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L.G. Balakrishnan and Brothers (P.) Limited and ors. Vs. the Regional Transport Authority and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1974)2MLJ176
AppellantL.G. Balakrishnan and Brothers (P.) Limited and ors.
RespondentThe Regional Transport Authority and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....ms. no. 2358, home, dated 18th july, 1966, substituting rule 268. rule 268 (a) provides that the local authority shall apply to the regional transport authority for approval of any scheme for construction of a public stand for any class of public service vehicles. it is provided that the application shall be accompanied by a sketch of the proposed site and the blue print of the structures proposed to be erected. after the receipt of the proposal under rule 268 (a), the regional transport authority is empowered to approve the scheme proposed by the local authority in the interest of the public generally or to refuse the scheme. when the regional transport authority approves the scheme, the scheme shall remain in force for a period of three years or for such shorter period as may be.....
Judgment:

P.S. Kailasam, J.

1. These Writs Appeals are filed against the judgment of Ramaprasada Rao, J., in Writ Petitions Nos. 2797, 2798 and 2799 of 1973. These matters relate to the legality of a levy of fees for using the bus stand at Vedasandur, and can be dealt with by a common order.

2. Section 91 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act enables the State Government to make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chapter VI of the Act, and clause (e) of Sub-section (1) of that section empowers the State Government to make rules for the maintenance and management of parking places and stands and the fees, if any, which may be charged for their use. In pursuance of this rule-making power, the State Government framed Rule 268 by G.O. Ms. No. 2358, Home, dated 18th July, 1966, substituting Rule 268. Rule 268 (a) provides that the local authority shall apply to the Regional Transport Authority for approval of any scheme for construction of a public stand for any class of public service vehicles. It is provided that the application shall be accompanied by a sketch of the proposed site and the blue print of the structures proposed to be erected. After the receipt of the proposal under Rule 268 (a), the Regional Transport Authority is empowered to approve the scheme proposed by the local authority in the interest of the public generally or to refuse the scheme. When the Regional Transport Authority approves the scheme, the scheme shall remain in force for a period of three years or for such shorter period as may be specified in the order of the Regional Transport Authority. After the approval of the scheme, the local authority is expected to implement the scheme within the period mentioned in the application. If the scheme is not implemented, the Regional Transport Authority may revoke the order approving the scheme after giving the local authority an opportunity of making its representations, if any, against such revocation. After the implementation of the scheme, the local authority is required to report to the Regional Transport Authority as to when the scheme has been implemented. On receipt of such a report, the Regional Transport Authority may after such enquiry or inspection notify the stand as a public stand for the particular class of public service vehicles for which the scheme was approved. A copy of the notification shall be put on the notice board at the office of the Regional Transport Authority. When a public stand within the limits of a local authority has been notified by the Regional Transport Authority, any public service vehicle of that class for which the stand is intended, shall make use of that stand for purposes of stationing the vehicle for picking up or setting down passengers. When once a stand is notified, a public service vehicle is required to use it on payment of a fee prescribed under the rule.

3. Thus, it will be seen from the rules that the procedure is for the local authority to send the scheme to the Regional Transport Authority for approval and the scheme after approval by the Regional Transport Authority will have to be implemented by the local authority. After implementation, the local authority has to inform the Regional Transport Authority which has got to notify the Stand as a public stand. When once the stand has been notified, then it becomes obligatory on -the part of public service vehicles to use the stand on payment of the fee prescribed.

4. In these cases, it is seen from the records that the Regional Transport Authority has not notified the stand as a public stand and consequently has not put the notification on the notice board as required under the rules. The scheme was sent by the local authority which was approved by the Regional Transport Authority. It is also seen that the local authority implemented the scheme and reported about its implementation. At that stage, what the Regional Transport Authority did was to approve the proposal of the panchayat by its proceedings dated 7th January, 1973. In pursuance of such approval, the second respondent, local authority, notified in the District gazette on 8th February, 1973 requiring all the bus owners to use the bus stand and to pay a fee of fifty paise per bus per day to the bus stand watchman. It may be noted that the proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority, dated 7th January, 1973 stating that the scheme has been approved is not quite correct, for, the stage of approval of the scheme has long been passed and on the report of implementation of the scheme, the Regional Transport Authority will have to proceed with the notification of the stand as a public stand. A copy of the notification under the rule shall be put up on the notice board at the office of the Regional Transport Authority. Even from the supplemental counter-affidavit it is seen that on 7th January, 1973 certain proceedings were taken by the Regional Transport Authority. The proceedings however, do not purport to be one under Rule 268 (d) which requires that after the receipt of the report from the local authority as to when the scheme has been implemented, the Regional Transport Authority may after such enquiry or inspection as it thinks fit, notify the stand as a public stand for the particular class of public service Vehicles for which the scheme was approved. All that the proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority, dated 7th January, 1973 state is that the Regional Transport Authority has approved the scheme of the local authority to have a bus stand. The proceedings stated that the Regional Transport Authority approved the scheme under ' Rule 268-A ' which provision is not applicable. The proceedings of the Regional Transport Authority, dated 7th January, 1973, cannot be construed as one under Rule 268 (d) which requires the Regional Transport Authority to notify the stand and which would authorise the local authority to collect fees from public service vehicles. In the affidavit, the Collector makes it clear that due to a clerical error the notification was not put on the notice-board of the Regional Transport Authority. The notification by the Regional Transport Authority of the stand as a public stand and the putting up of a copy of such a notification on the noticeboard at the office of the Regional Transport Authority are necessary conditions preceding the levy of any fees from public service vehicles. This provision not having been complied with the levy of fees is not legal and the appellants cannot be proceeded with for non-payment of the fees that has been demanded by the local authority. The Regional Transport Authority will be at liberty to notify the stand as a public stand and to affix a copy of such a notification on the notice-board.

5. The Writ Appeals are allowed. It is needless to add that any prosecution on the basis that the petitioners had failed to pay the fee that was imposed in pursuance of the notification, dated 8th January, 1973, by the local authority is unsustainable. There will be no order as to costs in any of these appeals.


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