Skip to content


Mannarghat Union Motor Services Ltd., Mannarghat, South Malabar Vs. Regional Transport Authority, Malabar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Petn. No. 4436 of 1951
Judge
Reported inAIR1953Mad59
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 57 and 57(7)
AppellantMannarghat Union Motor Services Ltd., Mannarghat, South Malabar
RespondentRegional Transport Authority, Malabar and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK. Kutti Krishna Menon, ;V. Balakrishna Eradi and P.P. Menon, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateGovt. Pleader, ;P.R. Pakri Sankar and ;T. Changalvarayan, Advs.
Cases ReferredLatchmanan Chettiar v. Corporation of Madras
Excerpt:
- - 130 (fb) that failure to object to jurisdiction before the lower court is a bar to obtaining a writ of certiorari, whether the objection to jurisdiction is based on a pure point of law or based on facts which were or should have been within the knowledge qf the applicants during the proceedingsin the lower court. the provisions of the act indicate beyond any reasonable doubt that a regional transport authority should give reasons to the issue of a permit clearly in such a manner that an appellate court may be in a position to canvass the correctness of the reasons given by it......ltd. they are plying buses with stage carriage permits in south malabar since the year 1936. the regional transport authority published a notification r. no. 23589 a. 2/49 on 24th february 1949 inviting application for the issue of a temporary permit for a bus on calicut-areakode via feroke and kundotty. two persons applied for the permit but the proceedings were dropped as in april 1949 the regional transport officer and secretary stated that as the central road traffic board directed the regional transport authority to issue pucca permits for stage carriages in the same route the notification was cancelled. the regional transport authority, malabar, issued a notice dated 16th may 1949 under section 57(2) of the madras motor vehicles act inviting fresh applications for the grant of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Subba Rao, J.

1. This is an application for the issue of a Writ of Certiorari to quash the orders of the Regional Transport Authority, Malabar, The Central Road Traffic Board and the State of Madras. The petitioners are the Mannarghat Union Motor Services Ltd. They are plying buses with stage carriage permits in South Malabar since the year 1936. The Regional Transport Authority published a notification R. No. 23589 A. 2/49 on 24th February 1949 inviting application for the issue of a temporary permit for a bus on Calicut-Areakode via Feroke and Kundotty. Two persons applied for the permit but the proceedings were dropped as in April 1949 the Regional Transport Officer and Secretary stated that as the Central Road Traffic Board directed the Regional Transport Authority to issue pucca permits for stage carriages in the same route the notification was cancelled. The Regional Transport Authority, Malabar, issued a notice dated 16th May 1949 under Section 57(2) of the Madras Motor Vehicles Act inviting fresh applications for the grant of stage carriage permits for the said route. In response to this notification, the petitioners andtwo others applied for permits. It may be mentioned that the fourth respondent is not one of the applicants.

On 11th June 1949, the Regional Transport Authority, Malabar, issued another notification under Section 57(3) of the Madras Motor Vehicles Act calling for objections, if any, for the grant of permits to the applicants. Objections were filed. But curiously those proceedings were not pursued but it is represented to me that they were dropped as the Government issued directions to the Regional Transport Authority that no new routes should be opened without the previous permission of the Central Road Traffic Board. But the petitioners were not informed of this notification or the dropping off the proceedings pursuant to the directions. On 4th April 1950, the petitioners received another notice under Section 57(2) of the Madras Motor Vehicles Act stating that the Regional Transport Authority) Malabar will receive applications on or before 2nd May 1950 for the grant of stage carriage permits over the same route. The petitioners, the 4th respondent and others applied. Notice under Section 57(3) of the Act was duly issued and representations were called for. No representation was made either by the petitioners or by any other person that the proceedings were illegal as the previous proceedings duly instituted under the provisions of the Act were not finally disposed of. The Regional Transport Authority passed a laconic order.

'Nos. 4, 9 and 15 do not press. Granted to M/s C. C. Automobiles Ltd. as the most suitable. Time for production of vehicles two months.'

Against that, an appeal was filed to the Central Road Traffic Board, and that was dismissed without any reasons. When a revision was filed, the Government of Madras declined to interfere with the Subordinate Tribunal's orders. Mr. Kuttikrishna Menon, the learned counsel for the petitioners, raised before me two points. The proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority initiated by its notification dated 4th April 1950 are illegal as the earlier proceedings legally instituted and pursued were not finally disposed of. The Regional Transport Authority gave a reason which on the face of it cannot be tested by a Court of appeal and therefore the said order did not comply with the provisions of Section 57(7) of the Act. I cannot say that there is no force in the first argument of the learned counsel for the petitioners but I do not propose to express my final opinion thereon as on the facts it is clear that the petitioners submitted to the jurisdiction of the Regional Transport Authority.

If the petitioners thought that the Regional Transport Authority had no jurisdiction, they should have raised that plea without taking a chance of getting a decision in their favour. Designedly or ignorantly they kept quiet or perhaps they did not want to displease the Regional Transport Authority, or they expected that it would decide in their favour. It is too late to question the jurisdiction of a Tribunal to which they have submitted. A Full Bench of this Court held in -- 'Latchmanan Chettiar v. Corporation of Madras', 50 Mad. 130 (FB) that failure to object to jurisdiction before the lower Court is a bar to obtaining a writ of certiorari, whether the objection to jurisdiction is based on a pure point of law or based on facts which were or should have been within the knowledge qf the applicants during the proceedingsin the lower court. The said judgment is binding on me.

2. But I cannot say that the second contention of the learned counsel is without substance. It is now settled law and it has not been disputed either by the Government Pleader or the counsel for the fourth respondent that a Regional Transport Authority is a tribunal with a duty to exercise its jurisdiction judicially. Section 64 of the Motor Vehicles Act confers a right of appeal to an aggrieved party against the order of a Regional Transport Authority to the Central Road Traffic Board. Section 57(7) of the Act specifically states that if a Regional Transport Authority refuses to issue a permit it must give in writing its reasons for its refusal. The provisions of the Act indicate beyond any reasonable doubt that a Regional Transport Authority should give reasons to the issue of a permit clearly in such a manner that an Appellate Court may be in a position to canvass the correctness of the reasons given by it. Otherwise the right of appeal conferred by the Act will become otiose.

The reason given by the Regional Transport Authority is a curious one. It says that the fourth respondent is the most suitable man. No Appellate Court can question the correctness of such a general statement. A person may. be suitable for many reasons -- reasons with which one court may agree and another may disagree. It is incumbent upon such a Tribunal whose order is subject to appeal to give reasons succinctly for its order to enable the Appellate Court to test the correctness of that finding. I cannot therefore hold that the reason, given by the Regional Transport Authority is a reason contemplated by the provisions of the Act.

3. The next question is what is the procedure to be adopted at this stage. Though the petitioners are precluded from raising the question of jurisdiction in view of the Full Bench decision, it is apparent that the entire procedure followed from the beginning to the end is vitiated by some confusion introduced in the proceedings by the direction given by the Government under Section 43 (A) of the Act. In the circumstances, I think the proper and the only course is to quash the entire proceedings and to direct the Regional Transport Authority to issue permits afresh in accordance with law. In the circumstances each party will bear its costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //