B.N. Banerjee, J.
1. The petitioners are nine in number. The say that they have been running contract carriages on Bagnan-Shyampur route. On August 23, 1961, the Regional Transport Authority, Howrah, published an advertisement inviting applications for permits for light buses to ply on Bagnan-Shyampur route. According to the advertisement seven such permits were to be granted. The petitioners applied for such permits so also did others. At a meeting held on October 31, 1961, the Regional Transport Authority considered a report of an alleged screening Committee and in accordance with the said report granted one permit each to respondents Nos. 3 to 10 and refused permits to the petitioners. The petitioners challenged the legality of the selection In Civil Rule No. 1181 (W) of 1961, which Rule was disposed of by this Court, on February 9, 1962, with the 'following observations;
'This Rule is disposed of on a short ground because of an important concession which Mr. Nirmal Chandra Chakraborty learned Government Pleader, in his fairness made. He conceded that after the invitation of the application for Stage Carnage permits, the provision of Section 57 (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act was not compiled with. That makes the impugned order an illegal order. I therefore, quash the impugned order and send back this matter to the Regional Transport Authority with direc-tions to him to proceed according to law from the stage prescribed under Section 57 (3) of the Motor Vehicles Act.'
2. After the matter went back to the Regional Transport Authority, the permits for the buses were again granted to respondents Nos. 3 to 10 to the exclusion of the petitioners.
3. Aggrieved by the order of refusal of the permits to them, the petitioners moved this Court, under Article 226 of the Constitution, praying for a writ of certiorari for the quashing of the order of the Regional Transport Authority granting permits to respondents Nos. 3 to 10 and also for a writ of mandamus directing the respondents not to give effect to the said resolution and obtained this Rule.
4. Two points were urged in support of this Rule, by Mr. S. Roy, learned Advocate for the petitioners. He contended, in the first place, that the Regional Transport Authority considered certain representations against the petitioners, although copies of such representations had naver been served upon the petitioners, which the Regional Transport Authority could not do under the provisions of Section 57 (4) of ther Motor Vehicles Act He contended, in the next place, that the Regional Transport Authority gave no reason why the applications for permits by the petitioners were refused and this was in contravention of the mandatory provisions of Section 57 (7) of the Motor Vehicles Act. It is necessary for me at this stage to set out the relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, on which Mr. Roy relied.
'57. (1) An application for a contract carriage permit or a private carrier's permit may be made at any time
(2) An application for a stags carriage permit or a public carrier's permit shall be made not less than six weeks before' the date or which it is desired that tha permit shall take effect, or, if the Regional Transport Authority appoints dates for the receipt of such applications, on such dates.
(3) On receipt of an application for a stage carriage . permit or a public carrier's permit, the Regional Transport Authority shall make the application available for inspection at the office of the Authority and shall publish the application or the substance thereof in the prescribed manner together with a notice of the date before which representations in connection therewith may be submitted and the date, not being less than thirty days from such publication, on which, and the time and place at which, the application and any representations, received will be considered.
Provided that, if the grant of any permit fn accordance with the application or with modifications woirkt have the effect of increasing the number of vehicles operating in the region, or in any area or on any route within the region, under the class of permits to which the application relates, beyond the limit fixed in that behalf under Sub-section (3) of Section 47 or Sub-section (2) of Section 55, as the case may be, the Regional Transport Authority may summarily refuse the application without following the procedure laid down in this Sub-section.
(4) Mo representation in connection with an application referred to in Sub-section (3) shall be considered by the Regional Transport Authority unless it is made in writing before the appointed date and unless a copy thereof is furnished simultaneously to the applicant by the person making such representation.
(5) When any representation such as is referred to in Sub-section (3) is made, the Regional Transport Authority shall dispose of the application at a public hearing at which the applicant and the person making the representation shall have an opportunity of being heard either in person or by a duly authorised representative.
(6) When any representation has been mads by the persons or authorities referred to in Section 50 to the effect that the number of contract carriage for which permits hays already been granted in any region or any area within a region is sufficient for or in excess of the needs of the region or of such area, whether such representation is made in connection with a particular application for the grant of a contract carriage permit or otherwise, the Regional Transport Authority may take any such steps as it considers appropriate for the hearing of the representation in the presence of any persons likely to be affected thereby.
(7) When a Regional Transport Authority refuses an application for a permit of any kind. It shall give to the applicant in writing its reasons for the refusal,'
5. It is not disputed that the petitioners were not supplied with copies of representations, if any, made against them. From the affidevits before me, however, I am not satisfied that any representations against the applications by the petitioners had been made by anybody and, therefore, the petitioners were not In any way prejudiced on account of non-supply of such copies to them. I hava examined the records produced during the course of hearing by Mr. S. C. Basak, learned Advocate for the Regional Transport Authority, and I find therefrom that what the Segional Transport Authority considered to be representations were either grievances made by somebody to the effect that they were not being supplied with copies of the applications of the competing applicants and were, therefore, unable to make any representations or petitions praying for an early disposal of their own applications for permits. These petitions or applications cannot be treated as representations within, the meaning of Sec, 57 (4) of the Motor Vehicles Act. Therefore, I do not made much of the first branch of the argument made by Mr. Roy.
6. The second branch of the argument advanced by Mr. Roy must succeed. The Regional Transport Authority disposed of the applications by the petitioners and by several others, who were not granted the permits, with the following observations:
'Resolved that barring the above either persons, the remaining applicants have not been found fit and suitable for selection on proper scrutiny. Their applications be rejected and they be informed accordingly.'
7. This form of order is not in proper compliance with the provisions of Section 57(7) of the Motor Vehicles Act and in this view I am supported by two judgments of this Court, namely, Onkarmal Mistri v. Regional Transport Authority, Darjeerling, : AIR1956Cal490 per Sinha J. and Satya Narayan Transport Co. Ltd. v. Secretary State Transport Authority, (S) : AIR1957Cal638 per Bose, J., (as the Chief Justice then was) and also by a decision cf the Madras High Court in Mannerghat Union Motor Services v. Regional Transport Authority, : AIR1953Mad59 per Subba Rao, J.).
8. Since the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority was not in accordance with law I have to quash that resolution and command the respondent RegionalTransport Authority to proceed in accordance with law. The Regional Transport Authority shall now fix a date on notice to all the applicants and give them a hearing and grant the permits to the most suitable persons amongst them and give reasons for refusal of permits to the other applicants. Until such time that he arrives at his decision, respondents Nos. 3 to 10 may be allowed to ply their buses but subject to the final decision to be taken by the Regional Transport Authority.
9. This Rule succeeds to the extent indicated above.
10. Let the writ of certiorari and a consequential writ of mandamus accordingly issue.
11. There will be no order as to costs.