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Pandiyan Roadways Corporation Ltd. and V.M. Jayaraman Vs. R.S.R. Transports (P) Ltd. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1980)2MLJ314
AppellantPandiyan Roadways Corporation Ltd. and V.M. Jayaraman
RespondentR.S.R. Transports (P) Ltd. and ors.
Cases ReferredKabilan Transports (P.) Ltd. v. Aswini Transports
Excerpt:
.....tribunal in this case failed to exercise its jurisdiction ? point no. (iv) absence of workshop facilities, or arrangements on the route or within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route to attend to repairs efficiently in a workshop as detailed in the explanation to this sub-rule. 2286 of 1978, namely, the pandiyan roadways corporation has no workshop at melur, nor has it any workshop facilities or arrangement on the route or within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route to attend to repairs efficiently. in such a case, certainly it cannot be said that there was a failure on the part of the tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction. therefore, there is no failure to exercise the jurisdiction......roadways corporation limited is liable to be screened. the workshop that is contemplated under the rule is the workshop at the headquarters. no doubt, the revision petitioner does not have workshop or workshop facilities at melur in the instant case but that is not the requirement under the rules, since all that the rule requires is workshop at the headquarters which undoubtedly the corporation has. on merits it is submitted that in ground no. 10 of the civil revision petition it is specifically urged that the attention of the tribunal was drawn to an earlier judgment wherein the respondent (r.s.r. transports (p.) ltd.) was severely condemned, but that no reference whatever has been made and therefore there is failure to exercise the jurisdiction on the part of the tribunal.4. mr. v......
Judgment:

S. Mohan, J.

1. These two revisions arise out of the same proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority and the State Transport Appellate Tribunal. The short facts are as under:

2. By the proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority, Madurai, dated 22nd September, 1978 the question relating to the grant of pucca stage carriage permit in respect of route No. l, Melur Town Service, namely Melur Bus stand to Kottampatti via Melur Arts College, Kottamedu, Salakkipatti, Thumbeipatti, Menapatti, Kachirayanpatti etc., was taken up for consideration. Pandiyan Roadways Corporation, the revision petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2286 of 1979 obtained nine marks, while V.M. Jayaraman, the revision petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2686 of 1979 obtained six marks. As against this, the respondent R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd., obtained eight marks. Notwithstanding the fact that the respondent R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd., obtained more marks than either of the revision petitioners, it was not preferred by the Regional Transport Authority : and the permit came to be granted in favour of Pandiyan Roadways Corporation. Aggrieved by the order, A.S. No. 795 of 1978 was preferred by R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd., to the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, while A.S. No. 874 of 1978 was preferred by the revision petitioner, V.M. Jayaraman. Both these appeals came to be dealt with by a common order dated 11th July, 1979, in and by which the Tribunal held that Pandiyan Roadways Corporation was liable to be screened because it did not have workshop facilities or arrangement on the route on the date of the hearing as conceded by its counsel. However, it, for the sake of completion, considered the merits also on the assumption that -the Corporation was not liable to be serened. For the various reasons stated in the order it set aside the grant in. favour of Pandiyan Roadways Corporation (P.) Ltd., and ultimately allowed Appeal No. 795 of 1978 as a result of which R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd., obtained the permit. It is to revise this order of the Tribunal, these two revisions have been preferred. C.R.P. No. 2286 of 1979 is directed against A.S. No. 795 of 1978 and has been preferred by the Pandiyan Roadways Corporation Limited in so far as the grant in its favour was set aside, while C.R.P. No. 2686 of 1979 is preferred against Appeal No. 874 of 1978 wherein the revision petitioner contends that both Pandiyan Roadways Corporation, the revision petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2286 of 1979 as well as the respondent R.S.R. Transports (P.) Limited, are liable to be screened and the petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2686 of 1979 has to be preferred.

3. Mr. N.G. Krishna Iyengar, the learned Counsel for the petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2286 of 1979 urges that the Tribunal erred in holding that the petitioner Pandiyan Roadways Corporation Limited is liable to be screened. The workshop that is contemplated under the rule is the workshop at the headquarters. No doubt, the revision petitioner does not have workshop or workshop facilities at Melur in the instant case but that is not the requirement under the rules, since all that the rule requires is workshop at the headquarters which undoubtedly the Corporation has. On merits it is submitted that in ground No. 10 of the Civil Revision Petition it is specifically urged that the attention of the Tribunal was drawn to an earlier judgment wherein the respondent (R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd.) was severely condemned, but that no reference whatever has been made and therefore there is failure to exercise the jurisdiction on the part of the Tribunal.

4. Mr. V. Manivannan, the learned Counsel for the petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2686 of 1979 Submits that the attention of the Tribunal was specifically drawn to its earlier order in Appeal No. 451 of 1978 and Appeal No. 633 of 1978 wherein the Appellate Tribunal had disqualified the first respondent (R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd,) on various grounds such as surrender of permits, failure to apply for renewal, non-introduction of vehicles in respect of the grant made in his favour etc. This has been specifically urged in ground No. 1 in the revision. However, it is stated that there is a mistake in that it must be Appeal No. 451 of 1977. Therefore there is a failure on the part of the Tribunal to exercise the jurisdiction and on that score the order sought to be revised must be set aside and the matter be remitted to the Tribunal. This is a vital consideration since if this was borne in mind, in all probability the respondent (R.S.R. Transports (P.)Ltd.) would have been screened in. which case the only remaining applicant would be the revision petitioner V.M. Jayaraman, since Pandiyan Roadways was liable to be screneed for want of workshop and the. first respondent for all these disqualifications.

5. Mr. G. Ramaswami, the learned Counsel for the contesting respondent in these cases, namely R.S.R. Transports (P.) Ltd., states that it is not correct to contend that the workshop that is spoken to under Rule 155-A (2) (iv) of the Motor Vehicles Rules refers only to the headquarters. If it is so interpreted the rule itself will be rendered nugatory because it speaks of not only workshop facilities, but also arrangements on the route or within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route to attend to repairs efficiently in a workshop as detailed in the explanation. When the rule says 'in a workshop as detailed in the explanation' the details are referable only to the equipment and nothing else.

6. As regards the other ground, his specific instructions are that the judgment against his client rendered in Appeal No. 451 of 1977 was never produced; nor the attention of the Tribunal specifically drawn by producing the judgment. In the course of the argument, a reference was made. But that does not mean that even without the production of the same or the attention of the Tribunal being specifically drawn to it, it could be stated that there was failure on the part of the Tribunal to refer to it and thereby it has failed to exercise its jurisdiction. If the revision petitioners were serious, they ought to have produced a certified copy of the order in the appeal sought to be relied on and addressed arguments, instead a casual reference in the course of argument to the judgment in the appeal would not mean that the Tribunal must take the trouble of finding out the judgment and consider its applicability. Under similar circumstances, this Court in Kabilan Transport (P.) Ltd. v Aswini Transports (P.) Ltd (1976) 1 M.L.J. 439 at 444. took the view that where a document is called for; but that document did not come to the Tribunal, the failure to consider the document would not vitiate the order, because such a document was not before the Tribunal. The instant case stands on a better footing. From this point of view it should be held that the order of the Tribunal cannot be characterised as illegal for failure to exercise jurisdiction. If that be so, there should be no difficulty in upholding the order sought to be revised.

7. Having regard to the above, two points arise for my determination, (i) What is the scope of Rule 155-A (2) (iv) of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules, (ii) Has the Tribunal in this case failed to exercise its jurisdiction ?

Point No. (i).--Rule 155-A (2) (iv) states that the Transport Authority shall in deciding whether to grant or refuse to grant a stage carriage permit have regard to the following principles in addition to those specified in Sub-section (1) of Section 47. It further goes on to say that the applicant shall first be-screened and those who are found unsuitable : on one or more of the following grounds shall be disqualified and the transport authority shall give reasons for such disqualification. It is Sub-clause (iv) that is important for our purpose. That sub-clause reads:

(iv) Absence of workshop facilities, or arrangements on the route or within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route to attend to repairs efficiently in a workshop as detailed in the explanation to this sub-rule.

Explanation.--The following minimum personnel and equipment for a workshop for a unit of five stage carriage excluding spare, buses shall be insisted upon:

Personnel at the Headquarters of the operator:

Mechanic ... 1Fitter ... 1Cleaners ... 2At places where stage carriages halt for. the night outside the Headquarters of the operator:

Cleaners ... 1Equipment : Serial number and Equipment. Quantity.1. Tool kit 12. Iron horses-front axle 23. Iron horses - rear axle 24. Iron horses - Chassis 25. Roll a car jack 16. Ordinary grease gun 17. Electric Grinder with wheel 18. Wall Plugs light 19. Electrical tool kit 1The rest of the sub-rule is omitted as it is relevant.

8. Now what is the meaning to be given to the words 'in a workshop as detailed in the explanation to the sub-rule' If the workshop were to be at the headquarters of an operator, the personnel, namely mechanic, fitter and cleaners 1, 1 and 2 respectively should be there. Supposing an operator is prudent enough to have not only the work-shop at his headquarters, but also at a point on the route or at some other place as a subsidiary workshop, the personnel at the headquarters stated above cannot be insisted upon. That is the reason why it says 'at places where stage carriages halt for the night outside the Headquarters of the operator', it is enough if there be one cleaner. Therefore, it will follow that the workshop as detailed in the explanation would mean the 9 equipments which are referred to in the rule. Not only that. It also require to be housed in a pucca building sufficiently spacious and with roofing of corrugated zinc sheets, asbestos etc. To say that workshop as detailed in the explanation must mean only a workshop at the headquarters will be a misreading of the rules which completely ignores the earlier part of the rule which speaks of 'within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route ....' In this case, undoubtedly the revision petitioner in C.R.P. No. 2286 of 1978, namely, the Pandiyan Roadways Corporation has no workshop at Melur, nor has it any workshop facilities or arrangement on the route or within a radius of eight kilometres from any point in the route to attend to repairs efficiently. Therefore it has to be screened.

Point No. (ii) : Both the learned Counsel for the respective revision petitioners do not say that the copy of the judgment of the Tribunal in Appeal No. 451 of 1977 was ever produced and the attention of the Tribunal was specifically drawn. It is common ground that this was a point made during the course of the arguments, without specifically citing the order. In such a case, certainly it cannot be said that there was a failure on the part of the Tribunal to exercise its jurisdiction. Under more or less similar circumstances, I took the view in Kabilan Transports (P.) Ltd. v. Aswini Transports (P.) Ltd. (1976) 1 M.L.J. 439 at 444 : : (1976)1MLJ439 .

In the, instant case, I see no justification for the attack made by Mr. Venugopal that the records which were directed to be sent for I.A. No. 1205 of 1971, under order, dated 13th October, 1971 were not adverted to by the Tribunal. Notwithstanding the order, these records were not before the Tribunal at the time of hearing. Therefore, there is no failure to exercise the jurisdiction.

The ratio of that judgment squarely applies to this case and Mr. G. Ramaswami is fully justified in relying upon this decision. For all these reasons, I hold that there are no merits in either of these revisions. They will stand dismissed without costs.


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