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State of Rajasthan Vs. SarajjuddIn and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberD.B. Civil Special Appeal No. 77 of 1977
Judge
Reported in1985(1)WLN624
AppellantState of Rajasthan
RespondentSarajjuddIn and anr.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....motor vehicles rules, 1951 - rule 78(i)(g)--validity of--delegation of functions of rta made to secretary of rta to sub-serve public interest and to avoid break down of service--held, rule 78(i)(g) and resolution dated 4-12-1975 are valid.;the delegation appears to have been made to subserve public interest and in order to avoid the creation of vacuum during the intervening period between the expiry of the existing temporary permit granted by the r.t.a. and the holding of the next meeting of the r.t.a. in such contingencies it is necessary for the r.t.a. to provide against a total break down of service for carrying on the passengers concerned route.;rule 78(i)(1)(g) of the motor vehicles rules, 1951 as also the resolution of the rta dated december 4, 1975 are valid and provide for..........any such delegation. the learned single judge consequently annulled the resolution of the regional transport authority, jodhpur delegating the power to issue a temporary permit under section 68 of the act to the secretary of the authority, in accordance with the provisions of rule 78(i)(g) of the rules.2. the secretary, regional transport authority, jodhpur issued a temporary permit on june 10, 1977 to kunj behari on the makrana-sikar route although applications for grant of non-temporary stage carriage permits were already pending. sarajjuddin, existing operator of kuchaman city - danta route, which overlaps makrana-sikar route, filed a writ petition in this court challenging the validity of rule 78(i)(g) and the resolution of the regional transport authority dated december 4, 1979.....
Judgment:

Dwarka Prasad Gupta, J.

1. The only question which arises for our consideration in this appeal is as to whether Clause (g) of Sub-rule (i) of Rule 78 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951 (in short 'the Rules' here after) is invalid or valid on the ground that the provisions thereof are ultra vires of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The learned Single Judge held that the provisions of Clause (g) of Rule 78(0 are ultra vires and invalid because there is no provision in Section 68 of the aforesaid Act empowering the State Government to make Rules to direct any such delegation. The learned Single Judge consequently annulled the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority, Jodhpur delegating the power to issue a temporary permit under Section 68 of the Act to the Secretary of the Authority, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 78(i)(g) of the Rules.

2. The Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Jodhpur issued a temporary permit on June 10, 1977 to Kunj Behari on the Makrana-Sikar route although applications for grant of non-temporary stage carriage permits were already pending. Sarajjuddin, existing operator of Kuchaman City - Danta route, which overlaps Makrana-Sikar route, filed a writ petition in this Court challenging the validity of Rule 78(i)(g) and the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority dated December 4, 1979 delegating the power to issue temporary permits under Section 68 to its Secretary, subject to the conditions specified in that resolution He also challenged the grant of a temporary permit to Kunj Behari by the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Jodhpur on June 10, 1977. The learned Single Judge, as observed by us above, held that the provisions of Rule 78(i)(g) were ultra vires and invalid and annulled the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority dated December 4, 1975 delegating its powers to the Secretary to issue temporary permits in the contingencies mentioned therein. The temporary permit issued by the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority on June 10, 1977 was also quashed. The learned Single Judge took the view that unless the power to delegate the functions of any Authority is provided in the Act itself the same could not be transferred. A provision for transfer of the functions of the Regional Transport Authority could be made in Section 68 of the Motor Vehicles Act, but as there was no provision in Section 68 authorising the State Government to provide for delegation of the powers of the Regional Transport Authority regarding the grant of temporary parties, such power could not be delegated.

3. We may at once point out that the provisions of Sub-section (5) of Section 44 of the Motor Vehicles Act do not appear to have been brought to the notice of the learned Single Judge who decided the writ petition. Section 44(5) of the Act runs as under:

(5) The State Transport Authority and any Regional Transport Authority, if authorised in this behalf by rules made Under Section 68, may delegate such of its powers and functions to such authority or person and subject to such restrictions, limitations and conditions as may be prescribed by the said rules.

4. Sub-section (1) of Section 61 of the Act authorises the State Government to make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provision of Chapter IV of the Act. Rule 78 has been made by the State Government in exercise of the powers conferred upon it Under Section 68 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The relevant part of Clause (1) of Rule 78 runs as under:

78. Transport authorities conduct of business of:

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx(i) The State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Authority may, by a general or special resolution delegate subject to such conditions and restrictions as it may think proper any of the powers and functions specified below to the officers and authorities mentioned below:

(I) To the Secretary, RTA/STA

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx(g) Powers to issue temporary permit Under Section 62 of the Act.

(h) ....

5. In pursuance of the powers conferred by Sub-Clause (g) of Clause (i) of Rule 78, the RTA passed the following resolution on December 4, 1975:

Resolution No. 1:

Delegation of powers by the RTA to its Secretary.

Whereas it is expedient and in public interest to continue the existing services; it is hereby resolved that the Secretary, RTA Jaipur/ Jodhpur/Udaipur/Bikaner/Kota shall henceforth issue temporary permits Under Sections 62(1)(c) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 939 after expiry of the temporary permit granted by the RTA, for a further period of four months or till next meeting of the RTA, whichever is earlier, provided application from the Rajasthan State Road Transport is not pending.

6. Section 44(5) authorises the delegation by the State Transport Authority and the Regional Transport Authority of such of its powers and functions to such authority or person and subject to such restrictions, limitations conditions, as may be prescribed in the rules made under Section 68. Although there is no specified power contained in Section 68 to authorise the RTA to delegate its powers and functions to its Secretary, yet Section 44(5) in terms confers such authority upon the RTA to delegate its powers & functions if authorised to do so by the rules made under Section 68. Rule 78(i) imposes several conditions upon the RTA while delegating the powers specified in Clauses (a) to (h) of Part I and in Part II of that sub-rule, namely, that the delegation may be made by a general or special resolution passed by the RTA and shall be subject to such limitations, conditions and restrictions a may be imposed in the resolution. As will be noticed, the resolution which was passed by the RTA on December 4, 1975 gives a very restricted power to the Secretary, RTA by delegation namely, of issuing temporary permits under Section 62(1)(c) of the Motor Vehicles Act after the expiry of the temporary permit granted by the RTA, for a further period of four months or till the next meeting of the RTA, whichever is earlier. There are two further restrictions on the aforesaid delegated authority conferred upon the Secretary by the RTA namely, that a temporary permit shall not be issued by the Secretary if an application made by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation is pending and further that the temporary permit shall be granted only where the earlier temporary permit granted by the RTA has expired. Thus, the Secretary of the RTA is not empowered to grant a fresh temporal permit to a stranger, but what the delegation seeks to provide is to authorise the Secretary to allow the existing temporary permit holder to continue to ply his vehicle on the route on which a temporary permit was granted to him by the RTA itself, until the next meeting of the RTA takes place subject to the condition that such period should not exceed four months It may be taken notice of that in same extra-ordinary situation, it may not be possible for the RTA to hold its meeting at the time of or before the expiry of the temporary permits granted by it on a given route, with the effect that the existing service may have to be discontinued causing considerable inconvenience to the travailing public, if the temporary permit-holder is not allowed to ply his vehicle on the route until the next meeting of the RTA takes place, Thus, it was considered expedient to continue the existing service, as it would not be in public interest to discontinue the service plied for the benefit of the travelling public generally, until the matter of grant of fresh non-temporary or temporary permits on the route in question is placed for consideration in he next meeting of the RTA. It appears that the delegation is made subject to restrictions and conditions and the only purpose thereof appears to be that the travelling public may not have to suffer on account of the discontinuance of the existing service until the RTA has an occasion to consider the question as to whether a temporary or non-temporary permit should be granted on the route. In our view, the delegation appears to have been made to subserve public interest and in order to avoid the creation of vacuum during the intervening period between the expiry of the existing temporary permit granted by the RTA and the holding of the next meeting of the RTA. In such contingencies it is necessary for the RTA to provide against a total break down of service for carrying passengers on the concerned route. The RTA appears to have to have kept in view the pursuant requirement of the travelling public for continuance of the existing stage carriage services. It may be observed that although the power to continue passenger transport service has been delegated to the Secretary, the name had been circumscribed by so many restrictions and conditions that it can be utilised only for the purpose of issuing temporary permit Under Section 62(1)(c) of the Act in the given circumstances. The authority for delegation is to be found in Sub-section (5) of Section 44 read with Section 68(1) of the Act. If both the aforesaid provisions are read together, we are unable to hold that the Act does not contain any authority to delegate some of the functions by the RTA to the specified person or authority in limited conditions. The provisions of Rule 78(i)(I)(g) cannot be held to be invalid or ultra vires of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act if Section 68(1) is read alongwith Section 44(3) of the Act. We have no doubt that the said rule has a reasonable relationship with the purpose sought to be achieved, as the basic concept behind the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act is to serve the interest of the public generally. In this view of the matter, there is no valid reason for this Court of strike down the Rule 78(i)(I)(g) on the ground that it was repugnant to the provisions of the parent Act, particularly when Section 44(3) authoresses the delegation by the RTA of its powers and functions to a person or authority, subject to the condition that such delegation is made in a accordance with the provisions of Rule 73(i)(g) made Under Section 68(1) of the Act.

7. We may also observe that the temporary permit issued by the Secretary, RTA on June 10, 1977 has expired long ago as it was issued only for a short period of four months. Moreover, such a temporary permit was issued to a person who was already providing stage carriage service on the Makrana Sikar route under a temporary permit granted to him earlier by the RTA itself and which expired on June 16, 1977. As the temporary permit issued by the Secretary RTA has expired long ago, the question of the validity thereof need not be gone into at this stage since no order is required to be passed in respect thereof.

8. However, for the reasons discussed above, we hold that Rule 78(i)(I)(g) of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951 as also the resolution of the RTA dated December 4, 1975 are valid and provide for limited delegations of the functions of the RTA to the Secretary RTA in the circumstances and subject to the conditions specified in the resolution.

9. In the result, the appeal is allowed the order passed by the learned Single Judge dated August 29, 1977 is set aside and the provisions of Rule 78(i)(I)(g) of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951 and the resolution of the RTA dated December 4. 1975 are held to be valid and binding. The parties are left to bear their own costs of the proceedings in this Court.


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