plying four return services only, the temporary need could be met by providing six return services by the existing operators of this route. The R.T.A. in the present case has totally ignored to take the above factor into consideration and has not given a finding that the existing vehicles were insufficient to cater to the needs of the travelling public as a temporary measure. The view taken by the S.T.A.T. in these circumstances cannot be said to be perverse or based on extraneous consideration or illegal or without jurisdiction. As observed by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Abdul Rehman's case (AIR 1978 SC 949) (supra) this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India should be reluctant to interfere with the decision of specially constituted Tribunals who are expected to be fully conversant with the procedure and practice of the relevant matter. In Bheru Lal's case (AIR 1977 Raj 29) (supra) decided by Sacher, J., on which strong reliance is placed by Mr. Munshi, the question posed in the case before me, did not arise nor it dealt with a problem of this kind.
11. In the result I find no force in these writ petitions and the same are dismissed with no order as to costs.