MADHYA PRADESH STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION Vs. REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
MADHYA PRADESH STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION
REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
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(1.) BY this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the petitioner seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing 29 temporary permits granted to the Raipur Transport company (Private) Limited, Raipur (respondent No. 3) by the Regional Transport authority, Raipur (respondent No. 1) in exercise of powers under Section 62 (c) of the Motor Vehicles Act. Annexure 'a' is the list of the 29 routes for which the temporary permits have been granted.
(2.) OUT of the said routes, some are partially affected by Scheme No. 13 and others by Scheme No. 23 notified under Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act. Scheme no. 31 has also been brought into operation as a result of which all the 29 routes are completely covered. The three schemes are under challenge in writ petitions filed by the third respondent. In Scheme Nos. 13 and 23 this Court refused to stay the operation of the schemes, but passed conditional orders. They are reproduced below:
"scheme No. 13: the Regional Transport Authority, Raipur/bilaspur are restrained from taking any action under Section 68-F (2) of the act in Regard to the permit or permits held by the petitioner till the disposal of this petition. If any application for renewal of permit has been or is filed by the petitioner the same shall remain pending till the disposal of this application. If any application for grant of temporary permit is filed by the petitioner while their renewal applications are pending, the regional Transport Authority shall consider the same notwithstanding the pendency of the application or the commencement of the impugned Scheme Respondent, the M. P. State Road Transport Corporation shall be at liberty to apply for stage carriage permits under Section 68-F (1) of the Act. But during the pendency of this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the Corporation's services on the routes covered by the impugned Scheme on the basis of the permits that may be granted under Section 68-F shall start and run to a timing half an hour later than the timings on which the petitioners are operating their services on those routes. " Scheme No. 23:
". . . . . the Regional Transport Authority, Raipur is restrained from taking any action under Section 68-F (2) of the Act in regard to the permit or permits held by the petitioner till the disposal of this petition. If any application for the renewal of the permit has been or is filed by the petitioner, the same shall remain pending till the disposal of the writ petition. If any application for the grant of temporary permit is filed by the petitioner while its renewal application is pending, the Regional transport Authority shall consider the same notwithstanding the pendency of the writ petition or the commencement of the impugned Scheme. As the petitioner is enabled to file applications for grant of temporary permits by operation of this order, Clause (d) of Section 62, read with the second proviso, may not come into operation. The Regional Transport Authority may, therefore consider the applications under Clause (c) of the said section. Respondent No. 4, the M. P. State Road transport Corporation shall be at liberty to apply for the stage carriage permits under Section 68-F (1) of the Act. But during the pendency of the application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the Corporation's services on the routes covered by the impugned Scheme on the basis of the permits that may be granted under Section 68-F shall start and run to a timing half an hour later than the timing on which the petitioner is operating its services on those routes. "
(3.) DURING the pendency of the writ petition before this Court the permits held by the third respondent on the said routes had expired and the third respondent had filed applications for renewal of the same. These applications could not be disposed of and were kept pending in pursuance of the orders, referred to above. The third respondent was, however, granted temporary permits for all the 29 routes under Section 62 (d ). On the expiry of the period of the temporary permits the third respondent applied for fresh temporary permits for all the 29 routes, this time under Section 62 (c) of the Motor Vehicles Act. In the applications filed under section 62 (c) the only ground urged was as under:
"the temporary permit be issued to the applicant to enable it to maintain the service to meet the particular temporary need occasioned as a result of the interim order of the Hon'ble High Court. " No particulars as to the amount of traffic on the routes, the inconvenience that would cause to the traffic, etc were given. No enquiry was also made by the regional Transport Authority as to the particular temporary need The Regional transport Authority first referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in M P. State Road Corporation v. B. P. Upadhya, 1965 MPLJ 838= (AIR 1966 SC 156)wherein their Lordships have held that a 'particular temporary need' can co-exist with a permanent need on the same route or in the same area; that a permit under Section 62 (c) can be granted in succession on the same route, if the temporary need continues, even if the total period of the validity of the permits exceed four months; and that even where a regular bus service is being run but the existing facilities are not sufficient to lift all the trafic, temporary permits under section 62 (c) can be granted pending issut of regular permits. Relying on this decision, the Regional Transport Authority further observed: "i feel that since applications for renewal of regular permits are pending and the M. P. State Road Transport Corporation are not permitted to run buses at timings when petitioner's buses are running, need exists to provide buses to lift the traffic which is now being lifted by the applicant's buses and this need is obviously temporary since, as the applicant argued, it would stop the moment the Hon'ble High Court passes final orders on the Writ Petitions filed by them. " this observation clearly indicates that, according to the Regional Transport authority, the fact that the petitioner-Corporation is not permitted to run the buses on the timings granted to the third respondent as per the original permits, there is a temporary need. It is plain that the Regional Transport Authority did not make any enquiry; nor did that authority tind out as a fact that the facilities provided by the petitioner-Corporation were not sufficient to meet the traffic on the routes. When this Court, by its stay order, allowed the third respondent to ply its buses on the routes nationalised along with the Corporation, the concession was not granted to the third respondent because the traffic had suddenly doubled. The third respondent was allowed to retain its services as a matter of concession so as not to dislodge it completely during the pendency of the writ petitions. If, for some reason, the third respondent was disabled from plying its buses, that fact ipso facto cannot give rise to the conclusion that there is a temporary need. The enquiry about the need should be made de hors the factor of the respondent-Company going out of operation for non-renewal of the permit. This the Regional transport Authority failed to do. If the third respondent goes out of route, there is nothing in our order to prevent the Corporation from plying its buses on the timings originally granted to the third respondent. The assertion of the Regional transport Authority that the petitioner is prevented from plying the buses on the timings allotted to the third respondent and on that ground alone the temporary need should be presumed is thus unjustified;
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