1. This is an application by Jai Ram Dass under Article 226 of the Constitution for a writ, direction or order in connection with certain orders of the Transport Authority.
2. The facts of the case briefly are that the applicant was granted a permit by the appellate authority in June 1953. Thereafter he applied to the Regional Transport Authority for the issue of the permit. Eventually on the 23rd February, 1955, the Regional Transport Authority cancelled the permit under Rule 80 (b) as the applicant had failed to produce the requisite vehicle. Thereafter the Regional Transport Authority granted a temporary permit to Laxminarayan for two months.
It is said that this permit was renewed for an other three months. Eventually in July 1955, if was renewed till the grant of a 'pucca' permit. Thereupon the applicant made this application. His contention is that it was not open to the Regional Transport Authority to grant temporary permits like this one after the other and that Section 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act does not contemplate this.
3. The relevant portion of Section 62 with which we are concerned is this:--
'A Regional Transport Authority may at its discretion, and without following the procedure laid down in Section 57, grant permits, to be effective for a limited period not in any case to exceed four months, to authorise the use of a transport vehicle temporarily. ....(c) to meet particular temporary need'.
4. The contention of the applicant in this case is two-fold. In the first place it is urged that there was really no temporary need and therefore no temporary permit should have been granted. In the second place the submission is that even if there was a temporary need, the Regional Transport Authority should not have granted a temporary permit for a total period longer than four months.
5. So far as the first point is concerned, the matter was considered in-two cases of this Court, namely, Kotah Transport Ltd. v. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur, ILR 1953-3 Raj 215: (AIR 1954 Raj 33) (A) and Khandari Babu v. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur, ILR 1953-3 Raj 250: (AIR 1954 Raj 78) (B), to which one of us was a party.
In the first case it was held that the mere fact that there was a persistent demand on the part of the general public for more stage carriages and that there was a great rush of passengers on a route did not amount to a temporary need and a temporary permit could not be issued merely on that ground.
In the second case it was held that where the Regional Transport Authority was of the view that the existing regular bus service was not sufficient to meet the traffic and decided to increase the number of regular buses plying on the route, it had the power to grant a temporary permit till the necessary formalities tor increasing the regular permits were gone through and that this would amount to a temporary need.
We are told that there is some confusion in the minds of those who have to apply these cases. It is enough, to state that if properly read, there is no contradiction between them. In the first case it does not appear that the Regional Transport Authority had decided to increase the number of regular permits.
It was in those circumstances that it was held that merely because there was a great rush of traffic that was not a case of temporary need. In the second case the Regional Transport Authority had decided to increase the number of regular permits. But as the procedure under Section 57 is a long drawn one, and takes time, the Regional Transport Authority was justified in giving temporary permits to meet the temporary need till the regular permit was granted.
Thus read, there is no contradiction between the two cases and the law laid down in them, if we may say so with respect, is correct. In the case before us the regular permit granted to the applicant had been cancelled.
There was thus a shortage of the necessary number of vehicles on this route and the Regional Transport Authority had thought it fit to provide for this temporary need till a regular permit was granted after going through the procedure laid down under Section 57. It therefore had the Jurisdiction in the circumstances of this case to grant a temporary permit.
6. We now turn to the second point, namely, that the Regional Transport Authority could not grant a temporary permit for a total period exceeding four months under any circumstances. Reliance in this connection has been placed on the words 'in any case' appearing in Section 62 which we have already cited above.
It is urged that the words 'in any case' here mean that in no circumstances can a temporary permit be granted on any route for more than a total period of four months. We are of opinion that the words 'in any case' here do not mean 'in any circumstances'. They just mean that at any one time the Regional Transport Authority is not permitted to issue to any person a temporary permit for a period exceeding four months.
But if the temporary need persists as for example, where the formalities under Section 57 are not finished within four months, it would in our opinion be permissible for the Regional Transport Authority to grant a second temporary permit for that temporary need.
We should, of course, make it clear that this does not mean that the Regional Transport Authority should abuse this power and go on granting temporary permits one after another and not take speedy steps to complete the procedure under Section 57. If on the facts of any case, it appears that the Regional Transport Authority is so abusing its powers, its orders are liable to be corrected.
But where such abuse is not shown, the mere fact that the Transport Authority has in a particular case granted a temporary permit second time and the total of the two periods is more than four months would not invalidate the second permit.
We must, however, say that the last order of the Regional Transport Authority in this case by which they granted a temporary permit until a permanent permit was granted was not according to law for they cannot grant a temporary permit for an in definite period; however, there is no reason to interfere, in the circumstances of the present case because, we are told that the temporary permit which was last granted in July 1955, has come to an end and a regular permit has been granted. We, therefore, dismiss the application, but in the circumstances, pass no order as to costs.