Decided on February 26,1970

Kannan Motor Transports (P.) Ltd., Now Represented By Kannan Motor Transport Appellant
Prabhu Transports (P.) Ltd. And Ors. Respondents


G.RAMANUJAM, J. - (1.) THESE petitions have been filed under Article 133 (1) of the Constitution of India seeking leave to appeal to Supreme Court against the order in Writ Appeal Nos. 437 to 439 of 1969 on the file of this Court dismissing the appeals in limine.
(2.) THE above appeals were filed against the common judgment of Natesan, J., in W.P. Nos. 1 and 3619 of 1967 and 408 of 1968 which arose out of proceedings for the grant of a stage carriage permit in respect of route Chidambaram to Thirukoilur. There were 42 applications before the Regional Transport Authority, South Arcot for the grant of a stage carriage permit on the said route. The petitioner in W.P. No. 1 of 1967 was the grantee before the Regional Transport Authority. But the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, on appeal, however, set aside the said grant made by the Regional Transport Authority and preferred Kannan Motor Transports, the first respondent in W.P. No. 1 of 1967 for the grant of permit. Writ petition 1 of 1967 has been filed by the grantee from the Regional Transport Authority and the petitioners in the other writ petitions were among the aggrieved and unsuccessful applicants.
(3.) ALL the three writ petitions were heard together by Natesan, J. It was urged before the learned Judge by all the writ petitioners that the grant made to Kannan Motor Transports, the common first respondent in all the writ petitions by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal was vitiated on the ground that the respondent has became a five bus operator by the issue of two recent grants in respect of two routes, one of which having a common sector with the route in question, that in fairness the other applicants who are not found otherwise unsuitable and whose merits are more or less equal with the first respondent should have been considered for the grant of permit and that the grant made to the first respondent who had been a grantee of two permits recently would be against public interest. The learned Judge, after referring to the decision of Veeraswami, J., (as he then was) in writ petition Nos. 852 and 1049 of 1962 which was relied on by the Tribunal for holding that the question of recent grant in a different route altogether will not be relevant for considering the relative merits of the applicants, expressed that the criticism levelled by the writ petitioners against the order of the Tribunal was justified, that there has been in reality no selection at all by the Tribunal considering the claims of applicants together, that a comparative assessment with reference to the relevant and material facts is lacking and that the ratio of the decisions relating to the relevancy of recent grants has not been properly understood by the Tribunal, and directed the Tribunal to consider the claims of the aggrieved writ petitioners and the first respondent afresh. The writ appeals filed against the judgment in the above three writ petitions were dismissed at the admission stage upholding the view taken in the writ petitions. In the order dismissing the writ appeals it was noted that the order directing the Tribunal to consider the relative claims afresh was based on the fact that there had been no proper consideration of the merits of the applicants by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal and that while reconsidering the matter the Tribunal should consider as a relevant circumstance the grant of permits more or less at the same time for different overlapping routes, as between competing operators.;

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