D.P. Gupta, J.
1. The facts of this ease are simple & few. The petitioner is an existing operator of Jaipur-Dholpur vis Ramgarh, Andhi, Borunda Bandh and Dausa route (hereinafter culled 'the route') and plying his vehicle on the route on a non-temporary stage carriage permit which is valid upto January 2, 1977. In July this year, on account of heavy rains and unprecedented discharge of water from the Ramgarh Bandh, the petitioner felt that it was not physically possible to ply his vehicle on the route. On July 21, 1975 the petitioner and other operators of his routs submitted an application to the Regional Transport Authority Jaipur Region, Jaipur (hereinafter called 'the RTA.') praying that they may be allowed to ply their vehicles from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi instead of via Ramgarh, Andhi and Borunda Bandh, so that there may be no dislocation of the service rendered by the petitioner and other operators of his route.
2. The R.T.A. by this order dated July 21, 1375 allowed the aforesaid application and permitted the petitioner and other operators of his route to ply their vehicles from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi, subject to the condition that such diversion would be allowed to them till such time as Ramgarh Bandh continued to stand in danger and till the plying of vehicle on the route was no physically possible due to a portion of the name being submerged in water on account of excessive discharge of water from the Ramgarh Bandh. It appears that on the next day, it was realised by the R.T.A. that the route from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi routes from Jaipur to Bassi was part of the notified Sharanpur and Jaipur to Sainthal and, therefore, by a later order passed on July 2, 1975 the R.T.A. modified its order of July 21, 1975 to the extent that the petitioner and other operators of his route were directed not to pick up or drop passengers between Jaipur and Dausa on the notified portion of the route, the operators of Dausa Gangapur route, when they came to know about the grant of the aforesaid diversion to the petitioner and his co operators, submitted objections before the R.T.A. and requested that the aforesaid permission granted to the petitioner and other operators of the route be cancelled The R.T.A. thereupon after giving notice to the petitioner and other operators of his route and after hearing them and the objectors namely, the operators of Dausa-Ganeapur route, by its order dated July 24, 1975 cancelled its earlier order dated July 21, 1975 The reasons which prevailed with the R.T.A, for cancelling the permission earlier granted by it were two fold, firstly that the provisions of Section 42(3)(m) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') could not be employed for the purpose of granting a temporary diversion to the petitioner and other operators of his rent for plying regular bus service from Jaipur to Dausa via Kapota and Bassi, and secondly that a temporary diversion of such a nature could not be allowed for plying buses on a portion of the notified route, inasmuch as an approved scheme of complete exclusion, in respect of Jaipur Sainthal route, which included the portion from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi has already been notified long ago.
3. The petitioner thereupon filed an appeal before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Rajasthan, Jaipur, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Tribunal') against the aforesaid order of the R.T.A dated July 24, 1975 However, the Tribunal held that an appeal was not maintainable against the said order of the R.T.A., yet the Tribunal treated the appeal filed by the petitioner before it as an application for revision under Section 64A of the Act, but on merits, it agreed with the view taken by the R.T.A &, therefore, by its order dated August 25, 1975 dismissed the appeal filed by the petitioner, in its revisional jurisdiction. The petitioner has come up to this Court by means of a writ petition under Article 228 of the Constitution, challenging the order of the R.T.A. dated July 24, 1975 and of the Tribunal dated August 25, 1975.
4. When the case came up for hearing before this Court on October 6, 1975 the Additional Government Advocate, who appeared on behalf of the R.T.A., was directed to verify as to whether the route from Jaipur to Dausa via Ramgarh, Andahi and Borunds Bandh or any portion there of was still submerged in eater and whether it was not physically possible to apply a stage carriage on any portion of the route. In camphene of the aforesaid direction, the Additional Government Advocate has submitted the report of a survey said to have been made on the spot by two Inspectors of the Transport Department, according to which a vehicle of Jaipur Sawai Madhopur route was found plying on October 16, 1975 on the route from Dausa to Jaipur via Bandh Borunda and Andhi. From the aforesaid report it appears that now it can not be said that it is physically into possible to ply over the route of the petitioner when another bus of Jaipur Sawai Madhopur route, having the same sanctioned via from Jaipur to Dausa was found plying on hat part of the rout. The petitioner has submitted an affidavit on one Kajormal on October 20, 1975 starting that on account of excessive rains huge mud has collected on the road and it is not possible for any vehicle to pass through it. I am not inclined to accept the affidavit filed by Kajormal in view of the report submitted by the Inspectors of the Transport Department, who have found the vehicle of Jaipur, Swami Madhopur route actually plying on the portion of the route from Jaipur to Dausa via Ramgarh, Andhi and Borunda Bandh. The permission granted by the R.T.A. to the petitioner and other operators of his route on July 21, 1975 specified two conditions, namely firstly that the Ramgarsh Bandh continued to stand in danger and secondly that the plying of vehicles on the sanctioned route was not physically possible dure to submerging of the concerned route resulting from the excessive discharge of the water form the Bandh. It is not the case of the petitioner that Ramgarh Bandhu still continues to stand in danger and as regards the other condition. I have already mentioned above, the report filed impossible to ply on the route and that the route or a portion thereof was not submerged in water. In this view of the matter, the permission granted by the R.T.A. on July 21, 1975 has automatically come to an end and no longer available to the petitioner.
5. However, as I have heard lengthy arguments at the Baron the interpretation of Section 42(2)(m) of the Act, it would be proper to decide he question is to whether any permission of the kind given by the R.T.A. on July 21, 1975 (vide Ex. P/18) to the petitioner and other operators of the route could be granted. It is not the case of the petitioner that any such permission could be granted either under the provisions Sub-section (8) of Section 47 or Clause (xxi) of Sub-section (3) of Section 48 of the Act. It has also not been contended before me that the permission in question was in the nature of a temporary permit granted under Section 62 of the Act. The sole contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that such a permission could have been granted under the provisions of Clause (m) of Sub-section (3) of Section 42 of the Act, which reads as under:
Section 42. Necessity for permits-(1) XX XX XX(2) xx xx xx(3) Sub-section (1) shall not apply.-xx xx xxXX XX XX(m) to any transport vehicle which, owing to flood, earth-quake or any othernatural calamity, is required to be diverted through any other route, whetherwithin or outside the State, with a view so enabling it reach its destination.
Learned Counsel contends that case it is established that the route in respect of which a permit was granted to the petitioner was rendered not motorable then the petitioner was entitled to ply his vehicle, though a diversion, over any other route, whether within or out the State even any may permission from the R.T.A. was cot required for the purpose The case of the either side in that the provisions of Clause (m) of Section 42(3) of the Act or emergency provisions and they could only be employed for the purpose of allowing a stranded vehicle to reach its destination and that the aforesaid provisions could not be used far the purpose of plying regular bus services on an altogether different route then the route in respect of which the permit was sanctioned to the petitioner.
6. I have considered the rival contention There is no doubt that the provisions of Clause (a) of Section 42(3) of the Act are in the nature of emergency previsions Sub-section (1) of Section 42 enjoins upon the owner of a stage carriage vehicle or any other transport vehicle to obtain a permit for the due of the said vehicle in any public place and that such vehicle could be used only in accordance with the conditions of the permit granted in respect thereof by the Regional or State Transport Authority Thus the obtaining of a permit is mandatory, to permit the use of any transport vehicle in a public place if concerned. The provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 42 are in the nature of an exception to the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 42 and the law provides that in the contingencies, specified in Sub-section (3) of Section 42, it would not be necessary for transport vehicles to obtain a permit Such contingencies enumerated to Sub-section (3) of Section 42 include the use of transport vehicles solely for police, fire brigade or ambulance purposes solely for the conveyance of corpses or for removal of disabled vehicles. There are other contingencies mentioned in the aforesaid provision in which the obtaining of a permit in respect of a transport vehicle should not be necessary but so far as a transport vehicle used for the purpose of carrying passengers or goods for hire or reward, it has been specifically provided in Sub-section (1) Section 42 that such a vehicle cannot be used in a public place without a permit even while it is tot actually earning passengers or goods. The only excerptors provided in Sub-section (3) in this respect are when an empty transport vehicle is allowed to proceed for purposes of repairs and a transport vehicle plying on its route is unable to reach its destination owing to natural calamity and in that event it is allowed to be diverted on any other route for reaching its destination. The crucial words in this provision which indicate the intention of the framers of the law are that this provision can only be availed of in the aforesaid situations to enable the transport vehicle concerned 'for reaching destination'. It appears that in case a transport vehicle starts plying on its route & in the course of its journey it finds that on account of certain natural calamity like earthquake, flood or some similar circumstance it is unable to proceed further and reach its destination, then it would be extremely inconvenient for the passengers traveling in such vehicle if the stranded vehicle is not allowed to take a diversion and proceed on any other route but his required to wan on the way until the owner of the vehicle is contacted and be obtains permission from the concerned Transport Authority to divert the course of vehicle. It is in order to meet such contingencies that the provisions of Clause (m) Section 42(3) of the Act appear to have been enacted. In my view, such provisions cannot be allowed to be used for the purpose of regular shelter behind the aforesaid provisions. In the present case, the petitioner (sic) his vehicle from Jaimpur for proceeding to Dholpur and has to go via Ramgarh, Andhi and Borunda Bandh to reach Dausa on his way to Dholpur. Now, what the T.T.A. has done in the present case is that it has allowed the petitioner to ply his vehicle on an entirely deferent route under the pretence of what it has called as merely allowing a diversion, inasmuch as the petitioner in pursuance thereof started plying from Jaipur on an entirely different rout, proceeding to Kanota and Bassi in order to reach dausa. The route from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi along the national highway is an entirely different route from the one via Ramgarh, Andhi and Borunda Bandh an it would serve no purpose if the RTA said that the petitioner has been allowed a mere diversion by it. Only in those cases where a vehicle plying on its route takes a minor deviation or departs from its regular or usual course for the purpose of safety or security of its passenger, then, it could be said that it has diverted from its route and further that such diversion from the normal or sanctioned route should be for the purpose of enabling such vehicle to reach its destination and not for the purpose of enabling it to start on an entirely different route altogether. The provisions of Clause (m) of Section 42(3) have only to be used sparingly in a case of real emergency and that is why the law provides that there is no necessity of obtaining a permit or even permission from the Transport Authority concerned, as on some occasions the may not be even that such time at the disposal of the owner or the personal Incharge of the vehicle for that time begin as necessary for such permission when he is faced with some such natural calamities like earthquake or flood or the like on his way. But if a particular route is closed and it is impossible to ply a vehicle on it for a long duration say during rainy season or even thereafter until the road is repaired, then these provisions cannot be allowed to be utilized for the purpose of allowing the permit holder to ply his vehicle on a different route under the garb of availing temporary diversion.
7. Learned Counsel for the petitioner referred to a decision of this Court in J.C. Singh Transport, Bhilwara v. The regional Transport Authority, Udaipur and Ors. D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 206 of 1970, decided on July 30, 1971 in support of his contention. However, the facts of the aforesaid case are quite distinguishable. The petitioner in that case was an operator of Dholpur Doongari Dhikola Gangapur Shahpura route and there were some unbridged nalas on the route between Dholpur & Ramnagar. It was held in that case that the petitioner would take a diversion when the unbridged Nalas on the route between Dholpur and Ramnagar were found flooded or were filled in with mud and no vehicle would pass through them. There was no question in that case of allowing the petitioner to plying his vehicle on an entirely different route from Shahpura itself. The view taken by this Court in the aforesaid case was that if the bus operator, while plying has bas from Shahpura to Dhikola found during the course of his journey unabridged nallas on the way were flooded or were filled with mud or it was not possible to pass through this , then in order to reach his destination he could take a diversion an ply over the route, only for the purpose of carrying the passengers on board to their destination. It has not been down in the aforesaid case that a temporary diversion of indefinite duration could be granted by the R.T.A. by having recourse to the provisions of Clause (m) of Section 42(3) of the Act. In the circumstances of the prevent case, I am of the view that the RTA rightly cancelled its earlier order passed on July 1, 1975 and that it correctly held by its ordered dated July 24, 1975 that the provisions of Section 42(3)(m) could not be utilized for the purposes of granting a temporary diversion for plying regular bus service on a route entirely different from that for which the permit was sanctioned.
8. Another ground which prevailed with the RTA was that the portion from Jaipur to Dausa via Kanota and Bassi was part of two notified routes, namely Jaipur Bharatpur and Jaipur-Sainthal routes and as such the petitioner and other operators of his route could not be allowed to ply their vehicles over a part of the notified route in contravention of the approved scheme. In this connection it may be observed that Section 68F(1) and 68FF go to show that even the State Transport Undertaking, while plying its vehicles in pursuance of an approved scheme is required to submit an application for grant of a permit an obtain a permit for plying its vehicle son the notified route. It may be that the grant of a permit to the State Transport Undertaking in pursuance of an approved scheme, published under Section 68D of the Act may be merely mechanical yet the necessity of obtaining a permit has not altogether been obliterated and that extent it can be said that Section 42 is not inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter IVA of the Act. Section 68D provides that the provisions of Chapter IVA and the rules and orders made thereunder would have effect not with standing anything inconsistent contained therein in Chapter IV of the Act & , as I have observed above, the provisions of Section 42 cannot be said to be in any manner inconsistent with the provisions of Section 42 cannot be said to be any manner inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter IVA, inasmuch as it is imperative also fro the State Transport Undertaking to obtain a permit for plying its vehicle son the notified route even in pursuance of an approved scheme of nationalization. The provisions of a Sub-section (3) of Section 42 are as I have observed above, in the nature of exceptions to Section 42(1) of the Act and in this view of the matter, in the circumstances mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 42. It may be permissible for a transport vehicle to ply even on the notified route without obtaining a permit. I may refer to some of the clauses in Sub-section (3) of Section 42 in this respect, such as the plying of transport vehicles used solely for police, fire brigade or ambulance purposes or the plying of transport vehicle used solely for the conveyance of corpses. There could be valid objection to the plying of transport vehicle for the aforesaid purposes even on the notified route, because it is only to meet special constancies enumerated therein or for public purposes that such provisions have been engrafted in Sub-section (3) Section of 42 & Clause (m) of Sub-section (3) of Section 42 is also one of such specified circumstances. In case a transport vehicle plying on its route full of passengers, is faced on its way with a situation such as flood or earthquake or some such other circumstances for example it the road is broken or is blocked and is impossible then it would be quite lawful for the bus operator to take a diversion an ply his vehicle even on portion of a notified route for the purpose of reaching its destination. The intention of law is that the passengers who had boarded the bus unmindful of the calamity should to be allowed to proceed their destination and should not be stranded on the way. After all the dominant considerations while enacting the provisions of the Act is the interest of the public generally, which certainly included the interest of the handling public. As a matter of act, the view that I am persuaded to take that name in the exigencies mentioned in Clause (m) of Section 42(3) a transport vehicle may be allowed to take a diversion and ply even on a portion of notified route, go on support the view that a restricted meaning ought be given to Claus (m) of Section 42(3) of the Act and such provisions could be made use of only if a vehicle plying en its normal mute is faced wish a situation such as fiord, earthquake or other natural calamity in its way. The said provision cannot be made use of by a bus operator when even before from beginning his journey from bin starting station he is aware of the fact that the route on which he has to proceed is not motorable. In case the view which the learned Counsel for the petitioner has propounded would have been accepted then certainly the plying of the vehicle of the petitioner on the so called diverted route could be bit by the provisions of the approved nationalisation scheme of Jaipur Shaithal via Dausa route, which is the scheme of total exclusion and Clause (4) thereof provides that no person other than the State Transport Undertaking would be permitted to provide passenger transport service on the notified route or portions thereof.
9. In view of the aforesaid discussion, there is no merit in the writ petition and the same is, therefore, dismissed. In the circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs.