Decided on March 29,1968

ABOO HAJI Respondents


- (1.) The petitioner is an applicant for a stage carriage permit on the route Kozhikode Chemancheri. The permit for the route has been granted to the first respondent by the Regional Transport Authority a second time after the case was remanded to the Regional Transport Authority. Before the remand, there has been a long drawn out fight between the writ applicant and the first respondent. In appeal this has been confirmed by the Order Ext. P 1 produced along with this writ application. It is this order that is challenged in this writ petition.
(2.) The point taken is a very short one. It is said that extraneous considerations have weighed with the appellate authority and this extraneous consideration has tilted the balance in favour of the first respondent. The extraneous consideration referred to is the sector qualification said to have been acquired by the first respondent by operating a vehicle on the route pursuant to the grant in this case itself which grant had been set aside later. It is pointed out that the Full Bench decision of this court in Themmalapuram Bus Transport v. The Regional Transport Authority, Palghat and others 1967 KLT 122 has definitely ruled that any experience gained on the basis of a permit the grant of which is the matter in controversy cannot be a criterion for deciding who among the various applicants must be chosen. Reference was also made to a Division Bench ruling in Unniri v. Haji K. Mohammed 1963 KLT 497 and it is urged that whenever extraneous considerations have weighed with a quasi judicial authority, the order is vitiated and must necessarily be set aside.
(3.) It is clear from the. Full Bench decision in Themmalaouram Bus Transport v. The Regional Transport Authority, Palghat and others 1967 KLT 122 that experience gained under a permit pursuant to an application for the permit cannot be a criterion for deciding to whom the permit should be granted. If that factor had been taken into consideration, it will have to be said that the reliance on this factor is wrong. It does not however follow that the order must then be automatically vacated. No doubt in the decision in A. K. Poulose v. Kerala State Transport Appellate Tribunal 1959 KLT 91 Justice M. S. Menon, as he then was, said: "When more than one reason is given for the grant of a permit it is not possible to say which of the reasons given really turned the scale and induced the grant. To uphold the validity of such an order in spite of the invalidity of some of the reasons or ground would be to substitute the objective standards of the Court for the subjective satisfaction of the statutory authority." Justice Raman Nayar on the other hand has taken a different view in the decision in Indian Motor Service v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal 1960 (II) KLR 136. The relevant passage is in these terms: "It might be that amongst the number of reasons given by the S. T. A. T. for coming to this conclusion there are some minor incidental reasons (not involving any question of law) as, for example, the reason that the workshop of the petitioner was not actually on the route in question although within the town which is one of the termini, and that in some respects the order of the R. T. A. was inconsistent with an order passed by it in some other case, which are not altogether sound. But I do not think that that would justify interference by way of certiorari, when the other reasons given by the tribunal are good reasons and are sufficient to sustain its order." The matter has been considered by the Supreme Court in more than one decision and it is therefore unnecessary to refer to any other cases decided by the High Courts. In the decision in State of Orissa and others v. Bdivabhushan Mohapatra 1963 SC 779. Their Lordships observed: "If the order of dismissal was based on the findings on charges 1 (a) and 1 (a) alone the court would have jurisdiction to declare the order of dismissal illegal but when the findings of the Tribunal relating to the two out of five heads of the first charge and the second charge was found not liable to be interfered with by the High Court and those findings established that the respondent was prima facie guilty of grave delinquency, in our view the High Court had no power to direct the Governor of Orissa to reconsider the order of dismissal.";

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