M.B. Sharma, J.
1. In all the three petitions the same points are involved and, therefore, it will be convenient to dispose them of by a common order.
2. First of all, I will narrate the facts of the cases and then take up the common points and thereafter any other point which may be involved in any of the writ petitions.
3. The two writ petitions No. 919/80 and 923/80 relate to Dungarpur-Sarthuna via Vak Geji Dhambola Simalwara, Peeth. Syed Gulam Hussain in Writ petition No. 919 of 1980 is holder of two non-temporary stage carriage permits for this route being permits Nos. PSTP 573 and PSTP 335. Permit No. 573 stood validly renewed upto 25-12-77 and permit No. 335 stood validly renewed upto 30-9-78. In respect of the two permits, two renewal applications, well in time, were filed and the renewal application with regard to permit No. 335 was published in Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 3-8-78 whereas the renewal application relating to permit No. 573 had been published in Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 26-10-77. In writ Petition No. 923/80, Abbas Aii petitioner was holding one non-temporary stage carriage permit over this route which was valid upto 28-12-78 and a renewal application well in time was filed by him which was published in Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 14-12-78. Objections were invalid.
4. On the aforesaid route, there is scope of nine stage carriages to perform ten return services and the total length of route is 37 miles and the route is 'A' class. Out of nine permits, four stood granted in favour of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, Jaipur (hereinafter 'the Corporation') and five permits including the three of the petitioners were granted in favour of private operators.
5. There are two schemes under Section 68C of the Motor Vehicles Act (for short, 'the Act' hereinafter): one relating to Dungarpur-Peeth, a portion of Dungar-Sarthuna route which was published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 23-4-76 and the other Simalwara-Mandli which was published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 13-4-79.
6. The renewal applications in respect of the three permits on the route came up for consideration before the Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur on different dates but the Corporation filed objections only to the extent of the portion from Simalwara to Mandli and also submitted two applications for the grant of temporary permits under Section 68F(1-A) of the Act. The consideration of the renewal applications was postponed more than once and ultimately, the Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur Region, Udaipur by its resolution dated 22-3-80 ordered that the permits can only be renewed on a portion of the route Peeth-Sarthuna and further ordered that on Dungarpur-Peeth, temporary permit may be issued for a period of three months to the Corporation. It is that resolution which is sought to be quashed in exercise of certiorari jurisdiction of this Court.
7. In S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 922 of 1980, the petitioner is the holder of one non-temporary stage carriage permit over Dungarpur Mandli via Genji, Padli, Karawara, Dhambola, Simalwara route and his permit stood validly renewed upto 12-3-79 A renew application was filed within the stipulated time and the same was published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 8-2-79 and objections were invited. The Corporation preferred objections with regard to the renewal application only to the extent of portion from Simbalwara to Mandli. There is a scope of two carriage to perform two return services over this route and both the permits are held by private operators. The total distance of the route is nearly 55 kms. out of which the distance between Dungarpur to Simalwara is nearly 40 kms. and from Simalwara to Mandli is nearly 15 kms, This route is overlapped by two draft scheme routes. The scheme of Dangarpur-Peeth route overlaps the petitioner's route from Dungarpur to Simalwara and the draft scheme of Galiyakot-Mandli overlaps the petitioner's route from Simalwara to Mandli. The first draft scheme had been published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 3-4-76 as already stated whereas the second draft scheme was published on 13-4-79. The Corporation filed applications under Section 68F (1A) of the Act with regard to Dungarpur-Peeth via Simalwara as well as Simalwara-Mandli route and the RTA, Udaipur, postponed the consideration of renewal application of the petitioner more than once and under resolution dated 22-3-80, rejected the renewal application and ordered grant of temporary permit to the Corporation.
8. Notice of the writ petitions was given to the Corporation and cause has been shown.
9. The contentions of the advocate for the petitioner are that Dungarpur Sarthuna is a different route than Dungarpur-Peeth and the scheme under Section 68C of the Act for the shorter route cannot come in the way of grant of renewal of permits over the larger route; temporary arrangements under Section 68F(1A) cannot oust the non-temporary arrangement that the Corporation has treated the routes discriminately in as much as for routes, schemes under Section 68C of the Act were published but either no applications for temporary permit under Section 68F(1A) of the Act were filed and if filed, were either not pressed or renewal applications were not opposed and that the proviso to Section 68F(1A), as added by Rajasthan Amendment Act, 1974 is invalid and even if it is valid, then the word 'or' should be read as 'and' disjunctively.
10. Mr. Munshi, learned Advocate for the Corporation on the other hand contends that the validity of the proviso to Section 68F(1A) of the Act came up for consideration before this Court on an earlier occasion and this Court in S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 760/74 Harnamshah Bhatia v. State and Ors. decided on 30-6-74 upheld the validity of the proviso. The submission of the learned advocate is that the proviso is necessary to give effect to the provisions of Chapter IVA of the Act and is beneficial to the petitioners in as much as but for this proviso, the petitioner would not have been able to obtain permit in view of the provisions of Section 68F(1D) of the Act. It is also contended by him that under Section 68C of the Act the Corporation can claim under a scheme for the whole or a part of the route and therefore, the claim under Section 68C was made for portion of the route Dungarpur-Sarthuna and also for Simalwara-Mandli and temporary permits under Section 68F(1A) of the Act can be granted to the Corporation and rather have to be granted in case the Corporation applies for the same. According to him, no case of discrimination is made out in as much as under the laws, the Corporation has powers to apply or not to apply under Section 68F(1A) of the Act for the grant of temporary permit after the publication of the scheme under Section 68C of the Act, and therefore, if the Corporation does not apply for some of the scheme routes and if it applies and withdraws from some & prosecutes its applications for others, hardly a case of discrimination is made out because the question of discrimination would only arise where the persons are similarly situated and treated differently.
11. I have considered the rival contentions and have gone through the material on record as well as though the relevant provisions of the Act.
12. Under Section 68C of the Act, it is contained in chapter IVA of the Act, and it confers certain additional rights on the Corporation which it did not have before, if the transport undertaking authorities are of the opinion that for achieving the fourfold purpose of nationaisation of transport services, there is to provide an efficient, adequate, economical and properly afforded road transport services, it is necessary in the public interest that the road transport services in general or in particular case in services in relation to an area or route or portion thereof should be run and operated by the State Transport Undertaking, it can prepare a scheme giving particulars as required in Section 68C of the Act and the scheme can be either to the exclusion, complete or partial to other persons operating on the route or portion of the route. Therefore, when a scheme under Section 68C was framed and published for Dungarpur-Peeth portion of the route, Dungarpur-Sarthuna as well as Galiyakot-Mandli, the provisions of Chapter IVA of the Act are attracted. The contention of the learned Advocate/that Dungarpur-Sarthuna is a different route than Dangarpur-Peeth has no relevance in the present controversy inasmuch a scheme as already stated above, under Section 68C of the Act can be framed for a portion of the route also.
13. It may be stated that the schemes framed under the aforesaid two schemes under Section 68C of the Act have not been challenged before this Court in these writ petitions and all that has been challenged is the validity of the proviso to Section 68F(1A) as introduced by the Rajasthan Amendment Act of 1974 and that the petitioners have been treated discriminately by the Corporation.
14. It has also been stated earlier as when the period of the permit came to an end and renewal applications were filed within the prescribed time, the same were published and the objections were invited. The contention of the learned advocate for the petitioners is that it was the duty of the RTA to have disposed of the renewal applications within time and if the same would have been disposed of, the question of the proviso of Section 68F(1A) would not have arisen as by then, the Corporation would not have filed application for grant of temporary permits and, therefore, the applications for renewal of the permits would have been allowed A look at Section 68F(1A) and (1D) would make it clear that after a scheme has been published by a State Transport Undertaking under Section 68C, no permit can be granted or renewed for the period intervening the date of publication of the scheme and the date of publication of the approved scheme under Section 68D of the Act except to the extent provided under Section 68(1A) and (1C). The crucial date is when the renewal application comes up for consideration before the RTA and, therefore, if on the date when the applications came up for consideration, there is draft scheme under Section 68C and the Corporation has applied under Section 68F(1A) of the Act for the grant of a temporary permit, the renewal applications cannot be allowed and the permits cannot be renewed.
15. Learned Advocate for the petitioner has referred to the Charan Transport Company Limited v. Kanta Lorry Service : 2SCR389 and of the authority of this ruling has submitted that once an application for renewal is tiled and even if any drad, scheme for portion of the route is in force but no application has been filed by the Corporation for grant of temporary permit under Section 68F (1A) of the Act, then the renewal has to be granted and if for reasons beyond the control of the operator the renewal process got delayed or prolonged he could not be penalised. The facts of that case were different and on the peculiar facts of that case the renewal of permits was ordered. By referring to Section 68F (A-D) it was observed by their Lordships that no permit or renewal except to the extent expressly provided by Section 68F (1D) can be granted by the RTA during the period between the date of publication of any scheme and the date of publication of the approved scheme. Before the petitioners can calim any right it is necessary for them to satisfy that their case falls under the provisions of Section 68F (1D) and only then they are entitled for the renewal in case the Corporation has not applied for the grant of permit under Section 68F (1A) of the Act.
16. The vires of the proviso to S. 68F(1A) and Section 68F (1D) as substituted by Section 5(7) of the Amendment Act have also been challenged. They were also challenged in an earlier writ petition in Harnam Shah v. State and Ors. S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 160 of 1974 and the validity of those provisions was upheld. The learned Advocate for the petitioners submits that the view in Harnam Shah's case needs reconsideration. But I am of the opinion that there are sufficient guide lines provided in Section 68C of the Act and it controls the unfettered powers of the Corporation. 1 agree with the view taken in Harnam Shah's case that the proviso to Section 68F (1A) as substituted by the amendment Act of 1974 is not violative and as such, is valid.
17. It is contended by the learned Advocate that even in Harnam Shah's case this court observed that if the Corporation abuses its powers and gives improper & discriminatory treatment, as and when such abuse of power is brought to the notice of the court, the court will strike it down. He submits they many other schemes under Section 68C of the Act were published and in a few cases application under Section (1A) for temporary perm is were submitted by the Corporation were either not pressed for the grant of renewal was not objected Therefore, the Corporation has treated the petitioners, the operators on two routes, discriminatorily and this has been done as for extraneous considerations. This is not the case of the petitioners that other operators on the same route have been treated differently. Under Section 68F (1A) of the Act the question of giving temporary permit to the Corporation during the intervening period between the date of the scheme and the date of publication of the approved or modified scheme under Section 68D (2) of the Act will only arise if the Corporation applies for permit. The Corporation has to assess as to whether the application for temporary permit under Section 68F for scheme area should be filed or not. It has to take into consideration the factors such as to whether there are other private operators operating in the scheme area, as to whether the portion of the route cornered by scheme shall be economical or not. Therefore, if the Corporation does not apply under a statutory right conferred on it by Section 68F (1A) of the Act for grant of temporary permit in some of the scheme routes it cannot be said that if it applies for other routes it abuses its powers and therefore the treatment meted out to the operators of the area covered under the scheme is discriminatory. In case a statutory right is vested in the Corporation to apply or not to apply for a temporary permit for the intervening period between the date of the publication of the scheme under Section 68C and publication of the approved or modified scheme under Section 68D (2) of the Act, hardly a case for discrimination can be made out and this question was dealt with in Harnam Shah's case. Therefore merely because the Corporation did not apply under Section 68F (1A) for temporary permit for some of the routes covered by the scheme or if applied did not press the application or withdrew, it cannot be said that any case of discriminatory treatment is made out because the Corporation prosecuted its application under Section 68F (1A) of the Act.
18. The contention of the learned Advocate that the proviso to Section 68F (1D) as substituted by the Amending Act of 1974 should be so read that only in case the Corporation applies and obtains permits, renewal application can be refused, has no force. It is settled rule of interpretation that the legislature does not use any word superfically All words have to be given their due meaning. In case the language used is unambiguous, no question of interpretation would arise. A bare reading of the proviso to Sub-section (1D) of Section 68F of the Act will show that only if the Corporation has not applied for or obtain a temporary permit under Sub-section (1A), the permit can be relieved for a limited period, the permit so relieved shall be in effective on the publication of the scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68 of the Act. There is no warrant for reading the word 'or' as 'and'. The proviso to Sub-section (1 A) of Section 68F substituted by the Amending Act of 1974 is only there to give effect to the provisions of Chapter IVA of the Act. It has already been observed that under Sub-section (1D) of Section 68F of the Act, no permit can be granted or renewed during the period intervening between the date of publication of the draft scheme under Section 68C and the date of the publication of the approved scheme under Sub-section (3) of Section 68D of the Act and but for the proviso to Sub-section (1D) the permit of the private operator cannot be renewed. If the Corporation applies for temporary permit for intervening period as aforesaid, it has to be given a permit and this provision therefore is for the benefit of the travelling public and is valid. The proviso to Sub-section (1D) of Section 68F is for the benefit of the operators as but for this proviso, in view of a clear bar contained in Sub-section (1D) of Section 68F the permit of private operator on a route or a portion of the route which is covered by scheme under Section 68C of the Act cannot be renewed. Therefore, I am of the opinion that the resolution dated 22-3-1980 of the Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur, does not suffer from any infirmity or illegality and is a resolution passed in accordance with the provisions of Section 68F of the Act.
19. All the three writ petitions are hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.