M.L. Joshi, J.
1. The only point raised in this petition 's that the State Transport Appellate Tribuml hereinafter called the STAT did not discuss the relevant marits of the petitioner and non-petitioner No. 2 while reversing the order of the R.T.A dated 15th of November, 1971. Both the petitioner and non petitioner applied for the grant of a stage carriage permit on Kota-Suratha g route before the R.T.A. Kota After fulfilling the necessary formalities, the R.T.A. took up the applications for consideration in its meeting dated 26th of June, 1971. The applications of both the petitioner and non-petitioner were rejected by the R.T.A. Being aggrieved both the parties went in appeal before the STAT. The STAT by its order dated 15th of July, 1971 accepted the appeals and sent the case back to the RTA for considering he applications or the both the parties afresh according to law in the light of the observations made in its order It may be mentioned here that the STAT in its order dated 15th July, 1971 arrived at a finding that the petitioner is resident of Raj. The case was sent back by the S.T.A.T. for considering the applications of the petitioner as well as of the non-petitioner in the light of the above observations. When the case went back to the R.T.A. the RTA, turned down the application of the non-petitioner No. 2 on the ground that he was holder of one more permit on Kota Indergarh route. He, however, allowed the application of the petitioner by merely spying that the petitioner was not having any permit. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid order of the R.T.A the petitioner went before the STAT by way of appeal The STAT by its order dated 24th of February, 1973, accepted the appeal and set aside the order of the R.T.A. granting permit in favour of the petitioner While doing so the STAT of course discussed some merits in favour of the n. n petitioner but did not discuss the comparative merits qua the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, seeks to challenge the order of the STAT dated 24th of February, 1973.
2. It is con fended by Mr. Mehta that the impugned order of the STAT is vitiated in law in as much as while deciding the appeal it did not apply its mind to the comparative merits of the claims of both the parties before it. The STAT set aside the grant of the permit simply on the ground that the petitioner was a resident of Madhya Pradesh at the relevant time. Mr. Mehta submits that this ground is wholly erroneous The finding whether the petitioner was resident of Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan was already concluded by the order of the S.T.A.T. dated 15th of July, 1971.
3. Having perused the record and heard the learned Counsel for the parties I am of the opinion that the order of the S.T.A.T. as it stands cannot be allowed to be sustained. In the order dated 15th of July, 1971, the S.T.A.T. after discussing the evidence on the record had come to a definite conclusion that the petitioner was the resident of Kota and not Madhya Pradesh. Having found to this effect the case was remanded for fresh decision in the light of the observations made in the order. It is, there, not understandable how the S.T.A.T. gave a goodbye to its previous finding The RTA was to take up the consideration of the applications of the parties in the context of the finding given by the S.T.A.T. That finding in my opinion was final and could not be reviewed at a later stage by the STAT itself. The only ground which the S.T.A.T. has given for setting aside the grant in favour of the petitioner is that he is a resident of Madhya Pradesh This finding is obviously erroneous being contrary to its previous finding which had become final. The finding of the S.T.A.T. therefore is vitiated in law. It is true that the S.T.A.T. has mentioned some points of merits so far as the non petitioner No. 2 is concerned but it has not considered the points of merits if any in favour of the petitioner. I hardly need mention that while deciding the comparative merits the relevant considerations which are germane to Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act are to be taken due note of while disposing the applications for grant of permits. The paramount consideration for disposing the application on merits is that who will be more competent to serve the public need and interest. The S.T.A.T. has set aside the permit of the petitioner simply on the ground that he was not the resident of Rajasthan. As stated earlier this finding is unsustainable in view of the previous categorical finding of the S.T.A.T. itself. The order of the S.T.A.T. therefore cannot be allowed to stand and the case will have to be sent back to it for deciding it afresh by considering the comparative merits of the parties in the light of the relevant considerations specified in Section 47 of the Act.
4. In the result, the petition is accepted in part. The case shall go back to the S.T.A.T. to decide the appeal afresh in the light of the observations made above. The S.T.A.T. will dispose of the matter within three months. Meanwhile the non-petitioner No. 2 shall ply his vehicle as before There shall be no order as to costs.