Decided on December 21,1966



Govinda Bhat, J. - (1.)The question referred to the Full Bench is:
"Whether it is competent for the authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 to grant to a private operator, in respect of a route which overlaps any part of a notified route in an approved scheme, a permit (or renewal of a permit), subject to the condition that he should not pick up or set down passengers on the notified route?".
In order to answer the question, it is necessary to refer to the relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, hereinafter called 'the Act'. Chapter IV-A was added by Act 100 of 1956, to the Act making special provisions for grant of monopoly of road transport service to State Transport Undertakings to the partial or complete exclusion of private operators. Section 68C empowers any State Transport Undertaking to frame a scheme of road transport service to be operated by it. The said section reads:
"Where any State Transport Undertaking is of opinion that for the purpose of providing an efficient, adequate, economical and properly co-ordinated road transport service, it is necessary in the public interest that road transport services in general or any particular class of such service in relation to any area or route or portion thereof should be run and operated by the State Transport Undertaking, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of other persons or otherwise, the State Transport Undertaking may prepare a Scheme giving particulars of the nature of the services proposed to be rendered, the area or route proposed to be covered and such other particulars respecting thereto as may be prescribed, and shall cause every such scheme to be published in the Official Gazette and also in such other manner as the State Government may direct."
The State Government may approve or modify the Scheme, after consideration of objections and representations and the Scheme as approved when published in the Official Gazette becomes final (Sec 68D). The approved Scheme may be canceled or modified by the State Transport Undertaking after following the procedure laid down in Section 68C and Section 68D so far as it can be made applicable (Section 68E)
(2.)The approved Scheme has to be given effect to in the manner provided by Section 68F, which reads:
"(1) Where, in pursuance of an approved scheme any State Transport Undertaking applies in the manner specified in Chapter IV for a stage carriage permit or a public carrier's permit or a contract carriage permit in respect of a notified area or notified route, the Regional Transport Authority shall issue such permit to the State Transport Undertaking, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Chapter IV.

(2) For the purpose of giving effect to the approved scheme in respect of a notified area or notified route, the Regional Transport Authority may, by order,-( a) refuse to entertain any application for the renewal of any other permit; (b) cancel any existing permit; (c) modify the terms of any existing permit so as to( i) render the permit ineffective beyond a specified date; (ii) reduce the number of vehicles authorized to be used under the permit; (iii) curtail the area or route covered by the permit in so far as such permit relates to the notified area or notified route.
for the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that no appeal shall lie against any action taken, or order passed, by the Regional Transport Authority under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)" Section 68B provides that the provisions of Chapter IV-A and the Rules and orders made thereunder shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in Chapter IV (for any other law)
(3.)When the State Transport Undertaking makes an application for a permit in the manner specified in Chapter IV, in respect of a notified area or notified route, the Regional Transport Authority has no option but to issue the permit asked for As indicated by the opening words of sub-section (2) of Section 68F, the Regional Transport authority is required to give effect to the approved Scheme; it may refuse to entertain an application for renewal of another permit, and in the case of existing permits, cancel or modify the same, as the provisions of the Scheme may require. Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of sub-section (2) indicate the nature of the action which the Regional Transport Authority may take for giving effect to the approved Scheme. An approved Scheme under Chapter IV-A is law; where any action taken under sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 68F by the Regional Transport Authority flows from the Scheme such action or order made is not of a quasi judicial character, but is ministerial Vide Samarth Transport Co. (P) Ltd. v Regional Transport Authority, Nagpur, AIR1961 SC 93 , [1961 ]1 SCR631 , Abdul Gaffoor v State of Mysore AIR1961 SC 1556 [1962 ]1 SCR 909

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