1. Because a common point is involved, these appeals have been heard together.
2. In W.A. No. 228 of 1970, the appellant was found guilty of overloading and the permit for his vehicle was suspended for a week. The overloading was discovered on 11th January, 1967, and the period of the permit expired on 30th April, 1967. On 1st May, 1967, the permit was renewed for five years. The suspension order was made on 27th December, 1967. The argument for the appellant, which did not succeed before the learned Judge and which is reiterated before us, is that the permit having expired on 30th April, 1967, suspension of the permit on the basis of the renewal was illegal. The appellant maintains that the renewed permit is a new one and, therefore, the penalty of suspension could not operate on it.
3. V.C.K. Bus Service v. Regional Transport Authority, Coimbatore : 1SCR663 , held that when a permit has been renewed, it is not a new permit but is the old one, the period of its currency being extended by renewal. But, this case is sought to be distinguished for the appellant with reference to N. S. Seihna and Ors. v. Visubhai Harilal Panchal : 1SCR174 , and the substitution of Rule 185 of the Motor Vehicles Rules by a new one, and also the Amending Act 100 of 1956 and 56 of 1969.
4. W. A. Nos: 261 and 297 of 1970 raise a similar point under the Motor Vehicles Act.
5. A similar argument has been addressed in W.A. No. 435 of 1970, which relates to a cinematograph licence. The conditions of the licence were violated on 26th October, 1968, and the order of suspension of the licence between 10th January, 1969 and 19th January, 1969, was made on 13th December, 1968. But the period of the licence had expired on 31st December, 1968. Though the licence was renewed with effect from 1st March, 1969, the appellant urges that by the time of the penalty of suspension could be given effect to, the old licence had expired, and therefore, it could not act on the new licence, the view urged being that in spite of renewal, what is renewed amounts to a new licence.
6. We are of opinion that the contention cannot prevail, V.C.K. Bus Service v. Regional Transport Authority, Coimbatore : 1SCR663 was mainly rested on the phraseology of the provisions relating to renewal of stage or contract carriage permits in the M.V. Act as it stood prior to Act 100 of 1956. Section 53 (1) (a) relating to duration and renewal of permits provided that a stage carriage permit or a contract carriage permit, other than a temporary permit, issued under Section 62 shall be effective without renewal for such period, not less than three years and not more than five years, as the R. T. A. may specify in the permit. The Supreme Court referring to this provision in V.C.K. Bus Service v. Regional Transport Authority, Coimbatore : 1SCR663 , observed that this indicated that the life of a renewed permit was one and continuous. This provision has not been altered by Act 100 of 1956 or Act 56 of 1969. V.C.K. Bus Service v. Regional Transport Authority, Coimbalore : 1SCR663 , derived additional support for its view from Rule 185 as it stood then. The relevant portion of that rule said that when an application for renewal was made,, the permit already granted shall be in force until an order was passed thereon, and what was more, if no order was passed within three months, the permit becomes automatically renewed for the period mentioned in the Rule. This, according to the Supreme Court, went a long way to support the contention that, on the scheme of the Act, renewal was a continuation of the original permit.
7. For the appellant, reliance is placed now on the second proviso to Section 62 and on substitution of Rule 185 by a new one. Section 62 deals with grant of temporary permits, and such a permit is contemplated pending decision on an application for a renewal of the permit. The second proviso is, in such a case, the temporary permit should not be granted more than once in respect of any route or area specified in an application for renewal of a permit during the pendency of such an application for renewal. We fail to see how this makes any difference to the continuance of the old permit when renewal is granted. The duration of the permit is indicated by Section 58 (1) (a) ; that is to say, it shall be effective for such period, not less than three years and not more than five years as the Regional Transport Authority might specify in the permit. This clearly implies that when renewal is granted, the duration of the permit is enlarged as directed and the permit is extended for that period. The permit continues to be the same and no new permit comes into being. It is true that an application for renewal should be dealt with as if it were an application for a permit and it should also be given preference over applications for grant of permits. But this again, in our view, does not bear on the continuity of the permit upon renewal. The amendments made by Acts 100 of 1956 and 56 of 1969 also do not alter the position. Rule 185 as it stands today is consistent with the permit on renewal being a continued one The very fact that the Act contemplates! renewal of permit indubitably points to the permit being the same and that it continues to have force when its duration has been duly enlarged.
8. In the Madras Cinemas Regulation Act, 1955, as we observed above, no independent provision has been made enabling renewal or prescribing the procedure therefor. But Part VI of the Madras Cinemas Regulation Rules, 1957. provides an elaborate procedure for renewals. Just as in the case of the Motor Vehicles Act, so too under the rules therein, the application should be made for renewal before the period of the licence has expired, and during the pendency of the application, a temporary licence is contemplated. May be that the renewal as well as the temporary licence should synchronise with the period of the currency of the certificate from the Chief Electrical Inspector. But the] point to bear in mind is that renewal of the licence is provided, for, and renewal can only mean that the duration! of the licence already granted is extended and the licence is continued on renewal. The prescribed Form C for licence and Form E for temporary licence support this view in any case, they do not detract from the concept of a renewal being of an existing permit, which on renewal continues to have force.
9. N.S. Sethna and Ors. v. Vilubhai Harilal Panchal : 1SCR174 , related to licence for sale of cinema tickets. The Bombay Cinema Rules in addition to an exhibition licence, require a licence to be taken for sale of cinema tickets. Shelat, J., speaking for the Court, pointed out that neither the Act nor, the rules provided for renewal of a licence for sale of tickets. No doubt, there was renewal provided in Clause (4) of Form F. But, that was only, as pointed out by the Supreme Court, in an off-hand manner. This fact was relied on by the Supreme Court to hold that when a licence was granted or renewed, subject to the provisions of the Bombay Cinema Rules, 1954, the so-called renewed licence was a new one and not a continuity of the old one. The decision went upon the particular rules, and that is why the Court distinguished V.C.K. Bus Service v. Regional Transport Authority, Coimbatore : 1SCR663 .
10. The appeals fail and are dismissed with costs in each of them. Counsel's fee Rs. 100 in each.