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Balaram Vs. Transport Appellate Tribunal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 132 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1966Raj185
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 64, 68G(1) and 68G(2); Rajasthan Road Transport Services (Development) Rules, 1960 - Rule 9
AppellantBalaram
RespondentTransport Appellate Tribunal and ors.
Appellant Advocate D.P. Gupta, Adv.
Respondent Advocate C.L. Agrawal, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- .....an order of the transport appellate tribunal holding that no apeal lies against the order of the regional transport authority granting permits to lakhraj respondent no. 3 and ram prakash respondent no. 4 because they were dislodged operators to whom alternative permits were granted under section 68-g(2) of the motor vehicles act.2. the petitioner is an existing operator on the jaipur-diggi-deoli-kekri route. respondents nos. 3 and 4 were operators on the jaipur-tonk-deoli route who were dislodged as their route was nationalised. they suo molu filed application for the grant of a permit on the jaipur-diggi-deoli-bhilwara route these applications were published in the gazette dated 12-7-1962 under section 57 of the motor vehicles act and objections were invited the petitioner filed an.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Jagat Narayan, J.

1. This is a petition under Article 220 of the Constitution by one Balaram against an order of the Transport Appellate Tribunal holding that no apeal lies against the order of the Regional Transport Authority granting permits to Lakhraj respondent No. 3 and Ram Prakash respondent No. 4 because they were dislodged operators to whom alternative permits were granted under Section 68-G(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

2. The petitioner is an existing operator on the Jaipur-Diggi-Deoli-Kekri route. Respondents Nos. 3 and 4 were operators on the Jaipur-Tonk-Deoli route who were dislodged as their route was nationalised. They suo molu filed application for the grant of a permit on the Jaipur-Diggi-Deoli-Bhilwara route These applications were published in the Gazette dated 12-7-1962 under Section 57 of the Motor Vehicles Act and objections were invited The petitioner filed an objection on 1-8-1962. The applications of respondents Nos. 3 and 4 and the objections of the petitioner were considered by the Regional Transport Authority at its meeting held on lst/2nd April, 1964 and permits were granted to the former by the order (Annexure 1) the extract from which is reproduced below:

'Having bestowed most earnest consideration and thought to the whole problem this Authority is of the opinion that the persons present pressing for the grant of alternative applications should be given alternative permits in order to save them suffering from any further loss and let not their vehicles be idle as a result of nationalisation of routes. They are prepared to give an undertaking in writing again that they have been offered these routes and they are prepared to accept them and will no longer claim any compensation, for their routes having been nationalised if they are given permits as applied for by them.

Resolved therefore that the following applicants are granted alternative permits for the routes and permits given against their names to be effective for the period of the validity of their original permits on which they have not been able to run vehicles because of the scheme of the nationalisation, as per paras, dates, notification etc. given against their respective names:

4. Shri Lekhraj Jaipur-Bhihvara.

6. Shri Ham Prakash-Jaipur-Bhihvara.' (3) The petitioner filed an appenl against the grant of the above permits before the Transport Appellate Tribunal. This appeal was rejecled by the following order:

'The permit has been granted to the dislodged operators in lieu of their compensation to which they were entitled on the cancellation of their permit under Section 68-F(2). merely because the R T A did not follow this special procedure laid down in Rule 9 of the Rajasthan Road Transport Services (Development) Rules, the order which has been passed under the provisions of Chapter IV A cannot be an appellable order The appeal is not maintainable and for this reason no further proceedings are therefore necessary. The appeal is consequently dismissed '

4. Against the above order the present writ petition has been filed. In order to under-sland the respective contentions of the parties it is necessary to notice some provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules framed thereunder

5. Section 68 F(1) provides for the grant of a stage carriage permit to a State Transport Undertaking in respect of a route for which a scheme of road transport service of a State Transport Undertaking has been approved under Section 68-D.

6. Section 68-F(2) empowers the Regional Transport Authority, for giving effect to the approved scheme, to pass any one or more of the following orders:

(a) refuse to entertain any application for the renewal of any other permit.

(b) cancel any existing permit.

(c) modify the terms of any existing permit so as to-

(i) render the permit in effective beyond a specified date;

(ii) reduce the number of vehicles authorised to be used under the permit:

(iii) curtail the area or route covered by the permit in so far as such permit relates to the notified area or notified route Under Section 68-G(1) the holder of a permit which has been cancelled or modified under the above provision is entitled to compensation. Section 68-G (2) lays down that no such compensation shall be payable if a permit for an alternative route is offered by THE Regional Transport Authority and accepted by the holder of the permit which has boon cancelled or modified under Section 68-K (2) This sub-section runs as follows: 'Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1), no compensation shall be payable on account of the cancellation of any existing permit or any modification of the terms thereof, when a permit for an alternative route or areas in lieu thereof has been offered by the Regional Transport Authority and accepted by the holder of the permit.'

7. It was held by a Division Bench of' this Court in Abdul Gafoor v State of Rajasthan, AIR 1962 Raj 174 Hint the above provision is only an enabling one. which does not authorise the Regional Transport Authorih to issue a permit forthwith without hearing other parties which are not before it and whose rights arc bound to be alTected thereby it was observed

''Since the grant of an alternative route affects the interest of persons already plying their buses on the route it cannot be assumed that the grant is an administrative act Where third parties are affected a lis comes into play and both on principles of natural justice as also under the provisions of law. their objections have to be heard before any allernative route can be granted to others '

8. In pursuance of the above judgment the Rajasthan State Road Transport Services (Development) Rules. 1960 were amended by notification No. F 1(9)(20) HB 1/62 dated November 20. 1962 published in the Rajasthan Gazette dated November 22, 1962. as follows:

'After Clause (c) of Rule 9 of the said Rules the following shall be inserted, namely:

'(d) For the purpose of giving effect to the approved scheme, the Regional Transport Authority concerned shall forthwith cancel or modifv or refuse to renew or make ineffective the existing permits in respect of the noticed route or portion thereof and serve upon the holder of such permits notices to that effect:

(e) Simultaneously with, or subsequently to, the issue of notices under Clause (d). the Regional Transport Authority concerned shall, if it considers it proper and decides to offer to the holders of existing permits, an alternative route within the meaning of Sub-section (2) of Section 68-G of the Act. in lieu of compensation payable under Sub-section (1) of the said section, issue another notice to the holder of existing permits specify the alternative route which is so offered to them and requiring them to convey their acceptance thereof within a period of fortnight of the service of the notices on them

(f) In the case contemplated by Clause (e) the Regional Transport Authority shall also publish a copy of the notice in the official Gazette calling upon the holders of existing permits for the propped alternative routes to make representations in writing within 15 days of its publication, if any in respect of the proposed offer

(g) Any representations received by the Regional Transport Authority in pursuance of Clause (f) within the time limit specified thereunder shall be taken into consideration by it and the authority may then pass such orders as it may deem fit.

(h) Nothing contained in Ch. IV of the Act or in the Rules made thereunder shall apply be the proceedings taken under these rules.

(i) All notices issued under Clause (d) and (e) shall, subject to the provision contained in Clause (f), be served in the manner laid down in Rule 10 as if they were orders made under Ch. IV-A of the Act '

Section 68-B runs as follows:

'Section 68 B, Chapter IV-A to override Ch. IV and other Laws--The provisions of this Chapter and rules and orders made thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in Ch IV of this Act or in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any such law.'

9. The main contention on behalf of the petitioner is that nothing contained in Section 68-B of Rule 9 of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Services (Development) Rules 1960 as amended by notification dated November 20, 1962, takes away the right of appeal which the petitioner has under Section 64. The contention on behalf of the contesting respondents on the other hand is that this right is taken away by Rule 9(h) The argument is that this sub-rule lays down that nothing contained in Ch, IV of the Act shall apply to the proceedings taken under Rule 9 and as Section 64 falls in Ch IV it is not applicable to the proceedings under Rule 9(e), (f) and (g) No appeal can lie against an order granting a permit for an alternative route to 'a dislodged' operator under Rule 9. An examination of Ch. IV shows however that it could not have been the intention of the framers of the rules that nothing contained in Ch. IV of the Act shall apply to a permit granted to a dislodged operator under Rule 9.

10. The following provisions of Ch. [V must necessarily apply to a permit granted under Rule 9:

1. Section 42, which lays down that no owner of a transport vehicle shall use the vehicle save in accordance with the conditions of the permit.

2. Section 43 which gives power to the Stale Government to control road transport by issuing directions from time to time.

3 Section 44 which gives power to the State Transport Authority to issue certain directions.

4. Section 45 which lays down which Regional Transport Authority can grant a permit for a particular route.

5. Section 47 which lays down what consideration shall govern the grant of a stage carriage permit.

6. Section 48 which empowers the Regional Transport Authority to attach conditions to the permit, fix time-tables, fares etc.

7. Section 59 which lays down that a permit shall not be transferable except with the permission of the transport authority.

8. Section 60 which empowers the trans-port authority to cancel or suspend a permit.

9. Section 61 which enables the heir of a holder of a permit to ply the vehicle after 1m Heath for 8 months.

10. Section 68 which lays down that a permit granted for an inter-regional route shall be got counter-signed by the Regional Transport Authority of the region in which the minor part of the route lies before the vehicle is used in that region.

11. The proper interpretation to be put on Rule 9(h) therefore is that nothing contained in Ch. IV of the Act shall apply to the proceedings taken under Rule 9 about which provision has been made in that rule

12. Rule 9(e) provides for the offer of a permit to a dislodged operator by the Regional Transport Authority concerned. This dispenses with the necessity of filing an application for the grant of a permit under Section 46 Rule 9(f) provides for the publication of the proposed offer for inviting objections and Rule 9(g) provides for the consideration of these objections. These provisions dispense with the necessily of undergoing the procedure prescribed under Section 57. The provisions of the other sections contained in Ch IV must be held to be applicable to the proceedings for the grant of an alternative route under Rule 9(e) That means that Section 64 is applicable to the grant of a permit under Rule 9 to a dislodged operator.

13. Some other arguments were also advanced on behalf of the petitioner. In view of my decision on the main question arising in the case, it is unnecessary to refer to them

14. For reasons given above I allow the writ petition, set aside the order of the Transport Appellate Tribunal and issue a direction to it to hear and dispose of the appeal preferred by the petitioner under Section 64 in accordance with law.

15. In the circumstances of the case. I direct that parties shall bear their own costs of this writ petition.


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