Chaturvedi, J. -
(1.) THE Petitioner Akhtari Begum has filed a petition under Article 226 as well as Article 227 of the Constitution of India for issuing a writ in the nature of certiorari, mandamus or prohibition for quashing the order dated 30 -3 -1955 passed by Respondent 1 the Appellate Authority for Madhya Bharat constituted under Section 44, Motor Vehicles Act. The application arises under the following circumstances.
(2.) THE Petitioner Akhtari Begum and Respondent 3 Shailkh Ahmed reside at Mehidpur and ply motor buses on hire. The Petitioner held a permit granted to her by the Regional Transport Authority, Southem Region, for plying her motor buses on the route Mehidpur town to Mehidpur Railway Station for the period 1 -1 -1951 to 31 -2 -1954. Shaikh Ahmed also held similar permits for plying his motor buses on the same route.
After some time it was resolved to extend the route for bus transport between Mehidpur town and Mehidpur Railway Station to Nagda Railway Station by extending the permit of one of the permit -holders for the existing route to Nagda Railway Station. Respondent 2, therefore, invited applications. The Petitioner as well as Respondent 3 submitted their applications which were published in tile Madhya Bharat Government Gasette dated 17 -4 -1952.
On 29 -5 -1952, these applications were considered at the meeting of the Regional Transport Authority (Respondent 2), which passed an order in favour of the Petitioner extending her permit to the new route i.e. between Mehidur Railway Station and Nagda. In other words, the permit held by the Petitioner for plying her bus between Mehidpur town and Mehidpur Railway Station for the period ending 31 -3 -1954 was amended and extened to Nagda.
The application filed by Respondent 3 Shaikh Ahmed was rejected. Aggrieved by this order, Shaikh Ahmed preferred Appeal No. 26 of 1952 to the Authority (Respondent 1) under Section 44, Motor Vehicles Act. This appeal did not come up for, hearing before Respondent 1 (the Appellate Authority) before 16 -4 -1954. The permit granted to Petitioner was due to expire on 31 -3 -1954. She therefore, made an application under Section 58, Motor Vehicles Act to the Regional Transport Authority, Southern Region, for renewal of renewal of har permit for the route Mehidpur town to Nagda via Mehidpur Railway Station. This application was duly published by Respondent 2 in the Madhya Bharat Government Gazette dated 25 -2 -1954 as required by Section 57 read with Section 58(2) Motor Vehic1es Act and representations against the applications were invited.
No representation having been filed, not even by Ahmed (Respondent 3), the Petitioner's application for renewal was granted on 29 -3 -1954 her permit was renewed upto 30 -3 -1957.
Meanwhile on 16 -4 -1954, Respondent 3 Shaikh Ahmed's Appeal No. 26 of 1952 came up for hearing before Respondent 1 and was disposed of by judgment dated 26 -4 -1954. From the judgment itself it appears that Mr. Chitale, on behalf of the Petitioner, had raised a preliminary objection the appeal had become infructuous. But this simple proposition of law could not be acted upon by Respondent 1 the Appellate Authority for Madhya Bharat constituted under Section 64, Motor Vehicles Act and the appeal was heard and decided on 26 -4 -1954 against the Petitioner.
A review application was also rejected by Respondent 1 stating that no provision for review is made in Motor Vehicles Act. On 12 -5 -1954, the Regional Transport Officer, Indore, asked the Petitioner to stop plying her vehicle between Mehidpur Railway Station and Nagda.
The Petitioner, then lodged a protest by telegram and urged that the appellate judgment dated 26 -4 -1954 could only affect the previous permit which had already expired on 31 -3 -1054; that the existing permit which was for the period 1 -4 -1954 to 31 -3 -1957 could not be affected and that Respondent 2 had filed no objection against the grant of renewal to the Petitioner.
The Regional Transport Authority on 31 -5 -1954 made an order holding that it was prior permit which entitled the Petitioner to a preference for renewal and since Respondent 1 had in Appeal. No. 26 of 1952 held that the prior permit had been improperly granted to the Petitioner, the order renewal also fell to the ground.
The Petitioner, therefore, again preferred the appeal against this order to Respondent 1. This appeal i.e. No. 64 of 1954 was heard on 22 -1 -1955 and decided on 30 -3 -1955. Respondent 1 dismissed the Petitioner's appeal and upheld the judgment of Respondent No. 2. Being aggrieved by the order dated 31 -5 -1954 passed by Respondent 2 and the order dated 30 -3 -1955 passed by Respondent 1 the Petitioner has come to this Court for the issue of a writ for quashing the order under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.
(3.) THE dispute related to the permit granted in favour of the Petitioner upto 31 -3 -1954 between Mehidpur town and Nagda Railway Station. The date, in our opinion, was matorial, for after 31 -3 -1954 applications for fresh permit would have been invited or the existing permit would have been renewed. Section 58(2), Motor Vehicles Act says:
A permit may be renewed on an application made and disposed of as if it were an application for a permit:
Provided that, other conditions being equal, an application for renewal shall be given preference over new applications for permits.
The words "as if it were an application for a permit" mean and imply that an application for the renewal of a permit will be treated on the same basis as an original application for a permit. The provisions of Section 47(1) govern such application, and, therefore,in deciding the question whether to grant or refuse a permit, the Regional Transport Authority can take into account any representations made by any person, body or association interested in road transport facilities.
This is also the view taken in para 7 of (S), AIR 1955 Sau 57, Jamnagar Motor Transport Union Ltd. v. State of Saurashtra (A). It may be noticed this Respondent 3 Shaikh Ahmed had appealed against the order of the R.T.A., Southern Region, permitting the Petitioner to ply her bus upto 31 -3 -1954. He had not made any representation against the renewal of the permit uptill 1957.
It would, therefore, appear that the order of renewal of permit in favour of the Petitioner had become final and Respondent 1 (the Appellate Authority) could not have interfered with this order. We are not concerned with the delay in taking up the appeal for arguments before the expiration of the period of permit.
But once the period of the permit, which was the subject -matter of the appeal, had expired, the Appellate Authority could not have adjudicated upon the rights of the parties because the appeal had in fact become infructuous. Under no provision of law the appeal could have been heard on 13 -4 -1954 when the permit granted to the Petitioner, which was the subject -matter of appeal, had expired on 31 -3 -1954.
In our opinion, the order passed by the Appellate Authority on 26 -4 -1954 in Appeal No. 26 of 1952 was unauthorised. The Appellate Authority had no jurisdiction to pass this order and no jurisdiction to pass an order affecting the renewal of permit from 1 -4 -1054 to 31 -3 -l957.
We, therefore, come to the conclusion that the Appellate Authority in hearing the appeal on 16 -4 -1954 and in passing the order on 26 -4 -1954 acted without jurisdiction and this error is apparent on the face of the record and has resulted in manifest injustice.
We must, therefore, set aside this order. The order passed by the Regional Transport Authority on 31 -5 -1954 and the order passed by the Appellate Authority on 30 -3 -1955 in Appeal No. 64 of 1954 in justifying the order dated 26 -4 -1954 in Appeal No. 26 of 1952 will also be set aside.;