K.A. Swami, J.
1. In this Petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the Petitioner has sought for quashing the endorsement dated 2-9-1985 bearing No. RTO. RGN. NR PR. 146/ 85-86 issued by the respondent in so far it imposes a condition that the vehicle bearing Chasis No. ALEM 175174 (the correct No. stated to be ALEH 175142) with Engine No. ALE 437548 (the correct No. stated to be ALEH 37546) shall be used only under an All India Permit and that in case the vehicle proposed to be used under any kind of permit, the Petitioner should comply with Rule 216 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, 1963 (for short, the 'Rules').
2. The Petitioner has applied for approval of the design of the vehicle for body-building on the Chasis bearing No, ALEH 175142 before the respondent under Rule 231 of the Rules. The respondent-registering authority, has issued the impugned Endorsement which reads thus :--
'Sub : Construction of body as 'Tourist- Vehicle' Ashok Leyland Cheetah having Wheel base 210 reg.
The design for body building' on the Chassis bearing No. ALEM 175174 with Engine No. ALE 437548 is approved to the condition that vehicle shall be used only under an All India Permit, and that in case the vehicle proposed to be used under any kind of permit. He should comply with Rule 216 of KMV Rules, 1963.'
3. It is contended on behalf of the Petitioner that there is no bar contained in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') or the Rules for building a tourist omni bus which can be operated under All India Tourist Permit or under special permits issued under Subsections (7) and (6) respectively, of Section 63 of the Act ; that the design submitted by the Petitioner for constructing the body of the public service vehicle is in conformity with the specifications, prescribed in respect of Tourist Vehicles by the Notification bearing No. HD 24 TMR 76, dated 5-11-76 issued by the State Government in exercise of the power conferred by Clause (29A) of Section 2 of the Act ; that the registering authority is not justified in imposing a condition while approving the design ; that such a condition prevents the petitioner from getting the vehicle registered even for the purpose of obtaining special permit under Section 63(6) of the Act ; that there is not much difference between All India Tourist Permit issued under Sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Act and a special permit under Sub-section (6) thereof, except the duration of the permit. It is also further contended that there is no power in the registering authority to impose a condition of the nature in question when the design for body-building is submitted for approval; that the registering authority at the most approve the design or return the design with suggestions for any modification if necessary, but it is not open to it to impose any condition.
4. On the contrary, it is submitted by Sri U. Abdul Khader, Learned High Court Government Pleader, that any public service vehicle to be registered in the State of karnataka as per the provisions of the Act and the Rules, shall comply with Chapter V of' the Act, and the Rules made thereunder ; that the Rules are found in Chapter V of the Rules ; that as the design submitted by the Petitioner for approval is not in conformity with Rule 216 of the Rules, which governs the case, the registering authority is justified in imposing a condition of the nature in question inasmuch as the vehicle of the nature proposed to be constructed by the petitioner can be used only as a tourist vehicle under the All India Tourist Permit issued under Sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Act.
5.1) If only the petitioner wants, to use the vehicle under any permit other than those granted under Sub-sections (6) or (7) of Section 63 of the Act, the submissions made by learned Government Pleader will hold good. The State Government, which has the power to specify the specifications in respect of tourist vehicle is of the opinion that in the case of tourist omni buses included or proposed to be included in a permit granted under Sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Act, the provisions of Rule 216 of the Rules, do not apply. As per Government Letter No. HD 431 TMA 77, dated 29-9-1977 issued from the office of the Commissioner for Home Affairs and the Secretary to Government of Karnataka, Home Department, Bangalore, addressed to the Transport Commissioner, Karnataka State, Bangalore, it is not necessary to exempt such vehicles from the application of Rule 216 of the Rules. 1 am of the view that there is no obstacle in the way of an operator to construct a public service vehicle conforming to the specifications specified in the notification dated 5th November, 1976 bearing No. HD 24 TMR 76 issued by the State Government.
5.2) The matter can also be approached from another point of view. It is open to an operator to maintain a vehicle for the purpose of hiring it to holders of All India Tourist permit issued under Section 63 (7) of the Act, or for the purpose of operating it on obtaining special permits under Sub-section (6) of Section 63 of the Act. If that be so, by applying Rule 216 of the Rules, it is not open to the registering authority to approve the design with the condition that the vehicle should be used as a tourist vehicle covered by the permit issued under Sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Act. A Division Bench of this Court, in (R. Ranganatha Reddy & ors. v. The STA and Ors.), with reference to the permits issued under Sub-section (6) of Section 63 of the Act, has held as follows :
'31. If Sub-section (7) of Section 63 merely read 'Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1) but subject to any rules that may be made under the Act, any State Transport Authority may, for the whole or any part of India in respect of such number of tourist vehicles as the Central Government may, in respect of the State, specify in this behalf' and stopped there, the ratio of the above observations of the Full Bench would have applied with full force to grant of temporary permits for tourist vehicles of All India operation. But the latter part of that subsection reads : 'and the provisions of Sections 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 59, 59A, 60, 61 and 64 shall, as far as may be, apply in relation to such permits. The mention of Section 51 which confers power on the Transport Authority to grant contract carriage permits and Sections 49, 50 and 57 which contain procedural provisions and non-mention of Section 62 in the latter part of that sub-section raise question, whether the legislature intended that the power under Section 62 to grant temporary permits should apply to permits for tourist vehicles granted under Sub-section (7) of Section 63.
32. Sub-section (6) of Section 63 empowers the Transport Authority, inter alia, to issue a special permit to a public service vehicle for carrying passengers for hire or reward under a contract for the use of the vehicle as a whole without stopping to pick up or set down along the line or route passengers not included in the contract. Such special permit will be valid in any other region or State without the counter signature of the Regional Transport Authority of other region or State Transport Authority of the other State, as the case may be. A special permit issued under Sub-section (6) of Section 63 is substantially the same as a temporary permit for a tourist vehicle of All India operation, except that it (the former) is available for one trip only and not for a particular period like 4 months.'
Therefore, it is open to an operator to construct a vehicle in conformity with specifications as specified in the Notification No HD 24 TMR 76 for the purpose of using it as a tourist vehicle under the permits issued under Sub-sections (6) or (7) of Section 63 of the Act, and not under any other kind of permit. In case of any other kind of permit the vehicle has to be constructed in accordance with Rule 216 of the Rules, unless it is exempted from it by the State Government under Rule 218 of the Rules.
6. The contention of the petitioner that as per Clause (b) of Sub-rule(2) of Rule 231 of the Rules, the registering authority could not have imposed a condition of the nature in question cannot at all be accepted. Power to approve the design of the vehicle which is proposed to be built under Rule 231 of the Rules, also includes the power to reject and power to impose such conditions as are necessary and are consistent with the subject, as otherwise the power cannot at all effectively be exercised and it will not serve the intended object of Rule 216 of the Rules. In the instant case, the approval of the design for body building is sought for, for the purpose of using the vehicle as a tourist vehicle. The condition that is imposed by the registering authority while, approving the design is that it should be used only under an All India Tourist Permit and that in case the vehicle proposed to be used under any kind of permit, the petitioner should comply with Rule 216 of the Rules. Such a condition cannot be held to be inconsistent with the nature of the vehicle which the petitioner intends to build. However, the petitioner is justified in contending that the condition of the, nature imposed by the Respondent disables the petitioner for using the vehicle under special permit issued under Sub-section (6) of Section 63 of the Act. No doubt, it is true. The Respondent ought to have made it clear that the design for body building submitted by the petitioner is approved- subject to the condition that the vehicle can be used only under All India Tourist permit issued under Sub-section (7) of Section 63 of the Act ; or special permits issued under Sub-section (6) of Section 63 of the Act ; and in the case of using the vehicle under any other permit, compliance with Rule 216 of the Rules, is necessary.
7. Learned Government Pleader has raised several other contentions which have a bearing on the question of registration of a vehicle. As in this case, we are not concerned with the registration of a vehicle, it is not necessary to deal with the same. Therefore, all other contentions are left open.
8. Accordingly, this Writ Petition is disposed of, in the following terms :
The endorsement dated 2-9-1985 bearing No. RTO.RGN. NR. PR. 146/85-86 issued by the respondent is quashed. The respondent is directed to issue fresh endorsement regarding the approval of the design submitted by the petitioner for body building in the light of the observations made and conclusions reached in this order.