SATYANARAYANA RAO, J. -
(1.) THIS Letters Patent Appeal is against the judgment of our learned brother, Subba Rao J. setting aside the order of the Government and that of the Central Road Traffic Board and allowing Writ Petition No. 282 of 1951 to quash the orders. The only question, that was debated before him and now before us, is whether there was a right of appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board against the order of the Regional Transport Authority dated 31st August 1950 refusing to grant the application of the appellants to extend the route of the bus service from Atmakur to Velgode. The learned Judge held that the appeal was incompetent, that therefore the order of the Central Road Traffic Board extending the permit in favour of the appellants to Velgode was without jurisdiction, and that the order passed by the Government in the exercise of their revisional jurisdiction, confirming the order of the Central Road Traffic Board was also void.
(2.) IN order to appreciate the contention that the appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board is incompetent, it is necessary to state a few relevant facts. The appellants, two in number, were running buses along the route Kurnpol -Atmakur from the year 1944 under permits granted by the Regional Transport Authority in that year. In 1949, it was decided by the Regional Transport Authority to extend the route to Velgode, i.e. a place beyond Atmakur. Applications for that route were filed by the first respondent and also by the appellants. On 16 -6 -1950 the Regional Transport Authority called for objections to grant the permits for the extended route to the applicants. By an order of 28th June 1950 the Regional Transport Authority granted a permit to the first respondent to run his buses up to Velgode.
The application by the appellants, however, was not disposed of till 31st August 1950, when the Regional Transport Authority made an order rejecting their application. The order of 28th June 1950 granting a permit to the first respondent was not carried on appeal by the appellants. The order made on their application was the subject -matter of an appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board, and notwithstanding the objection of the first respondent that the appeal was incompetent, the Central Road Traffic Board, overruling the objection, set aside the order of the Regional Transport Authority and granted permits in favour of the appellants also, extending their service to Velgode. The first respondent carried the matter unsuccessfully in revision to the Government, and thereafter he filed a writ petition, which was disposed by Subba Rao J. As stated above. he allowed the application, and held that the appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board by the appellants against the order of the Regional Transport Authority dated 31st August 1950 was incompetent.
In this appeal by the appellants their Learned Counsel, Mr. Bhashyam, adopted a line of argument which was not the one adopted by him before Subba Rao J. It is unnecessary therefore to deal in detail with the reasoning of the learned Judge by which he arrived at the conclusion, that the appeal to the Central Road Traffic Board was incompetent. It will be sufficient if we deal in this appeal with arguments as presented before us by Mr. Bhashyam, the Learned Counsel for the appellants. He attempted to maintain his position that the appeal was competent by relying upon Clause (a) and (b) of Section 64. He further relied on Rule 208 of the Rules framed by the Government under the Motor Vehicles Act by virtue of the power conferred upon the Provincial Government by Section 68 of the Act. His contention based on the said rule was that the applications made by the appellants should be treated as applications for the grant of a permit as laid down by that Rule, and, if so treated, the refusal to grant the extension should be deemed to be a refusal to grant a permit, which order would be appealable under Section 64 (a) of the Act. It is therefore necessary to deal with these contentions in the order in which they were stated above.
(3.) LEARNED Counsel of the appellants relied upon the second part of Clauses (a) and (b) of Section 64. It is as well that the two clauses (a) and
(b) are quoted here:
(a) 'Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the Provincial or a Regional Transport Authority to grant a permit or by any condition attached to a permit granted to him, or
(b) aggrieved by the revocation or suspension of the permit or by any variation of the conditions thereof may within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, appeal to the prescribed authority, who shall give such person and the original authority an opportunity of being beard'
Rule 147 lays down that:
'An appeal under Section 64 of the Act against an order of the Road Traffic Board or against an order of the Secretary of the Board, shall lie to the Central Board within thirty days of the date of despatch of the order appealed against.'
Rule 148 deals with appeals to the Government against an original order of the Central Board or against an order of the Secretary of that Board, with which we are not concerned, it was contended that the refusal to grant the application of the appellants amounted in substance to a refusal to alter the original condition of the permit restricting the route from Kurnool to Atmakur and declining to extend in to Velgode. The appellants therefore, it is claimed, arc aggrieved by the condition attached to the permit that the route should be restricted to Kurnool -Atmakur, which was the effect of the decision of the Regional Transport Authority. If the order is so construed, it is urged that under the second part of Section 64(a) the appellants can be treated as persons aggrieved by the condition attached to the permit granted to them, and that the order will therefore be appealable.
This argument, in our opinion, proceeds on an erroneous view of clause in question. The clause, in our opinion, applies only to eases where by reason of the existence of a condition attached to a permit the grantee of the permit was aggrived by that condition at the time of the grant of the permit. If he was so aggrieved, it was open to him to have the condition removed or modified by an appeal under Clause (a) of Section 64. It is not claimed on behalf of the appellants that the condition that the route should be restricted to Kurnool and Atmakur was, at the time it was imposed, prejudicial to them, and that they were aggrieved by it.
Under Section 48A of the Act it is open to the Regional Transport Authority when granting a permit to attach a condition that the stage carriages shall be used only on specified routes or in a specified area. In 1944 when the original permit was granted to the appellants the only route that was declared was the route between Kurnool and Atmakur, and they were perfectly satisfied at the time of the grant of the permit with the condition or restriction that they should be confined to the route between Kurnool and Atmakur, and they were not in any manner aggrieved by such condition. It is, however, now curiously claimed that by subsequent events, the proposed extension of the route to Velgode and the restriction or the condition in the original permit act adversely to their interests, and that therefore they are aggrieved by the condition now.
It is net, in our opinion, the intention of the Legislature when it enacted Clause (a) to give a right of appeal in such circumstances. The right of appeal is to be exercised within the period of thirty days from the date of the order granting the permit, under Rule 147, and the grievance, if any, regarding the condition that exists in the permit must be one that existed by the date of the grant of the permit. It is not a grievance which accrued or which aroso subsequent to the grant of the permit, ihat can be agitated in an appeal. According to the learned Advocate if the grievances (sic) by reason of subsequent events long after the grant of the permit it does not matter. To read the clause in the manner suggested by the learned Advocate for the appellants would be to put upon it an unnatural construction not intended by the Legislature when that clause Iwas enacted. The contention therefore that the right of appeal could be justified under Clause (a) of a. 64 cannot be upheld. ;