SHIVPUJAN KUMAR GOPIKISHAN SINGH & ORS. Vs. STATE OF MAHARSHTRA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Shivpujan Kumar Gopikishan Singh And Ors.
State Of Maharshtra
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(1.) By the order dated 3rd February, 2017 passed in the Writ Petition (stamp) No.31669 of 2016, this Court directed that this group of Petitions shall be disposed of finally at the stage of admission. The learned AGP appearing for the State has relied upon the affidavit-in-reply of Purushottam Nikam, Deputy Transport Commissioner (Enf.1) filed in Writ Petition No.12766 of 2016 by stating that it is a common affidavit filed dealing with all the Petitions.
(2.) On 23rd October, 2015 (Home) Transport Department of the State Government addressed a letter to the Commissioner of Transport of the State Government. The said communication records that there are several Contract Carriage Permits under section 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act,1988 (for short "the said Act") issued in respect of auto rikshaws, which have lapsed for various reasons. A direction was issued to the Commissioner of Transport to grant the lapsed Contract Carriage Permits in respect of auto rikshaws by adopting a lottery system. Condition No.3 in the said communication was that an Applicant who applies for Permit should have a knowledge of the local language and should be aware of the topography of the area for which Permit is sought. Accordingly, on 30th December 2015, the Transport Commissioner published a Public Notice inviting online applications for grant of such Permits under Section 74 of the said Act. The conditions of eligibility were incorporated in the said Public Notice. The English translation of the condition No. 7 incorporated in the Public Notice reads thus:
"The Applicant should have knowledge of Marathi language and geographical knowledge of the local area as per Rule 24 of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules,1989"
A communication was issued on 20th February, 2016 by the Transport Commissioner to all the Regional Transport Offices laying down the manner in which knowledge of Marathi language of the candidates should be tested.
(3.) The first issue involved in this group of Petitions is whether the State Government has a statutory power to impose the aforesaid eligibility condition No. 7. The second issue which arises for consideration in Writ Petition No.12766 of 2016 is based on observations made in paragraph 2 of the order dated 17th November, 2016. The order records that number of complaints are very often received from the public regarding behaviour of auto rikshaw drivers. The Division Bench of this Court, therefore, observed that the scope of the said Petition will be expanded and the Court will go into the question of mechanism provided for dealing with the redress of the grievances of the commuters. The Petitioners in the said Petition have not objected to this Court going into the said question. Prayers In Petitions;
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