Jagat Narayan, J.
1. This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution by one Shri Ratan against an order of the Regional Transport Authority dated 6-12-1956.
2. The facts which have given rise to this application are these. Shri Ratan petitioner was the owner of motor bus No. RJF 323 which was registered in his name on 14-5-1955. He transferred this bus in favour of Loon Siugh non-petitioner by means of a written document, On 1-5-1956 Loon Singh filed an application to the Registering Authority, Rikaner, under Section 31 of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter called the Act) for recording the transfer of ownership.
This application was made more thaw 30 days after the transfer. The petitioner appeared before the Registering Authority and objected to the recording of the transfer on two grounds. His first ground was that the transfer was void as it was obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation. The Registering Authority overruled this objection holding that ft had no power to investigate into dispute of this nature and that if the transferee reports the transfer within 30 days the Registering Authority has no alternative but to record the transfer on the registration certificate.
The second objection pf the petitioner was that the application was made beyond 30 days. This objection, was upheld by the Registering Authority. It was of the opinion that Section 31 prescribed a period of limitation for making an application and he had no power to condone the delay in making it as Section 5 of the Limitation Act had not been made applicable to the Act. In the result he dismissed the application of Loon Singh non-petitioner.
3. Against the above order the non-petitioner filed an appeal to the Regional Transport Authority. The petitioner contested the appeal. A preliminary objection was taken that no appeal lay against an order passed under Section 31. This was overruled by the following reasoning : --
'Certificate of Registration' has been defined in the Act to mean the certificate issued by a competent authority to the effect that a motor vehicle has been duly registered in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III of the Act. Chapter III deals with the registration of motor vehicles and consists of Sections 22 to 41. Section 22 deals with the necessity of registration. Section 23 defines the place where the registration should be made.
Section 24 lays down the method of registration. Section 25 deals with temporary registration. Section 26 deals with the production of vehicles at the time of registration. Section 27 prescribes the conditions under which the registration may be refused. Section 28 shows how the registration shall be effective. Section 29 gives the method of assignment of fresh registration mark, Section 30 deals with recording of the change of residence or place of business of the owner in the registration certificate and Section 31 deals with the recording of the transfer of ownership. Section 31 (1) reads as follows : --
Within thirty days of the transfer of ownership of any motor vehicle registered under this Chapter, the transferee shall report the transfer to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides and shall forward the certificate of registration to that registering authority together with the prescribed fee in order that particulars of the transfer of ownership may be entered therein.
A perusal of Section 22 (1) clearly shows that the owner of a vehicle is not allowed to cause or permit the vehicle to be driven in any public place unless the vehicle is duly registered in accordance with Chapter III. In other words the responsibility for satisfying this requirement of Chapter III before the vehicle is allowed to be driven in a public place rests with the owner.
Section 31 of the Act binds the transferee owner to report the fact of transfer within 30 days to the Registering Authority and to submit the certificate of registration to him in order that the particulars of the transfer of ownership may be entered therein. This clearly shows that registration of a vehicle includes the recording of the transfer of ownership thereof by the Registering Authority.
The penalty for failing to comply with these provisions is provided in Chapter IV of the Act. Section 112 of this Chapter lays down that whoever contravenes any provision of the Act or of any rule made thereunder shall, if no other penalty is provided for the offence, be punishable with fine which may extend to twenty rupees etc. ..... .......
Section 24 (2) makes it obligatory on the Registering Authority to register the vehicle and issue a certificate of registration unless there are good reasons to refuse the registration under Section 27 of the Act. Thus in the present case the application for transfer of ownership under Section 31 which is included in Chapter III of the Act should be construed us an application for registration.'
4. It may be mentioned here that an order refusing to register a vehicle passed under Section 27 is appealable to the R. T. A. under Section 35 of the Act. The petitioner also contended before the R. T. A. that the order of the Registering Authority rejecting the application on the ground that it was barred by time was correct. This contention was also overruled and the appeal was allowed.
The petitioner filed an appeal against the above order to the Appellate Authority of the State Transport Authority which was dismissed as obviously no appeal lay to it. The present writ application was then filed against the order of the R. T. A.
5. The first contention of the petitioner is that no appeal lay to the R.T.A. against an order of the Registering Authority passed under Section 31 as Section 35 which provides for appeals does not specifically mention that an order passed under Section 31 is appealable, and that if the Legislature had intended that an order passed under Section 31 refusing to record a transfer on the registration certificate should be appealable a specific provision would have been incorporated in Section 35 about it. We are unable to accept this contention.
The Legislature could not have intended that an appeal should Me only against the refusal of the initial registration of a vehicle in the name of its first owner and not against subsequent refusals to register it in the names of subsequent owners. We agree with the reasoning given by the R.T.A. for holding that an order refusing to record the transfer of ownership on a registration certificate as required by Section 31 should be deemed to be an order passed under Section 27 of the Act which is appealable under Section 35.
6. The second contention is that the Registering Authority should not record a transfer which is disputed. This contention also has no force. Section 31 provides for the recording of the transfer on the registration certificate merely on the report of the transferee. It does not contemplate any enquiry into the question of transfer by the Registering Authority before recording the transfer. If the registration certificate of the vehicle is produced by a person who alleges to be the transferee the Registering Authority has no option but to record the transfer.
7. Lastly it was contended that the application having been made beyond 30 days from the date of the transfer was barred by time and the Registering Authority had no jurisdiction to act upon such an application. On this point also we concur in the decision of the R.T.A. Section 31 in our opinion does not lay down any period of limitation for the recording of the transfer. It merely lays down a period of grace within which the transferee is required to get the transfer of ownership recorded on the registration certificate.
Section 22 (1) provides that no person shall drive any motor vehicle and no owner of a motor vehicle shall cause or permit the vehicle to be driven in any public place or in any other place unless the vehicle is registered in accordance with Chapter III. As we have already said above registration includes the recording of the transfer of ownership on the registration certificate.
If the transferee does not get recorded the transfer on the registration certificate within 30 days of the transfer but drives the vehicle or causes it to be driven he will be liable to prosecution and punishment under Section 112 of the Act upon a complaint made to a Magistrate. Thirty days is the period of grace provided during which the transferee can drive the vehicle or cause it to be driven without getting the transfer recorded.
We are unable to agree with the opinion of the, R.T.A. that mere failure to report the transfer within 30 days would amount to an offence punishable under Section 112. Nor was the R.T.A. right in thinking that the Registering Authority could itself impose a penalty under Section 112 of the Act on the non-petitioner for failing to report the transfer within 30 days.
8. We accordingly dismiss the petition with costs in favour of Loon Singh, non-petitioner.