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Surendra Kumar Sharma Vs. Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur Region and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 460 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1968Raj294
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 57(3)
AppellantSurendra Kumar Sharma
RespondentRegional Transport Authority, Jaipur Region and ors.
Appellant Advocate D.P. Gupta and; H.C. Rastogi, Advs.
Respondent Advocate J.P. Jain, Adv. for Respondent No. 2 (Chelaram)
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases Referred and Ved Prakash v. Regional Transport Authority
Excerpt:
- - generally speaking, there are many more applications than the number of vehicles permitted on a route and the regional transport authority has to choose between a large number of applications and give the permits to the best out of them......it deserves to be quashed. 9. the writ petition is, therefore, allowed, the impugned order issued by theregional transport authority dated 7thaugust, 1967, granting permit to chelaramrespondent no. 2 is quashed and the regionaltransport authority is directed to considerthe application of chelaram along with theapplication of the petitioner. there will beno order as to costs
Judgment:
ORDER

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. This writ application has been filed by Surendra Kumar Sharma under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari or anv other appropriate writ, order or direction to quash the non-temporary stage carriage permit granted to Chelaram respondent No. 2 by the Regional Transport Authority. Jaipur by its resolution dated 4/5th and 7th August. 1967.

2. The facts of this case are not in controversy and they are as follows:

Respondent No. 2 Chelaram applied for a non-temporary stage carriage permit on Beawar-Todgarh route on 29th January, 1966. That application was published in the Rajasthan Raj Patra by the Regional Transport Authority on 14th April, 1966 and the Regional Transport Authority granted a permit to the respondent on that route on 17th November. 1966. That order of the Regional Transport Authority was challenged in an appeal before the Transport Appellate Tribunal on the ground that the objections filed by the existing operators were not considered by the Regional Transport Authority. The Tribunal, after hearing the parties, quashed the permit granted to respondent No. 2 on 31st May, 1967. Meanwhile, the petitioner had also filed suo motu an application for the grant of non-temporary stage carriage permit on the same route before the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur. This application of the petitioner was published in the Gazette on 5th January, 1967 and according to the allegations made by the petitioner, it became ripe for consideration by the Regional Transport Authority on 4th February. 1967.

After the case of Chelaram was remanded by the Transport Appellate Tribunal the Regional Transport Authority in its meeting to be held on 7th of August, 1967, put on the agenda the application of Chelaram for the grant of permit on the said route. Ths petitioner, when he came to know that the application of Chelaram was put on the agenda of the meeting of the Regional Transport Authority of 7th August, 1967, he applied to the Regional Transport Authority on 26th July, 1967, by means of Annexure 5 that his application which was ripe for consideration may also be considered along with the application of Chelaram, but it so appears that the Regional Transport Authority did not pay any heed to the request of the petitioner. When the case of Chelaram was taken up for consideration in the meeting of the Regional Transport Authority on 7thAugust, 1967, petitioner again orally requested the Regional Transport Authority to deter the matter till the petitioner's application was also included in the agenda but the Regional Transport Authority did not accede to this request of the petitioner and granted the permit to Chelaram. This resolution of the Regional Transport Authority has been challenged by filing this writ application on the ground that the Regional Transport Authority in accordance with the pronouncements of this Court on various occasions could not have considered the application of Chelaram alone when other applications on the same route were ripe for consideration.

3. Chelaram in his reply has not controverted the facts but his contention is that the rule laid down by this Court in various cases on which reliance has been placed by the petitioner, when read in the context of the circumstances in which the observations have been made by this court, mean only this thing that the later applications should not be considered without considering the earlier ones. According to Chelaram, the petitioner has a right to ask for the consideration of his application for the grant of permit under Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act but he cannot claim that his application should be considered along with the application of the respondent who had applied long before and who was also granted permit by the Regional Transport Authority before the petitioner had made his application for the grant of permit on this route. Mr. Jain appearing on behalf of Chelaram urged that none of these cases, which have been cited by Mr. Gupta on behalf of the petitioner containing the observations of this Court about the consideration of the applications under Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act can be taken as authority for the proposition that a later applicant can claim a right to have his application considered along with the earlier applicants. He also contended that in view of the fact that a permit had already been granted to the answering respondent as back as on 17th November, 1966 which was quashed by the Transport Appellate tribunal on account of the alleged error of the Regional Transport Authority or its official, the petitioner cannot claim to stand in competition with the respondent by the mere fact that his application had become ripe at the time when the respondent's application came up for reconsideration of the Regional Transport Authority.

4. This Court, while discussing the scope of Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act in Brothers Transport Service, Nathd-wara v. Regional Transport Authority, Udai-pur, unreported decision of D, B. Civil Writ Petn. No. 199 of 1956, D/- 12-8-1957 (Raj) observed as follows :--

'Learned counsel for the applicantsurges that it is the duty of the Regional ransport Authority under Section 57, Sub-section (3) of the Act to publish all applications and itcannot withhold certain applications and publish only some out of all applications before it. As we read Section 57, it no doubt contemplates that applications for stage carriage permits will be published as and when they are received by the Regional Transport Authority. Sub-section (2) of Section 57 makes it clear that anybody can make an application for a stage carriage permit at any time provided it is not less than six weeks before the date from which it is desired that the permit should take effect. Therefore, there would be no legal bar to the Regional Transport Authority publishing only one application for permit under Section 57, Sub-section (3). At the same time, it is equally obvious that if there are a large number of applications for permits on a particular day before the Regional Transport Authority, it is its duty to publish all those applications together so that all of them may be considered at one sitting. The reason for publishing all applications together is that the number of vehicles permitted on a particular route is always limited. Generally speaking, there are many more applications than the number of vehicles permitted on a route and the Regional Transport Authority has to choose between a large number of applications and give the permits to the best out of them. The procedure provided under Section 57 requires, however, that the Regional Transport Authority should publish an application for permit and invite objections of those concerned before deciding whether a permit should be granted or not. Now, if the Regional Transport Authority has, for example, twenty applications for permits at a particular moment and publishes only one, and the number of permits to be granted is one. it may happen that it may grant a permit to the one person, whose application has been published on the ground that there is no other application before it and refuse to consider his case in comparison with the cases of nineteen others whose applications were pending at the same time before the Regional Transport Authority, but were not published by it. Thus, by withholding publication of other applications pending before it the Regional Transport Authority can show favouritism to one person as against the others.'

5. In similar circumstances these observations of the Court were considered by this Court in Taxi Motors Association v. Regional Transport Authority, Civil Writ Petn. No. 85 of 1958, D/- 11-9-1958 (Raj), Shyam Singh v. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur, ILR (1960) 10 Rai 1669, Bhonrilal v. Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, 1967 Rai LW 481 and Ved Prakash v. Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, Civil Writ Petn. No. 90 of 1967, D/- 18-9-1967 (Raj).

6. Mr. Jain urged that the above observations expressed by their Lordships cannot be applied to the circumstances of the present case because in all these cases in which these observations have been followed, the latter applications were considered without considering the earlier ones and,therefore, the petitioners who had applied earlier made grievance against the attitude of the Regional Transport Authority in giving preference to those applicants who came in the field by applying afterwards. There is no doubt that the facts of all these cases go to show that the latter applicants were given preference in the grant of permits by the Regional Transport Authority over the earlier applicants, but the principle that has been laid down by their Lordships in Civil Writ Petn. No. 199 of 1956, D/- 12-8-1957 (Raj), if construed properly, prescribes a formula for the consideration of the applications for the stage carriage permit on a particular route and according to that if there are more than one applications, than in all fairness the Regional Transport Authority should publish them and consider them simultaneously so that the comparative merits of all the applicants may be judged at the time when the matter for the grant of permit on a particular route is considered by the Regional Transport Authority. In the present case. Chelaram's application had been filed on 29th January, 1966 and he was granted permit by the Regional Transport Authority on 17th November, 1966, when the petitioner had not even submitted his application, but the permit granted to Chelaram was quashed by the Transport Appellate Tribunal and at the time when the application of Chelaram again came up for consideration before the Regional Transport Authority, petitioner's application was also pending before it and as it had alreadv been published on 5th January. 1967, it was ripe for consideration on 7th August. 1967 when the impugned resolution of granting permit to Chelaram was passed by the Regional Transport Authority. 11 may also be noted here that the petitioner by making an application on 26th July, 1967 reminded the Regional Transport Authority that his application was ripe for consideration and that it should be considered alone with the application of Chelaram so that comparative merits of both the per-sons may be iudged by the Regional Transport Authority but his prayer did not produce any effect on the Regional Transport Authority Similar prayer was made by him again on 7th August, 1967. when the item on the agenda regarding the consideration of Chelaram's application came up for the consideration of the Regional Transport Authority but his efforts for the second time also did not brine any fruit.

7. The principle on the basis of which the observations have been made by Wan-choo C. J. in Brothers Transport Service, Nathdwara, Civil Writ Petn. No. 199 of 1956. D/- 12-8-1957 (Raj) do not leave any discretion with the Regional Transport Authority to pirk and choose the applications for consideration If more than one applications were pending and were ripe for consideration, then there was no reason why the Regional Transport Authority should have considered only one application and leave the other for consideration for the next time. In my opinion, the procedure adopted by the Regional Transport Authority definitely violates the principle laid down by this court in the aforementioned cases for considering the applications for the grant of the permits on a particular route under Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

8. I see no merits in the argument of Mr. Jain that the petitioner did not stand in competition with the answering respondent by submitting an application because he had already been granted a permit by the Regional Transport Authority which was quashed on account of certain error on the part of the officials of the Regional Transport Authority. This circumstance that the petitioner had already been chosen as a fit person to run his bus on a route could have weighed with the Regional Transport Authority while considering both the applications which were then pending before it, but on this basis it could not defer the consideration of the petitioner's application for some future date. In my opinion, the decision of the Regional Transport Authority in granting permit to respondent No. 2 in utter disregard of the principles laid down by this court while considering the true scope of Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act is vitiated and, therefore, it deserves to be quashed.

9. The writ petition is, therefore, allowed, the impugned order issued by theRegional Transport Authority dated 7thAugust, 1967, granting permit to Chelaramrespondent No. 2 is quashed and the RegionalTransport Authority is directed to considerthe application of Chelaram along with theapplication of the petitioner. There will beno order as to costs


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