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Abdul Gaffar Vs. S.T.A.T. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 470 of 1982 and 2 Ors.
Judge
Reported in1983WLN672
AppellantAbdul Gaffar
RespondentS.T.A.T. and ors.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredMehant Ram Das v. Ganga Das
Excerpt:
.....to comply with the peremptory condition the grant of permit would automatically stand revoked after the expiry of the time, it had no power to extend time, as after expiry of time permit, stood revoked and it had become functus officio......stand revoked after the expiry of the time, it had no power to extend time, as after expiry of time permit, stood revoked and it had become functus officio. here we may notice another reason given in sheo onkar's case (supra) and jagannath's case 1970 w.l.n. 200. if after passing of the peremptory order, the rta extends time, it would mean review of its own orders no power of review has been conferred on the authorities under the act to review their o'vn orders. it may hi mentioned that under the civil procedure code, the civil court has power to review its own order on fulfillment of the conditions laid down in order xlvii, rule 1, cpc. there are specific provisions contained in sec 148, cpc for enlargement of lime where any period is fixed or granted by the court for the doing of.....
Judgment:

S.K. Mal Lodha, J.

1. As common question are involved in these appeals they were heard together and we consider it proper to dispose them of by a common judgment. Facts first.

2. D.B. Civil Special Appeals No. 470/1982 and D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 471/1982 - These two appeals are directed against the order dated May 3, 1982 of the learned single Judge, by which he allowed S.B. Civil Writ Petitions No. 46 of 1982 and 29 of 1982 filed by respondent No. 3.

3. There is a route by Vallabhnagar to Bhadesar in Udaipur region. The scope on this route was three permits with two return services. There were two vacancies & as such applications were invited by the Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur ('RTA' hereinafter) for the grant of non-temporary permits. Respondent No. 3, who was petitioner in the writ petitions and the appellant Abdul Gaffar, who was non-petitioner No. 3 in Writ Petitions No. 29/82 and non-petitioner No. 3 in S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 46 of 1982, submitted the applications for grant of non-temporary permits on this route. The appellant, respondent No. A and 11 others submitted applications to the RTA. The RTA considered the applications at its meeting, which was held on December 11/12, 1980. The RTA decided to grant two non-temporary permits to (1) Ramlal and (2) Abdul Gaffar, appellant. The Resolution, which was passed by the RTA in regard to the grant of non temporary permit in favour of Abdul Gaffar, contained peremptory condition that he would put Vehicle No. RJR 6755 on the route within sixty days after presenting the tax clearance in respect of the vehicle and will also obtain clearance in relation to any departmental challan pending in respect of that vehicle, it was also mentioned in the Resolution that in the event of failure to comply with the conditions, the grant would stand automatically revoked. Abdul Gaffar, ('appellant) submitted an application before the RTA on February 7, 1981 seeking extension of one month's time for putting his vehicle No. RJR 6755 on the route. Before that application could be decided by the RTA, he submitted another application dated March 9, 1981, in which he stated that Vehicle No. RJR 6755 was being plied on Bhadsora-Nimbahera route under a non-temporary permit and that he has purchased another Vehicle No CPO 9089 which he wants to ply on the aforesaid route and that the permit may be issued in his favour for that route in respect of Vehicle No. CPO 9089. The Secretary, RTA, prepared a Circular Note dated March 24, 1981 proposing for grant of permit to Abdul Gaffar on Vehicle No. RRY 383 instead of Vehicle No. RJR 6755 and also for extension of time for obtaining the permit by one month and submitted it for approval. The RTA on that note pissed an order dated April 2, 1981 giving its approval to the aforesaid proposal. Respondent No. 3 Lalchand filed an appeal against the Resolution of the RTA dated December 11/12, 1980 granting permit in favour of Abdul Gaffar, before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as 'the S.T.A.T.'). While the appeal was pending, the RTA passed the order dated April 2, 1981. Respondent No. 3 Lalchand has stated that he has brought the order dated April 2, 1981 which was passed by the RTA to the notice of the S.T.A.T. The S.T.A. V. dismissed the appeal by its order dated October 12, 1981. Respondent No. 3 Lalchand, filed another S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 29/80 questioning the legality of the order dated October 12, 1981 of the S.T.A.T. Respondent No. 3 filed another writ petition as S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 46/82 challenging the order dated April 2, 1981 passed by the RTA in as much as he considered that the S.T.A.T. has not passed any express order regarding its validity The learned single Judge, by his order dated May 3, 1982, allowed both the writ petitions and set aside the order dated April 2, 1981, passed by the RTA and the permit issued in favour of Abdul Gaffar. He directed that the S.T.A.T. will decide the appeal of respondent No. 3 Lalchand proceeding on the basis that the grant of the permit made in favour of Abdul Gaffar under the Resolution of the RTA dated December 111/12, 1980 stood revoked on the expiry of sixty days provided in the said Resolution. Aggrieved, the appellant Abdul Gaffar has filed these two special appeals as aforesaid.

4. DB Civil Special Appeal No. 592 of 1982 : This appeal has been filed against the order dated March 1, 1982 of the learned single Judge by which the petition of the appellant under Article 226 of the Constitution was dismissed. The RTA granted a non-temporary stage carriage permit & on June 13, 1979 on Rani-Bali-Desuri route. A condition was imposed that in case the permit was not available of within a period of sixty days on a vehicle of the prescribed model, the grant of the permit in favour of the petitioner shall stand revoked. As he failed to comply with the conditions, the grant of permit made in favour of the appellant automatically stood revoked on the expiry of sixty days, from the date of the grant. On August 16, 1979, the petitioner submitted an application for obtaining permit in respect of Vehicle No. RJZ 9261. This application was filed beyond the period of sixty days. No permit was granted to the appellant because the vehicle produced by him for obtaining the permit was not of the prescribed model. The appellant did not take any step for a period of one year. He, however, filed another application on September 23, 1980 before the Secretary, RTA, Jodhpur for condonation of delay and for issuing permit to the appellant on Vehicle No. RJY 4583 The RTA condoned the delay and compounded the matter on payment of Rs. 500/- as fine within a period of thirty days and directed that the permit be issued to him. Against the order of the RTA, Ramlal, who was an existing operator on the route, lodged a revision before the S.T.A.T. The revision was allowed by order dated December 12, 1980 by the STAT on the ground that the grant of permit in favour of the appellant having been revoked on the expiry of sixty days from the date of the giant, the RTA had no jurisdiction to condone the delay and allow the petitioner to obtain permit at any point of time thereafter The appellant filed S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 308 of 1981 praying that the order dated October 12, 1980 of the S.T.A.T., setting aside the order dated September 26, 1980 of the RTA maybe quashed. The writ petition was contested. The learned single Judge, by his order dated March 1, 1982, dismissed the writ petition. The appellant has filed the special appeal.

5. In D.B. Civil Special Appeals No. 470 and 471 of 1982, Mr. B.L. Maheshwari, learned Counsel for the appellant Abdul Gaffar, has raised two contentions : (sic) that the RTA in its Resolution dated December 11/12, 1980, was not empowered to pass a peremptory order and, therefore, the peremptory condition imposed by the RTA, in its Resolution in question, was without jurisdiction and is of no consequence; and (2) that the application for extension of time was submitted by Abdul Gaffir on February 7, 1981 before the expiry of period of sixty days, fixed in the peremptory order of the RTA and merely because he RTA did not pass necessary orders on the said application within a period of sixty day, would not stand in the way of Abdul Gaffar for obtaining the necessary extension after the expiry of sixty days. In other words, it was submitted that the RTA was competent to extend the time and condone the delay and the finding of the learned single Judge that grant of the permit stood automatically revoked on the expiry of the fixed period and the RTA had no jurisdiction either to condone the delay or extend the time for obtaining the permit, is erroneous. Mr. R.R. Vyas. learned Counsel for the appellant in D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 592 of 1982, submitted that the learned single Judge was not right and justified in holding that the RTA had no jurisdiction to condone the delay despite peremptory condition that after the expiry of the period, the permit would stand automatically revoked. We have considered the submissions of the learned Counsel for the parties.

6. We may first notice the relevant provisions of law.

7. Section 48 of the Motor Vehicles Act (No. IV of 1939)(for short 'the Act') deals with grant of stage carriage permits. Material portion of Section 48 is as under:

48. Grant of stage carriage permits.

(1) .

(2) .

(3) The Regional Transport Authority, if it decides to grant a stage carriage, permit may grant the permit for a service of a Stage Carriage, of a specified description or for one or more particular stage carriages and may, subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, attach to the permit any one or more of the following conditions, namely,-

(i) That the vehicle or vehicles shall be used only in a specified area, or on a specified route or routes;... ... ...

Rule 86 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951 (for short 'the Rules'), is as under:

86. Permit - entry of registration mark on

(a) Save in the case of a temporary permit, if the registration mark of the vehicle is to be entered on the permit and the applicant is not at the date of application in possession of the vehicle duly registered, the applicant shall within one month of the sanction of the application by the Regional Transport Authority, or such longer period as the authority may specify, produce the certificate of registration of the vehicle before that authority in order that particulars of the registration mark may be entered in the permit.

(b) Mo permit shall be issued until the registration mark of the vehicle to which it relates has, if the form of permit so requires, been entered therein and in the event of any applicant failing to produce the prescribed period, the Regional Transport Authority may revoke its sanction of the application.

8. In Sheo Onkar v. the RTA Bikaner and Ors. S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 480 of 1966, decided on December 6, 1966, by Jagat Narayan J, as he then was, Rule 86(a) of the Rules was examined. It was observed by him, as follows:

An order under Rule 86(a) will naturally be passed at the time of granting a permit under Section 48 of the Motor Vehicles Act specifying the time within which the vehicle has to be employed. There is no reason why it should not be open to the Regional Transport Authority to pass an order at the same time that if the vehicle is not employed within the time so prescribed the per nit shall stand revoked.

(Italics is ours)

The learned Judge opined that it was not laid down in Jaihind Co-operative Transport Society Ltd Jaipur v. A. Authority, Rajasthan, Jaipur I.L.R. 1958 VIII Raj. 27, that a peremptory order of the nature passed in the case was invalid. In She Onkar's case (supra), a contention was raised that under the order of the RTA dated October 12, 1963, the grant of permit which was made in favour of A was subject to the condition that a vehicle of the model prescribed by the STAT for the time being would be employed within 45 days failing which the permit was to be treated to have been automatically cancelled, that as neither an order extending time was passed before the period of 45 days expired nor was a vehicle employed, the permit stood revoked lender Rule 86(b) of the Rules and that after the revocation of the permit the RTA lost seisin of the case and had no jurisdiction to extend time to employ a vehicle. The learned Judge has expressed himself in the following words:

Although an application was filed for extension of time on 26-11-63 no order was passed staying the running of time under the order dated 12-10-63. On 27-11-63 the permit stood revoked and its order revoking the permit could not be reviewed by the Regional Transport Authority.

It is significant to note that the learned Judge was definitely of the opinion that Section 148, CPC has no application to the proceedings under the Act.

9. Before a Division Bench consisting of Jagat Narayan, C.J. and L.N. Chhangani, J., In Shakuntla Devi v. The TAT, Jaipur and Ors. 1970 W.L.N. 45, (a) question arose whether the order of the RTA, granting extension of time was illegal as it had become functus officio after it has passed peremptory order and, therefore, it could not extend the time beyond that which it had granted in the order. In that case, the RTA granted thirty days time. The permit was granted in the month of March. The appellant was entitled to 31 days time under Rule 86 of the Rules A peremptory order was passed that on the expiry of the time allowed, the permit shall stand cancelled if the vehicle was not employed. On April 2, 1969, the appellant applied to the RTA for extension of time and extension was granted. It was held that the order vas illegal. The view taken in Shiv Onkar's case (supra) was followed.

10. In Jagannath Singh v. RTA 1970 W.L.N. 200, a condition was laid down in the permit that the person in favour of whom the grant was made, should produce a vehicle of the requisite model within a Period of 60 days from the date of resolution failing which the permit shall stand automatically cancelled. He failed to employ any vehicle during the above period and on November 15, 1968, his permit stood c m eel led as a result of the condition imposed. An application was made for extension of time fur employing a vehicle. Vide order dated December 18, 1968, the RTA extended the time. The writ petition was filed challenging the validity of the order of the RTA on the ground that once the permit stood cancelled on Nov. 15, 1968, it had no jurisdiction to extend the time for employing n vehicle The writ petition was allowed. An appeal was filed. The learned Judges considered Sheo Onkar's case (supra) and Smt. Shankutola Devi's case 19710 W.L.N. 45, After examining Rule 86 of the Rules, it was held (1) that the peremptory order could be passed by the RTA; (2) that such order is valid and (3) that permit stood automatically revoked under Rule 66(b) on account of the peremptory condition imposed at the time of passing the order. Learned Counsel for the appellant pressed that the view taken in the aforesaid three decisions of this Court requires re-consideration Mr. B.L. Maheshwari, learned Counsel for the appellant in Special Appeals No. 470 and 471 of 1982, on the basis of the decision reported in Mehant Ram Das v. Ganga Das : [1961]3SCR763 . contended that the RTA, despite the fact a that peremptory condition was imposed to employ a vehicle within a period fixed by it and that on the expiry of that period the grant of permit shall stand automatically revoked, had power to extend time and the view that in such circumstances the RTA cannot extend time after the expiry of the period fixed in the order granting permit, is erroneous in law in view of Rule 86 of the Rules. We may mention that in such of the aforesaid decisions of this Court, Mahunt Ramdas's case : [1961]3SCR763 was considered and distinguished. In that case, the High Court passed a peremptory order fixing the period for payment of deficit court-fee and before that lime had run out, an application for extension of time was made. That application came up before the court for hearing after the specified period had run out. The High Court refused to enlarge the time on the ground that the appeal stood dismissed as the amount was not deposited within the time fixed. The question that arose before their Lordships of the Supreme Court was whether the High Court was power-less to enlarge the time even though it had peremptorily fixed the period for payment of the deficit court-fee. The Supreme Court held that the High Court was not powerless for enlarging the time, which was peremptorily fixed. Section 148. CPC was availed of which deals with the ex tension of time even when the original period fixed had expired and aid was also taken from Section 149, CPC. It was observed as follows:

How undesirable it is to fix time peremptorily for a future happening which leaves the Court powerless to deal with events that might arise in between, it is not necessary to decide in this appeal. These orders turn out, often enough to be inexpedient. Such procedural orders, though peremptory (conditional decrees apart) art in essence, in terrorism, so (hat dilatory litigants might put themselves in order and avoid delay. They do not, however, completely estop a Court from taking note of events and circumstances which happen within the time fixed.

The above observations go to show that their Lordships of the Supreme Court had no doubt what so ever about the validity of such orders and they had some doubts about the desirability of passing such orders. Mahant Ram Das's case : [1961]3SCR763 was also cited before the learned single Judge. In our opinion, the learned single Judge was right in holding that the principle laid down in the aforesaid decision has no application to the cases on hand, for, there is no reason why it should not be open to the RTA. to pass peremptory order that if vehicle is not employed within the time so granted, the permit shall stand revoked. Peremptory orders are passed in civil proceedings to which the Code of Civil Procedure apples and there is no express provision for passing such an order. There is no prohibition either. A perusal of Rule 86(a) shows that the person to whom a permit is granted is required to employ a vehicle on the route within a month from the date of sanction or such longer period as the authority may specify. Under Rule 86(a), time once granted can be extended by the RTA until the permit is revoked under Rule 86(b). It Allows that if the vehicle is not employed within the time, the RTA can revoke the permits under Rule 86(b) of the Rules. In view of the language used in Section 48 & Rule 86(a) & 86(b) of the Rules, we find ourselves in agreement with the view taken in Sheo Onkar's case (supra) Smt. Shakuntala Devi's case 1970 W.L.N. 45 and Jagannath Singh's case 1970 W.L.N. 200 As peremptory order could be oassed by the RTA at the time of granting permit to the appellant and such an order is valid; the necessary consequence that flows therefrom is that the permit granted in favour of the appellants stood revoked under Rule 86(b). The afore said decisions of this Court do not require re-consideration. In our opinion, the RTA had power to impose the peremptory condition and when it has specifically mentioned that on failure to comply with the peremptory condition the grant of permit would automatically stand revoked after the expiry of the time, it had no power to extend time, as after expiry of time permit, stood revoked and it had become functus officio. Here we may notice another reason given in Sheo Onkar's case (supra) and Jagannath's case 1970 W.L.N. 200. if after passing of the peremptory order, the RTA extends time, it would mean review of its own orders No power of review has been conferred on the authorities under the Act to review their o'vn orders. It may hi mentioned that under the Civil Procedure Code, the civil court has power to review its own order on fulfillment of the conditions laid down in Order XLVII, Rule 1, CPC. There are specific provisions contained in sec 148, CPC for enlargement of lime where any period is fixed or granted by the court for the doing of any act prescribed or allowed by the Civil Procedure Code. In these circumstances, the learned Single Judge was right in holding that the RTA had no power to grant further time after permit has been revoked on the peremptory order.

11. No other point survives for our consideration in these appeals.

12. The upshot of the discussion made here in above is that at the time of the grant of the permit, the RTA can pass a peremptory order that if the vehicle is not employed within the time so granted, the permit shall stand revoked; and that once such an order is passed, the RTA is functus officio to extend the time after the expiry of the time originally fixed in the peremptory order. The learned single Judge was, therefore, right in allowing S.B. Civil Writ Petitions No. 46/82 and 29/82. No valid exception can be taken to the order dated May 5, 1982. So also the learned single Judge was right in dismissing SB. Civil Writ Petition No. 308/81 out of which D.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 592/82 has arisen.

13. We find no force in these appeals. They are, accordingly, dismissed.

14. In the circumstances of the case, the parties are left to bear their own costs.


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