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Jairamdas Vs. Regional Transport and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ No. 105 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1957Raj312
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908; Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 48, 59 and 64; Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1940; Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951 - Rule 108; Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1956
AppellantJairamdas
RespondentRegional Transport and ors.
Appellant Advocate Ratanlal, Adv.
Respondent Advocate L.N. Chhangani, Govt. Adv. and; Jaigopal Chhangani, Adv. for;
DispositionApplication dismissed
Cases ReferredSee Colonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irving
Excerpt:
- section 2(k), 2(1), 7 & 40 & juvenile justice (care and protection of children) rules, 2007, rule 12 & 98 & juvenile justice act, 1986, section 2(h): [altamas kabir & cyriac joseph, jj] determination as to juvenile - appellant was found to have completed the age of 16 years and 13 days on the date of alleged occurrence - appellant was arrested on 30.11.1998 when the 1986 act was in force and under clause (h) of section 2 a juvenile was described to mean a child who had not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who had not attained the age of eighteen years - it is with the enactment of the juvenile justice act, 2000, that in section 2(k) a juvenile or child was defined to mean a child who had not completed eighteen years of a ge which was given prospective prospect -.....modi, j. 1. this is a writ application by jairamdas under articles 226 and 227 of the constitution, and has come before this full bench as it involves the determination of a question as to the true scope and meaning of section 64(b) of the motor vehicles act, which has been differently answered by bench de-cisions of this court in mohammed jamil v. state transport authority, c. w. p. no. 122 of 1955, d/-7-9-1955: 1956 raj lw 184: ( (s) air 1956 raj 125) (a) and sainiks motors v. state transport authority, c. w. p. no. 37 of 1955, d/- 3-10-1955: 1956 raj lw 182: ( (s) air 1956 raj 65) (b). the former decision is by a bench consisting of bapna and bhandari jj. sitting at jaipur and was given earlier and the ether one was given by the chief justice and dave j. sitting at jodhpur, and this.....
Judgment:

Modi, J.

1. This is a writ application by Jairamdas under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, and has come before this Full Bench as it involves the determination of a question as to the true scope and meaning of Section 64(b) of the Motor Vehicles Act, which has been differently answered by bench de-cisions of this Court in Mohammed Jamil v. State Transport Authority, C. W. P. No. 122 of 1955, D/-7-9-1955: 1956 Raj LW 184: ( (S) AIR 1956 Raj 125) (A) and Sainiks Motors v. State Transport Authority, C. W. P. No. 37 of 1955, D/- 3-10-1955: 1956 Raj LW 182: ( (S) AIR 1956 Raj 65) (B). The former decision is by a bench consisting of Bapna and Bhandari JJ. sitting at Jaipur and was given earlier and the ether one was given by the Chief Justice and Dave J. sitting at Jodhpur, and this bench was obviously unaware of the earlier decision.

2. The facts of the present case may be shortly stated. The petitioner was granted two permits for plying two stage-carriages on the Po-karan Phalsoond route by the State Transport Authority by its order dated the 11th June, 1953. By this order two other permit-holders on this route were dislodged--one of which is opposite party No. 3 here and the other forewent his claim in favour of the petitioner. A condition was imposed on the petitioner by the State Transport Authority that he shall put on the route new buses of not earlier than 1950 model within a period of two months.

It may be mentioned before proceeding further that there are two routes between Fokaran and Phalsoond--the longer routs is via Sankda and Bhaisara and is 84 miles long, while the shorter route is via Ujian and Bhaniyana, and covers a distance of 42 miles only. It may also be mentioned here that a road on the shorter route came into existence some time later, and originally it was the longer route which was inforce. The petitioner's case is that the Regional Transport Authority revoked one of his permits as he was not able to put a bus of the required model on the shorter route, and granted a permit instead to Laxminarain Gandhi.

It appears that Laxminarain Gandhi was being granted temporary permits by the Regional Transport Authority on the shorter route after the 11th June, 1953. The petitioner then represented to the Regional Transport Authority that the permit granted to him upto 31st December, 1955. fell short of the statutory period of three years and further that the intention of the State Transport Authority while it passed its order dated the 11th June, 1953, was that the petitioner should have been granted permit to ply his buses on the Ujian Bhaniyana route which was shorter, instead of via Sankda and Bhaisara. Consequently the Regional Transport Authority by its resolution No. 93 dated the 16th March, 1956, held that the petitioner was rightly entitled to a permit for the shorter route, and not via Sankda and Bhaisara. and ordered the necessary correction in the permit held by the petitioner, and further directed that the permit should have been granted for the full period of three years and validated it accordingly from the date of the original order.

Laxminarain felt aggrieved by this order, and preferred an appeal against) it to the appellate tribunal of the State Transport Authority. Thetribunal by its order dated the 18th July, 1956, partly allowed Laxminarain's appeal, and while It held that the validation of the permit for the statutory period of three years was correct and should stand, it directed that the correction of the petitioner's permit so as to be effective via UJian and Bhaniyana should be disallowed. The petitioner has now come to this Court, and his main grievance is that the appellate tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal against the order of the Regional Transport Authority dated the 16th March, 1956, and prays, therefore, that the order of the tribunal dated the 18th July, 1956 was and is ultra vires and illegal and deserves to be quashed.

3. Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act (which I shall hereafter refer to as the Act) provides for appeals. This Section reads as follows:

'64. Appeals.--Any person-

(a) aggrieved by the refusal of the State ora Regional Transport Authority to grant a permit, or by any condition attached to a permitgranted to him, or

(b) aggrieved by the revocation or suspensionof the Derm it or by any variation of the conditions thereof, or

(c) aggrieved by the refusal to transfer the permit to the person succeeding on the death of the holder of a permit, or

(d) aggrieved by the refusal of the State or a Regional Transport Authority to counter-sign ,a permit, or by any condition attached to such counter-signature, or

(e) aggrieved by the refusal of renewal ofa permit, or

(f) being a local authority or police authority or an association which, or a person providing transport facilities who, having opposed the grant of a permit is aggrieved by the grant thereof or by any condition attached thereto, or

(g) being the holder of a licence, who is aggrieved by the refusal of a Regional Transport Authority to grant an authorisation to drive a public service vehicle may, within the prescribed time land in the prescribed manner, appeal to the prescribed authority who shall give such person andthe original authority an opportunity of being heard.'

4. The contention Of the petitioner is that any appeal by Laxminarain Gandhi against the order of the Regional Transport Authority passed in the petitioner's favour could, if at all, have been filed under Clause (b), but no such appeal was competent as it has been held by a bench decision of this Court in 1956 Raj LW 182: ( (S) AIR 1956 Ra.i 65) (B) that under that clause only the permit-holder had a right of appeal and no body else. Reliance is placed by the other side on the decision of another bench of this Court in 1956 Raj LW 184: ( (S) AIR 1956 Raj 125) (A) Which as briefly put held the view that Section 64 (b) was verv wide in its terms and permits an appeal by any person aggrieved by any variation of the conditions of the permit, and does not restrict the right of appeal to the permit-holder alone.

5. As the two decisions stand, they are indeed not quite consistent with each other, and it is. therefore, necessary to examine the position closely and lay down the law with certainty so far as this Court is concerned. The question, therefore, is what is the true import of Section 64(b) which permits 'any person aggrieved by the revocation or suspension of the permit or by any variation of the conditions thereof' to appeal within the prescribed time to the prescribed authority. Does this clause permit all and sundry for example, the inhabitants of a locality, to file an appeal, say. against a variation in the conditions of the permit or is it only the holder of the permit who can file the appeal and nobody else; or, is a rival permit-holder competent to file an appeal against such a variation also assuming that his case does not, fall under Clause (f) of Section 64?

6. I shall first examine the two cases of our own Court referred to above. The facts of the Sainik Motor's case (B) were these. The applicants were permit-holders for plying buses from Jodhpur to Beawar. There were also other permit-holders for a bus service from Bilara to Beawar. Both these permit-holders obtained an order from the Regional Transport Authority, Jodhpur according to which the extension granted to them up to Beawar, (which was then in the Ajmer State), was to be subject to the condition that the Jodhpur-Beawar operators were to make daily two return trips between Bar and Beawar, and the Bilara Bar operators were to make one daily trip between Bar and Beawar.

As this was felt to be an inconvenience by certain persons who had to travel from Bilara to Beawar, they filed an appeal before the appeltate authority against this order. That authority issued a stay order. The Sainiks Motors then filed a writ application in this Court, and their principal prayer was that this Court should issue a writ of prohibition against the appellate authority, as the applicants had no right of appeal under Section 64 of the Act. and the appellate authority had no jurisdiction to hear the same. The Bench examined the whole position, referred to an earlier ease of this Court, namely, Malchand v. Stats Transport Authority, Civil Writ Case No. 260 of 1954 (Rai) (C) to which I was a party, and expressed its disagreement with the view of Subba Rao J. in Vedachala Mudaliar v. State of Madras, AIR 1952 Mad 276 (D), and came to the conclusion that the word 'person' within the meaning of Clause (b) is only the person whose permit is revoked or suspended or conditions of whose permit have been varied, and, therefore, laid down that the opposite party had no right of appeal under Clause (b) of Section 64.

On the facts of the case, I am disposed tothink with all respect, that the actual decision arrived at was correct, although it seems to have been taken for granted in that case that just as the revocation or suspension of a permit could and would really affect the holder only, a variation in the conditions of the permit must also necessarily affect him and nobody else. This was, however, a somewhat over simplification of the correct legal position as I shall endeavour to show presently. Now there is little doubt that a consideration of the various clauses of Section 64 of the Act which I have set forth above shows that thereunder the Legislature has thought fit to pro-Tide a somewhat narrow right of appeal, and it is only against certain orders passed under the Act that a right of appeal has been provided, and these have been specified in the various clauses of the section.

This right, broadly speaking, has been given either to the applicant for a permit against refusal thereof or its grant subject to an unwanted condition or to a permit-holder against an order revoking or suspending his permit or varying the conditions thereof, or to a permit-holder where renewal is refused to him, or again to a local or police authority or, an association of persons, or to a person who has been providing transport facilities when any such authority, association or Derson had opposed the grant of permit but the same has nevertheless been granted.

It seems to me, therefore, that the right of appeal given under Section 64 should not be given an unduly wide meaning, and such a situation would certainly arise if we were to hold, for example, that the inhabitants of a locality catered for by a particular bus service have a right of appeal on account of any variation in the conditions of the Dermit because they may feel aggrieved by such variation. The Bench, which decided the Sainiks Motors case (B). had before it a case of this type, and it would be going too far, in my opinion, if an indeterminate body of persons are held to have a right of appeal under this clause on the mere ground that the language of the clause is very wide.

None the less, what seems to have been overlooked, when this case was decided was that a case of the variation of a condition of a permit may possibly arise where such variation may not only affect the holder thereof, or indeed may not affect him adversely at all; but it may adversely affect a person who has been already providing transport facilities in or near that very area. It would clearly appear, on further consideration, that such a possibility cannot be entirely eliminated out of consideration in adjudging the true scope and attractability of Clause (b) of Section 64.

To say that where there has been a variation of a condition of a permit-holder and such variation has also adversely affected the interests of the rival permit-holder but still he cannot have a right of appeal under Clause (b) would be, in my respectful opinion, a clear negation of the language of Clause (b). I may add here, however, that it would of course be a different matter if the variation complained against is not of the conditions in the permit but of something else, in which case clearly Clause (b) will have no application.

I may briefly explain Malchand's case (C) at this place, as I was a party to it. That was a case where the Regional Transport Authority had fixed a certain place as a bus stop under Section 76 of the Act read with R. 134 of the Rules made under the Act. The Secretary of a Yuwak Mandal filed an appeal before the appellate authorityagainst this order. The appellate authority set aside the order of the Regional Transport Authority and fixed another place for the purpose. The bus operators filed a writ application against the order of the appellate authority, and it was held with reference to Clause (b) of Section 64 that that clause gave a right of appeal to the person whose permit was revoked or suspended or in whose permit any variation had been made and that it did not give a right to all and sundry to go in appeal because of some variation in the conditions of the permit.

I would point out that Section 64 (b) did not come up for any full or critical examination in this case, and it further clearly appears from the judgment that there was nothing alleged or proved to show that the fixture of some halting place or places was one of the conditions of the permit, and, therefore, neither Clause (b) nor Clause (f) of Section 64 was held to have been attracted so as to give any right of appeal.

7. This brings me to 1956 Raj LW 184: ( (S) AIR 1956 Raj 125) (A), This was a case in which the petitioners who were assignees of a permit for running a stage carriage on Baran-Chhipabarod-Chhabra route applied to the Regional Transport Authority for curtailing the route beyond Chhipabarod on the ground that there was no motorable road from the last-mentioned place to Chhabra. The Regional Transport Authority sanctioned the curtailment. Then the Kotah Transport Ltd. preferred an appeal to the State Transport Authority on the ground that the Regional Transport Authority had not considered the objection filed by it.

The appellate tribunal remanded the case to the Regional Transport Authority for a fresh decision after consideration of the objection filed by the Kotah Transport Ltd. The petitioners then filed a writ application in the High Court, and the contention on their behalf was that the appeal before the appellate tribunal was incompetent. What the Bench said with respect to the competency of the appeal was this:

'It does not require much argument to see that the specification of the route in the permit is one of the conditions of the permit. Section 48(d). mentions the conditions which may be attached to a stage-carriage permit, and Sub-clause (ii-a) directs the specification of the routes which are to be used by the stage-carriage. Section 64(b) permits appeal by any person aggrieved by the revocation or suspension of the permit or by any variation of the conditions thereof. It was argued that the variation of the conditions of a permit only allows an appeal to be filed by the holder of the permit in respect whereof the conditions are varied. Reliance is placed on Kali Mudaliar v. Vedachala Mudaliar, AIR 1952 Mad 545 (E). There is no reasoning behind the case, and with great respect, we are not prepared to take such a narrow view of Section 64(b). It is very wide in its terms, and permits an appeal by any person aggrieved by any variation of the conditions of the permit, and does not restrict the right of appeal to the holder alone.'

Towards the end of their Judgment, the learned Judges further observed as follows:

'We may mention that the conditions of a permit specifying the route is one of the important conditions of the permit, and the R. T. A. has done well to publish the application and to invite objections, because in running a stage carriage, it is not only the permit-holder, but the inhabitants of the locality also and the person providingtransport facilities in that area, who are equally interested in the result of such application.'

The oetition was thus dismissed.

8. Now a brief reference to AIR 1952 Mad 545 (E) would not be out of place here. This was a letters patent appeal from the decision of Subba Rao J. in AIR 1952 Mad 276 (D). The petitioner in that case had been granted two stage-carriage permits for running two buses. They were required to start at a certain time. The contesting resnondent was also a permit-holder for plying another bus. and timings had also been fixed for him. The latter moved the Regional Transport Authority for revision of the timings. That authority fixed fresh timings. The petitioner then went in appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board which restored the previous timings whereupon the contesting respondent preferred a revision to the Government and the Government set aside the order of the Central Road Traffic Board.

In a writ application filed by the petitioner, K. Subba Rao J. in quashing the order of the Government observed, though not without some reluctance, that Section 84 (b) was not confined to the permit-holder the conditions of whose permit had been varied but to any person who was affected by the variation of the conditions in the permit issued to another. The learned Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, who delivered the Judgment in the letters patent appeal observed that there was considerable doubt as to the correctness of the learned Judge's conclusion so far as Clause (b) was concerned.

The matter was, however, not pursued further because the Bench was of the view that the change in the timings of the petitioner's bus could not be held to be a variation of any of the conditions of the permit, and that if that was so, neither Clause (b) nor Clause (f) would apply, and the judgment of Subba Rao J. was set aside. It is, therefore clear that so far as this case is concerned, all that it decided positively was. that a variation as to the timings of a bus was not a variation of any of the conditions of the permit --a conclusion with which there need be no disagreement.

But so far as the interpretation of Clause (b) of Section 64 goes, the precise effect of this decision was no more than to throw a serious doubt on the view held by Subba Rao J. It is true, however, that towards the end of their judgment, the learned Judges also went on to consider that even if the timing was held to be a condition attached to a permit, the contesting respondent could not be treated as a person aggrieved, because the expression 'the permit1' in Clause (b) referred to the permit mentioned in Clause (a). The learned Judges, therefore, concluded that the proper construction of Clause (b) was to confine its application to persons aggrieved by the revocation or suspension of the permits granted to them, or again aggrieved by any variation of the conditions of such permits granted to them, and that the clause in question did not confer a right on one person to appeal against an order varying the condition of a permit granted to another person.

9. Now reverting to the case of 1956 Raj LW 184: ( (S) AIR 1956 Raj 125) (A) decided by Baona and Bhandari JJ., I should like to say, with all respect, that the learned Judges were, in mv opinion, right in not following the last mentioned observations of the Bench in the Madras case to the case before them inasmuch as it Is not possible to exclude from the ambit of this clause, as it is worded, that type of cases wherethe variation of the conditions of the permit of a permit-holder adversely affects the rights of a person who has been providing transport facilities in that or connected area. Such a person, in my judgment, would certainly be aggrieved by the variation complained against, and I cannot see how a right of appeal under Section 64(b) may be denied in such cases.

10. I should like to say at this juncture that I where a case falls within the plain meaning of a provision of law, its application thereto cannot be denied on any a priori considerations as to the supposed intentions of the Legislature. I may usefully refer to the observations Of Lord Watson in Salomon v. Salomon & Co Ltd., 1897 AC 22 (F):

' 'Intention of the Legislature' is a common but very slippery phrase, which, popularly understood, may signify anything from intention embodied In positive enactment to speculative opinion as to what the Legislature probably would have meant, although there has been an omission to enact it. In a Court of law or equity, what the Legislature intended to be done or not to be done can only be legitimately ascertained from what it has chosen to enact, either in express words or by reasonable and necessary implication.'

Again, even though a Court may be satisfied that the Legislature had not contemplated a particular consequence while enacting a law, the Court is still bound to give effect to its clear language. This is what Lord Herschell said in Cox v. Hakes, 1890-15 AC 506 (G):

'It is not easy to exaggerate tine magnitude of this change (i.e., that discharge from custody by a Court of competent jurisdiction does not protect from further proceedings); nevertheless, it must be admitted that, if the language of the Legislature, interpreted according to the recognised canons of construction, involves this result, your Lordships must frankly yield to it, even if you should be satisfied that it was not in the contemplation of the Legislature.''

11. The correct position as to the right of appeal available under Clause (b) of Section 64 therefore boils down, in my view, to this: Ordinarily and in the vast majority of cases, it is only the permit-holder under this clause who would be competent to file an appeal against an order varying the conditions of his permit, because such variation would by and large adversely affect his interests only. But a class of cases also arises where such variation may or may not adversely affect the holder of the permit a condition whereof is under variation but adversely affects another permit-holder in the same area or a neighbouring area and if so the applicability of Clause (b) cannot be legitimately denied in a case of this type or in such other similar cases and where such situation arises, this clause cannot but be held also to permit an appeal by the party so affected.

In this view of the matter, the view taken in the Sainik Motors' case (B) appears to me to have been enunciated somewhat too narrowly and the view taken in Mohammed Jamil's case (A) is the sounder one. But while I so agree, I wish to add. with great respect, that though the language used by the learned Judges when they say that Clause (b) is very wide in its terms and permits an appeal by any person aggrieved by any variation in the conditions of the permit and does not restrict the right of appeal to the holder alone is strictly and in the abstract unexceptionable, its applicability in the concrete calls for caution, and in my view, it should be clearly understood thatthis clause is not intended to permit an appeal by an indeterminate and indeterminable body of persons such as the public at large or the inhabitants generally of the area concerned. In order to achieve this result, I would be prepared, if necessary, to say that the word ''aggrieved' has a positive and tangible content, and there can be no real aggrievement where a member of the public is affected as much as another member of that indeterminate body and such a person can scarcely be a person 'aggrieved' within the meaning of the section.

It may be open to such persons to move a local authority or a police authority or an association and their case may possibly fall within Clause (f) of Section 64 but where it does not so fall, they would be entirely outside the ambit of Clause (b) of Section 64. It is scarcely necessary also to emphasise that it is only the variation in the conditions of a permit laid down by Section 59 generally or a condition falling within the four walls of Section 48 which would attract the application of Section 64(b). This, in my opinion, is the correct position as to the right of appeal under this clause.

12. Let us apply the principles formulated above to the facts and circumstances of the present case. In the first place, the question that falls for determination is whether the change in the route applicable to the petitioner as made by the Regional Transport Authority by its order dated the 16th March, 1956, amounts to a change in the variation of the conditions of his contract because if that is not so, then Section 64(b) would not be attracted at all.

Now. the relevant sections in this connection are Sections 48 and 59 of the Act. Section 59 lays down the general conditions which attach to all pemits Section 48 lays down that a Regional Transport Authority may, after consideration of the matters set forth in Sub-section (1) of Section 47, such as the adequacy of the existing transport facilities, the condition of the roads and the interest of the public and the like, attach be a stage-carriage permit any one or more of the following conditions which are enumerated in Clauses 1 to 6 of that section. Condition No. (iia) therein is that the stage carriage or such carriages shall be used only on specified routes or in specified area.

This amendment was introduced by Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, (No. XXVI) of 1940. Any variation, therefore, in the route or area is undoubtedly a change in the conditions of the permit. The next question is whether the person who seeks to appeal is aggrieved by the change which is objected to. Normally and generally speaking, it is the holder of the permit who would be affected by a change of this character; but there may be other cases where another person is in reality adversely affected by the change and the case before us appears to fall within this exceptional category.

Here the petitioner obtained a change in his route and that change undoubtedly affected the contesting opposite 'party Laxminarain Gandhi. In his view of the matter, the conclusion seems to be irresistible that the latter had a right to go to the appellate tribunal in appeal from the order of the Regional Transport Authority, and the appeal so filed by him must he held to be competent, and I would hold accordingly.

13. An argument wag also raised before us on a procedural matter, and it was this. The contention of the petitioner was that when an appeal is received by the appellate tribunal according to Sub-rule (a) of R. 108 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951, the appellate autho-rity must appoint a time for the hearing of the appeal so as to give not less than 30 days' notice to the Regional Transport Authority and the appellant. and that this requirement was not observed in the present case inasmuch as the notice to the Regional Transport Authority was given on the 19th June, 1956, and the appeal was heard and decided on the lath July, 1956 with the result that the order of the appellate tribunal is thereby vitiated. This contention, in my opinion, has no substance whatever.

All that the rule properly means is that when an appeal is filed before the appellate authority it should, as a rule, fix the hearing of the appear in such a way that the appellant and the Regional Transport Authority have at least 30 days' notice of the hearing. The intention behind the rule is to give sufficient time to the appellant and to the Regional Transport Authority, or for that matter, to any other person concerned. The question, however, is, what is the effect of an omission to do so? Is such an omission a sufficient ground for invalidating the decision altogether? The answer, to my mind, is an emphatic negative.

Where 30 days' notice as required by Rule 108, (b) is not given, the proper thing for the agrieved party is to bring the matter to the notice of the appellate tribunal and on that having been done, it would be for the tribunal to postpone the hearing to such date as would permit the fulfilment of the condition of 30 days' notice. But where a hearing has been fixed earlier than 30 days of the date of the notice to any of the parties concerned and such parties fail to raise any objection at the proper time, the correct view is that the objection on that score was waived, and this ground cannot be allowed to be raised later to invalidate the decision given.

14. As my view is that the contesting respondent Laxminarain Gandhi had a right of appeal in this case within the meaning of Section 64 (b) of the Act and consequently the appellate tribunal had jurisdiction to hear the same, this application has no force and must be dismissed. I would, however, leave the parties to bear their own costs in the circumstances of the case.

15. After the foregoing Judgment was ready, learned counsel for the petitioner has mode an application in which he has submitted that Section 48 of the Motor Vehicles Act has been amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act (No. 100) of 1956.--this Act having come into force on the 16th February, 1957--whareby Clause (d) (iia) of Section 48 has been removed from its present position and has been incorporated as Sub-section (2) as follows:

'(2) Every stage carriage permit shall be expressed to be valid only for a special route or routes for a specified area.'

Then follows Sub-section (3) which specifies the various conditions subject to which the permit may be granted and as many as 23 clauses have been provided in this connection, it is contended that the amended Section 48 makes it impossible for the Regional or the State Transport Authority to vary the route or routes applicable to a particular permit and, therefore, we would not be justified in putting a wider interpretation on Section 64(b) of the Act then that adopted in the Sainik Motors' case (B). I have carefully considered this argument and think that the conclusion at which I have arrived above as to the precise ambit and import of Clause (b) of Section 64 does not require any modification so far as the case before me or similar other cases decided before the coming into operation of the amended Section are concerned.

The reason is this. The amended Section 48 clearly has no retrospective operation, and in order to find out whether any variation in the conditions of a permit gives rise to a right of appeal by a person, other than the holder of the permit, a condition whereof has been varied, one must look at the combined effect of Section 48 and Section 64.

Again, what one must keep in view is Section 43 as it was when the variation complained against was made because it is then that a right of appeal would arise, and once it has so arisen, and has thus become vested in a person who is aggrieved thereby, a subsequent change in the law cannot be allowed to defeat such a right. See Colonial Sugar Refining Co. v. Irving, 1905 AC 369 (H). The correct legal position, therefore, is that if the opposite party Laxminarain Gandhi had a right of appeal against a variation in the conditions of the petitioner's permit acrording to Section 64(b) read with Section 48(d)(ii)(a), as it then stood, I am clearly of opinion that a subsequent change in the law will not and cannot aii'ect that right of appeal.

Consequently, whether Laxminarain had a right of appeal or not against the order of the Regional Transport Authority in' question must inevitably fall to be determined by the state of the law at the time the order wAS passed, irrespective of any subsequent amendment of the law. In this view of the matter, I am unhesitatingly of the view that the order of the Regional Transport Authority varying a condition of the petitioner's permit, such condition being as respects the route and being covered by Section 48(d)(ii)(a), as it then stood, was appealable by the rival permit-holder, who was certainly aggrieved by such variation, and that a subsequent change in the structure of Section 48 cannot affect the right of appeal which came into existence the moment that order was passed.

I would, therefore, adhere to the conclusion to which I have come in the foregoing part of the judgment. I may add in passing that whether or not an appeal would lie in such a case arising under the amended Section 48 is a question which does not strictly arise for determination in this case; but if I were to venture an opinion, I would say that, as at present advised, I think an appeal would perhaps still lie against such an order and, in any case, such an order would certainly be open to revision by the State Transport Authority under Section 64A which has been introduced by the amendment Act of 1958.

To sum up, I would maintain that on the interpretation, which I have felt pervaded to accept, of Section 64 (b) read with Section 48 as it stood at all materialtimes, the order passed by the Regional TransportAuthority in favour of the petitioner was appealable to the State Transport Authority by the rivalpermit-holder Laxminarain who was really aggrieved by it, and that this conclusion is not, inany way, affected by the subsequent amendmentof Section 48 by the Amendment Act of 1956, and,therefore, the present application ought to be dismissed and I would dismiss it accordingly.


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