(1.)IN both these writ petitions,the respective petitioners,who were applicants for grant of a permit over the route in question,namely Cannanore Azhikkal and whose claims have not been recognised by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal,challenge the order of that tribunal granting the permit in favour of the constesting respondent in these proceedings,namely applicant No.12.In these writ petitions,we are concerned only with the competing claims of applicant Nos.2,9,and 12.
(2.)IN respect of the route Cannanore -Azhikkal,which is stated to be of about 8 miles,in response to the notification issued by the Regional Transport Authority,Cannanore,calling for applications for grant of one permit,there were as many as 20 aspirants for this single permit to be given.The Regional Transport Authority set before itself the principle that inasmuch as this is a mofussin route of a very short length,namely 8 miles,a new entrant with all necessary facilities will be able to operate on this route.Therefore the Regional Transport Authority considers the claims of such persons who could be characterised as new entrants according to the test laid down by that authority.Quite naturally,in view of this principle laid down by the Regional Transport Authority,the claims or several other operators,who were also applicants were rejected.Ultimately the Regional Transport Authority treated applicant No.2,who is also a co -operative society,as a new entrant.Having treated applicant No.2 as a new entrant,it will also be seen that the Regional Transport Authority took into account the claim made by that applicant on the basis of the experience gained by it by operating certain services on the basis of grants made in its favour by the Regional Transport authority concerned.Having due regard to the fact that the Regional Transport Authority was of the view that applicant No.2,apart from being a new entrant,has also to its credit certain qualifications,and also having due regard to the fact that it is a co -operative society,which is entitled to preference under the proviso to Section 47(1)of the Motor Vehicles Act,the Regional Transport Authority granted the permit in favour of applicant No.2.
(3.)THERE were quite naturally several appeals taken as against this grant made by the Regional Transport Authority,before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal,among whom were applicants 9 and 12.The Appellate Tribunal was also of the view that in view of the shortness of the route in question,a new entrant can be preferred and given an opportunity to serve the public.On this basis,the Appellate Tribunal again screened several operators,who,according to it,should be considered to be fleet -operators.In particular,notwithstanding the fact that the Appellate Tribunal was of the view that applicant No.9 "who is the petitioner in O.P.1689/63 -can be considered to have superior qualifications,nevertheless,inasmuch as the Tribunal was agreeing with the view of the Regional Transport Authority that the grant of the permit in respect of this route should be given in favour of a new entrant,the claim of applicant No.9 to be given the permit,was rejected.The Appellate Tribunal was also of the view that the treating of applicant,No.2 by the Regional Transport Authority as a new entrant,was erroneous.Because,according to the Appellate Tribunal,there cannot be a new entrant,who can also claim experience in the industry.In fact,the claim to be a new entrant and the claim for experience,according to the Appellate Tribunal,are mutually contradictory and exclusive,and cannot stand side by side.Therefore,the Appellate Tribunal took the view that in this case,inasmuch as the applicant No.2 has been having two services,on the basis of permits granted in its favour,one in respect of the route Cannanore -Panur and the other in respect of the route Cannanore -Chalode,it cannot be considered that applicant No.2 is a new entrant,as that expression is understood in law.Therefore the Appellate Tribunal proceeds to consider the claims only of new entrants in the sense that they are persons who I are aspiring for permit for the first time in the industry itself.On this basis,the Appellate Tribunal considers the claims among others,of applicant No.12;and it is of the view that applicant No.12 has got all the basic qualifications necessary for being entrusted with running a transport service,and therefore the permit for the route in question has to be granted in favour of that applicant.Ultimately,the Appellate Tribunal reversed the grant made in favour of applicant No.2 by the Regional Transport Authority,and granted,in turn,the permit in favour of applicant No.12.It is this grant that has been made in favour of applicant No.12 that is attacked by applicant No.2,by his learned counsel Mr.K.Velayudhan Nair in 0.P.No.1355/63,and by applicant No.9 by his learned counsel Mr.V.R.Krishna Iyer,in O.P.No,1689/63.
From what is stated above,it will be seen that applicant No.2 got,no doubt,the permit in the first instance at the hands of the Regional Transport Authority,and that permit has been cancelled by the Appellate Tribunal;whereas so far as applicant No.9 is concerned,he has not got a permit either at the hands of the Regional Transport Authority or at the hands of the Appellate Tribunal.