(1.) This is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of a writ in the nature of certiorari calling upon the Respondents to send up the records of proceedings relating to orders for taking over bus route No. 12C in Calcutta in implementation of the scheme, dated August 17, 1957 and September 26, 1957, made by the Directorate of Transportation, Respondent No. 2 heerin. The applicants are four persons owing several motor buses which have been plying on route No. 12C which stretches from Howrah station to Barisha. The Respondents are (1) the Director General of Transportation, Government of West Bengal, (2) the Directorate of Transportation of the State Government, (3) Shri R. Gupta, Transport Commissioner, Government of West Bengal, (4) Shri R. Bose, Director of Operation and Transportation, Government of West Bengal, (5) the Regional Transport Authority, Calcutta Region and (6) the State of West Bengal.
(2.) The Petitioners hold licenses for the running of their buses on the abovenientioned route which were valid until March 31, 1960. Until the year 1954 they were plying their vehicles on route, No. 33 running from Paikpara to Chetla. The Petitioners plead that sometime in 1954 an agreement was entered into between them and the Respondent No. 1 whereby buses owned by the State of West Bengal were withdrawn from route No. 12C and the Petitioners who were plying their buses on route No. 33 agreed to run the same on rouie No. 12C. According to the Petitioners this arrangement has been in forte ever since. Towards the end of September 1956 the Respondent No. 2 as the State Transport Undertaking in West Bengal prepared a scheme for the purpose-of taking over certain bus routes in Calcutta for the exclusive operation thereof by the said Respondent. This scheme was first published in the "Calcutta Gazette" on August 22, 1957. A copy of the scheme annexed to the petition shows that as the Director of Transportation, Government of West Bengal, was of opinion that for the purpose of providing efficient, adequate, economical and properly co-ordinated road transport services it was necessary in the public interest that passenger transport services in the Calcutta area in the routes specified in column three of the schedule to the scheme should be run and operated by the said Directorate to the complete exclusion of other persons the Director had prepared a scheme which was being published for the information of persons likely to be affected thereby. Anybody affected by the scheme was invited to file objection thereto before the Government of West Bengal in the Home (Transport) Department within thirty days from the date of its publication. The schedule in the third column gives the routes which were to be covered by the scheme, namely, 10A, 11, 3, 3A, 3B, 13, 36, 36A, 12, 12A, 12B, 12C, 38 and 30. The scheme was prepared under Section 68C of the Motor Vehicles Act and the objections were called for under Section 68D of the Act. The Petitioners preferred their objections to the scheme through the Bengal Tiljala Bua Association on September 12, 1957. They were informed through the said association by an Assistant Secretary to the State Government that their objections would be considered under Section 68(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act by Shri R. Gupta, Transport Commissioner, West Bengal, and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of West Bengal, Home Department, on September 25, 1957 and any one desiring to be heard in the matter might appear in person or through an authorized representative before the said. Authority. A notification issued by the State Government and published in the "Calcutta Gazette" on September 26, 1957 shows that the Government after considering objections filed under Section 68D(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act was pleased to approve the scheme as set out in the schedule to the notification. The schedule is the same as that given at the foot of the notification, dated August 17, 1957. The result was that the scheme as framed was accepted without any modification by the State Government.
(3.) There is no dispute that in implementation of the said scheme the Respondent No. (2) has already taken over bus routes Nos. 10, 10A, 11, 3, 13, 36, 36A and 38 on diverse dates between October 1, 1957 and September 15. 1959. bk-iue of the routes including 120 are still in the hands of private bus owners.;