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Vidya Sagar Vs. Regional Transport Authority - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 513 of 1975
Judge
Reported in1975WLN(UC)501
AppellantVidya Sagar
RespondentRegional Transport Authority
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredBanswara v. Regional Transport Authority
Excerpt:
.....roues without prior fixation of limit on permits--held, section 47(3) does not apply to inter regional & inter state routes and grant of permit is not without jurisdiction.;section 47(3) of the act is not in terms applicable to the route and the grant of permit to the respondent of even if it be considered to have been made without prior fixation of limit of termites on the route, cannot be held to be without jurisdiction section 47(3) of the act is restricted in its application to the area or routes which fall within the region and is not applicable in terms to the grant of permits on an inter-regional or inter-state route. - - 2, has raised a preliminary objections and has submitted that the petitioner having failed to file objection or representations under section..........likewise published under section 68c of the act on may 11, 1973. a portion of bhilwara bijoliya-kota route, from salavatia to bijoliya, which is a distance of about five miles, was covered by both the aforesaid proposed scheme of nationalisation.2. the respondent no. 2 submitted an application for the grant of a non-temporary 8 age carriage permit on kota-bijoliya route (hereinafter referred to as 'the (sic). the application of the respondent no. 2 was duly polished in the rajasthan gazette, inviting objections in respect thereof, under section 57(3) of the act. the petitioner, however, did not submit any objections or represent ations in respect of the application of the respondent no. 2 for grant of a permit on the route. the regional transport authority, kota, considered the.....
Judgment:

D.P. Gupta, J.

1. The petitioner in this writ petition is an existing operator of Bhilwara-Bijoliya-Kota route. A draft scheme for the nationalisation of Udaipur Bijoliya-Bundi route was publeshsed under Section 68C of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') in the Rajasthan Gazette dated 24th April, 1973, and another draft scheme in respect of Bhilwara-Bijoliya-Bundi route was also likewise published under Section 68C of the Act on May 11, 1973. A portion of Bhilwara Bijoliya-Kota route, from Salavatia to Bijoliya, which is a distance of about five miles, was covered by both the aforesaid proposed scheme of nationalisation.

2. The respondent No. 2 submitted an application for the grant of a non-temporary 8 age carriage permit on Kota-Bijoliya route (hereinafter referred to as 'the (sic). The application of the respondent No. 2 was duly polished in the Rajasthan Gazette, inviting objections in respect thereof, under Section 57(3) of the Act. The petitioner, however, did not submit any objections or represent ations in respect of the application of the respondent No. 2 for grant of a permit on the route. The Regional Transport Authority, Kota, considered the aforesaid application of the respondent No. 2 in its meeting held on September 12, 1974, alongwith other applications for the grant of a non temporary stage carriage permit on the route, The Regional Transport Authority, Kota observed in its resolution dated September 12, 1974 that a non temporary stage carriage permit was issued on the route in the past but the operator had stopped plying his bus and after considering the comparative merits of ail the applicants, the petitioner was considered o be the most suitable person for the grant of a non temporary stage carriage permit on the route. Therefore, the the Regional Transport Authority. Kota, granted a non-temporary stage carriage permit to the respondent No. 2 on the route for a period of three years. In pursuance of the aforesaid grant, a permit was actually issued to the respondent No. 2 on the route on September 24, 1974.

3. The petitioner did not file an appeal against the aforesaid grant of permit to the respondent No. 2 nor he was legally entitled to file any such appeal, as he did not submit any representations or objections within the meaning of Section 57(4) of the Act, in respect of the application of the respondent No. for the grant of a permit on the route. The petitioner also did not file any revision petition under Section 64A of a Act against the aforesaid grant of permit to the respondent No. 2. However, be filed the present writ petition challenging the grant of permit to the respondent No. 2 on the route. The contentions raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner Mr. Vyas in the present petition are two-fold. In the first place, learned counsel contends that no limits of permits was ever fixed by the Regional Transport Authority, Kota, under Section 47(3) of the Act in respect of Kota Bijoliya route and, therefore, no permit could have been granted by the Regional Transport Authority, Kota, on such a route to the respondent No. 2 without fixation of limit of permits under Section 47(3) of the Act, The second contention of the learned counsel for the pensioner is that the route on which the permit was granted to the respondent No. 2 overlapped the Bhilwara-Bundi and Udaipur-Bundi routes, in respect of which draft schemes of nationalisation had already been proposed and published under Section 68C of the Act, and in that view of the matter, the grant of a permit to the respondent No. 2 on the route was without jurisdiction.

4. Mr. Maheshwari, appearing for the respondent No. 2, has raised a preliminary objections and has submitted that the petitioner having failed to file objection or representations under Section 57(4) of the Act, in respect of the application of the respondent No. 2 for grant of permit on the route and having failed to prefer any appeal or revision in respect of such grant, the present writ petition on behalf of the petitioner is not maintainable As regards the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner regarding fixation of the limit of permits on the route, it has been submitted that, the roule in question was opened by the Regional Transport Authority as far back as in the year 1952 and one permit was granted on the route and as such a limit of one permit should fie considered to have been fixed on the route. The learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 submitted that the Regional Transport Authority, Kota, granted a permit to the respondent No. 2 on Kota Bijoliya route in accordance with the decision of this Court in M/S Rajendra Singh and Brothers, Banswara v. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur Region, Udaipur and Ors. 1972 WLN 583 and that in case the petitioner would have objected before the RTA, Kota to the grant of the permit in question to the respondent No. 2 on the ground that the route of such permit overlapped the routes in respect of which the proposed schemes of nationalisation were published, then the Regional Transport Authority might have granted a permit to the petition or only from Kota to Salavatia. It was also submitted that the nationalisation rcheme relating to Bhilwara-Bundi route has already been approved by the State Government and the apptoved scheme was published on October 9, 1975 in the Rajasthan Gazette and as a consequence thereof, the permit of the respondent No. 2 has already been curtailed for the portion from Salavatia to Bijoliya. Thus the respondent No. 2 is now plying his bus from Kota to Salavatia only after the approved scheme relating to Bhilwara-Bundi route has come into force.

5. I have considered the rival contentions of the learned counsel. There can be no doubt that the Regional Transport Authority had no jurisdiction to grant a permit to the respondent No. 2 without fixation of the limit of permits on the route under Section 47(3) of the Act. The law on the point has clearly been laid down by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Mohd. Ibrahim etc. AIR 1970 SC 1542 wherein it has been held that the determination of the limit of number of permits under Section 47(3) is to be made before the grant of permits under Section 48 and that the jurisdiction of the Regional Transport Authority to grant permits is subject to prior determination of the limit of number of permits under Section 47(3) of the Act. However, in Mohd Ibrahim's case AIR 1970 SC 1542, their Lordships of the Supreme Court have also held that the substance of the matter should be considered and not the mere form, and that it is not necessary that the Regional Transport Authority should pass a formal resolution in each case fixing the limit of number of permits on a partticular route but it must be established from the record of the authority concerned that the provisions of Section 47(3) of the Act were complied with before considering the merits of the applications for the grant of permits under Section 48. In the case of Mohd Ibrahim AIR 1970 SC 1542, their Lordships of the Supreme Court also observed that from the fact that the Regional Transport Authority issued a notification under Section 57(2) of the Act inviting applications for the grant of specified number of permits on a new route or of additional permits on an existing route, it could be inferred that the Regional Transport Authority bad applied its mind and fixed the limit of permits under Section 47(3) of the Act before proceeding to conceder the applications for the grant of permits on such a route,

6. Moreover, it is not in dispute that the Kota Bijoliya route is an interregional route. In that view of the matter, Section 47(3) of the Act is not in terms applicable to the route and the grant of permits to the respondent No. 2, even if it be considered to have been made without prior fixation of limit of permits on the route, cannot be held to be without jurisdiction Sections 47(3) of the Act is restricted in its application to the areas or routes which fall within the region and is not applicable in terms to the grant of permits on an inter regional or inter-State route. In Mohd. Ibrahim's case AIR 1970 SC 1542 their Lordships of the Supreme Court observed:

In other words, Section 47(3) of the Act is confined in its operation in or within the region. The provisions of Section 47(3) of the Act do not apply to inter-State permits because an inter-State permit cannot be effective unless it is countersigned by the Authority of the other State. The suggestion that in regard to inter State permits a limit has to be fixed in regard to number of stage carriages for inter State routes will have the effect of adding words to the provisions in Section 47(3) of the Act. That will not be the proper way of giving effect to Section 47(3) of the Act, It will be misreading Section 47(3) of the Act if it will be applied to inter-State permits.

It was further observed by their Lordships in the aforesaid decision that the provisions of Section 47(3) are also not applicable to inter-regional permits. However, learned counsel for the petitioner drew my attention to the following observations of their Lordships in the aforesaid judgment:

We are, therefore, of opinion that Section 47(3) of the Act will not apply either to grant or to countersignatures of permits both in the case of the inter state & the inter-regional permits. The relevant authorities in 2 States or 2 regions will ensure agreement & act in concert as the case may be. The number of services in the region can of course be fixed by the Regional Transport Authority but they will be for the region only. The number of services for inter-regional or inter-State routes beyond the frontier of region will have to be determined by agreement.

It cannot be disputed from the aforesaid observations of the Supreme Court that their Lordships expressed the desirability of fixing the limit of number of permits in the case of Inter Regional and inter-State routes as well by agreement, of the relevant authorities but it has been made crystal clear that Section 47(3) does not apply in terms to the grant of permits on inter regional and inter State routes It is no doubt desirable that the question of fixation of limit of permits on any inter regional or inter-state route should be decided before inviting or considering applications for the grant of permits on such routes. But at the express provisions of Section 41(3) of the Act are not applicable to the grant of permits on inter regional inter-State routes and no other prohibition has been pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner in respect of the grant of permits on inter regional routes, without prior fixation of limit of permits on such roustes it cannot be held that the grant of a permit on an inter regional route to the responds at No. 2, without prior fixation of limit of permute on that route, was without jurisdiction.

7. However, in the present case other there is another feature requiring attention in this respect from the material which has been placed on the record, namely that a permit was granted on Kota-Bijoliya route on 25-10-1952 by the R.T.A. Udaipur which then had jurisdiction over the Kota region, to M.S. Bundi-Sillca Company (Supply) It has not been brought on record as to the time up to which the aforesaid grantee plted his vehicle on the route but there is doubt that the permit was issued for a peried of three year's and the same cases not appear to have been renewed. Then a permit was again granted on the route by the Regional Transport. Authorities Kota on November 17, 1959 to M/S Anand Brothers. This permit was also valid for a period of three years and it cannot be said with any amount of carnality as to the time upto which the aforesaid grantee plied hit, vehicle on the route. On 8-2-1968, the Regional Transport Authority again consered red the question of grant of a permition the route Certain existing operavors of overlapping routes opposed the grant, but the R.T.A. Kota considered it proper to grast a permion the route, keeping in view the interests of the travelling public, A permit was, therefore, granted to Mohanlal Ratanlal by the R.T.A., Kota and the said permit appears to have been issued on December 24, 1968. These facts were taken into consideration by the Regional Transport Authority, Kota, while granting a permit in favour of the respondent No. 2 by its respoution dated September 12, 1974 and it was emphasised in the aforestated resolution that a non-temporary stage carriage permit was, issued on the route in the past but the operator had stopped plying his vehicle, being an uneconomical route. Thus it appears that one non-temporary stage carriage permit was granted on the roule by the R.T.A., Udaipur, in the first instance in the year 1952 and the same number was maintained even subsequently by the R.T.A. Kota it may be that intermittently the route might, not have been plied. But iron the aforesaid facts, it should be legitimately inferred that the R.T.A. had fixed a limit of one permit on the route. The R.T.A. could very well be presumed to have fixed a limit of one permit on the. route and such implied fixation of limit could have been taken as the basis for proceeding to consider the applications for the grant of a permit under Section 48 of the Act. It appears that the R.T.A. Kota, while granting a permit in favour of the respondent No. 2 by its resolution dated September 12, 1974; was fully alive to this matter that there was a prior fixation of limit of one permit on the rule and took into consideration the fact that one permit, was previously-granted on the route. In this view of the matter, it cannot be said that in the present case, shere was either any contravention of the provisions of Section 47(3) of the Act, or even of he principle contained in the aforesaid provision.

8. As regards the second submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner, if may be observed that the permit of respondent No. 2 is now operative for the route from Kota to Silavatia only, on account of the Bhiiwara Bundi route approved nationalisation scheme coming into effect in October 1975 There can be no quarrel that a permit could have been granted on the aforesaid route. In these circumstances, I do not consider it necessary to go into the further question as to whether the R.T.A. could have granted a permit to the respondent No. 2 from Kota to Bijoliya because at that time the draft schemes for the nationalisation of Bhilwara Bundi and Udaipur-Bundi routes had already been published under Section 68C of the Act. It is not disputed that at that time a learned Single Judge of this Court had taken the view in in Rajnedra Singh's case 1972 WLN 583 that where both the terminil of the route for which a rew permit was granted did not tall on the route specified in the draft scheme published under Section 68C, then the provisions of Section 68F, (1D) were not. attracted to such a case. The petitioner did not file any objections or representation under Section 57(4) of the Act nor he preferred any appeal or revision against the grant of the permit to the respondent No. 2 on the route & in view of this conduct of the petitioner it is now not open to him to challenge the grant of the permit to the respondent No. 2 by means of a writ petition on the ground of overlapping of any one of the routes in respect of which draft scheme had been published. As a matter of fact, the question appears to have been raised before the R.T.A. by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, which was directly affected in the matter, in a rather half hearted manner, in as much as the R.T.A. mentioned in its resolution dated September 12, 1974 that the Corporation was not able to show that the route covered any portion of Bhilwara Bundi route, in respect of which a draft scheme of nationalisation was published under Section 68-C, of the Act, From the aforesaid narration, the Corporation, did not appear to be serious in raising the objection nor the requisite facts appear to have been brought to the notice of the R.T.A. The Corporation also did not prefer any appeal or take any further proceedings against the grant of permit the respondent No. 2, The petitioner having cot objected to the grant of the permit to respondents No. 2 on the route at any stage he cannot be permitted to challenge the said grant by means of a writ petition, in the peculiar circumstances of this case. The writ petition therefore fails and is consequently dismissed. However, the parties are left to bear their own costs.


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