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Gajalakshmi Ammal Manonmaniammal Bus Service Vs. the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Madras and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 134 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1962Mad173; (1962)1MLJ311
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Motor Vehicles Act - Sections 63(3)
AppellantGajalakshmi Ammal Manonmaniammal Bus Service
RespondentThe State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Madras and anr.
Excerpt:
- - 63(3) confers a power upon the counter-signing authority to punish an erring operator by cancellation or suspension of the permit and, if that is so, the power to suspend cannot exist in some other authority as well......a proprietor of a bus service called manonmani amman bus service. she was granted a permit by the regional transport authority, north arcot, for running a bus from tiruvannamalai in north arcot dt. to pondicherry. a part of the route lies in the south arcot dt. the permit granted to the appellant was therefore counter-signed by the regional transport authority of south arcot.on 12-4-1959 the sub-inspector made a surprise check on the running bus. he found that there was an overload of the bus by three passengers. before a check memo could be issued calling upon the appellant to submit her explanation, the anticipated the charge, made a written representation to the regional transport officer that the complaint that the bus was overloaded on 12-4-1959 was not true. that regional.....
Judgment:

Ramachandra Iyer, Offg. C.J.

(1) This is an appeal against the judgment of Ganapatia Pillai, J., in W. P. No. 965 of 1959 declining to issue a rule nisi in a matter relating to the suspension of a motor stage carriage permit. The appellant is a proprietor of a bus service called Manonmani Amman Bus Service. She was granted a permit by the Regional Transport Authority, North Arcot, for running a bus from Tiruvannamalai in North Arcot Dt. to Pondicherry. A part of the route lies in the South Arcot Dt. The permit granted to the appellant was therefore counter-signed by the Regional Transport authority of South Arcot.

On 12-4-1959 the Sub-Inspector made a surprise check on the running bus. He found that there was an overload of the bus by three passengers. Before a check memo could be issued calling upon the appellant to submit her explanation, the anticipated the charge, made a written representation to the Regional Transport Officer that the complaint that the bus was overloaded on 12-4-1959 was not true. That Regional Transport Officer, North Arcot District however issued the charge memo dated 18-5-959 and called upon the appellant to explain. Finding the explanation unsatisfactory, he suspended the permit for a period of two weeks. This order was affirmed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal on appeal. The appellant sought to challenge the propriety of the order under Art. 226 of the Constitution, but Ganapatia Pillai, J., declined to issue the rule nisi.

(2) In this appeal Mrs. Perween Amiruddin confined her objection to a question of law. Her contention is that as the misconduct of the operator was discovered at Valavanur in the South Arcot District it is only the Regional Transport Authority having jurisdiction over that place, that could suspend the permit and not his counterpart in the North Arcot Dt., albeit it was the latter that issued the primary permit. Reliance is placed for this contention upon S. 63(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, which says that,

'the provisions of this Chapter relating to the grant, revocation and suspension of permits shall apply to the grant revocation and suspension of counter-signatures of permits.'

The arguments of learned counsel for the appellant in effect is that Sec. 63(3) confers a power upon the counter-signing authority to punish an erring operator by cancellation or suspension of the permit and, if that is so, the power to suspend cannot exist in some other authority as well. It is further contended that on a harmonious construction of S. 60 and S. 63(3), the authority who could suspend the permit, will have to be ascertained with reference to the place, at which the offence was committed. If the place where the offence of overloading was found was in the South Arcot Dt. It is contended it will be that authority having jurisdiction over that area which would have the power to suspend the permit. We are unable to agree with the contention. Section 60 provides for the cancellation and suspension of permits. Section 60(1)(a) states,

'The Transport Authority which granted the permit may cancel the permit or may suspend it for such period as it thinks fit (a) on the breach of any condition...............contained in the permit.'

(3) There can be no doubt that overloading of passenger in a stage carriage is a breach of the conditions of the permit. Section 63 relates to the issue of permits over inter-district routes. Sub-section (1) of that section provides that a permit granted by the Regional Transport Authority of one region could be valid for another region, if the Regional Transport Authority of the latter region counter-signs the permit. It follows from the provisions of the section that the original or primary permit is granted under S. 60 and that S. 63(1) only provides for its validation by a counter-signature. Section 63(3) only means that the power of suspension would apply even in regard to breach of a condition with respect to inter district permits, i.e., it confers a power on the authority granting the primary permit to take cognisance of offences in the course of the route, even though such route is outside his jurisdiction and to cancel or suspend the permit, if there is a breach of any condition relating to the same. We are therefore of opinion that the Regional Transport Authority of North Arcot, who issued the original permit, had jurisdiction to impose punishment in respect of the breach of the conditions of the permit, even if any such breach took place in the South Arcot Dt.

(4) Learned counsel next contended that the Regional Transport Authority at North Arcot could impose punishment only within the limits of his district and there being no valid order by the counter-signing authority in regard to the South Arcot district, the bus should be permitted to run in the South Arcot Dt. Section 60 provides for punishment of breach of condition of any permit. It has no regard for the place at which the offence took place. The permit is one and indivisible and, when authority is given to the Regional Transport Authority under S. 60 to cancel or suspend the permit, what is contemplated is a suspension of the whole permit and not suspension in relation to a part of the route.

(5) There are no merits in this appeal, which is dismissed with costs.

(6) Appeal dismissed.


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