Decided on August 28,1961



Sinha, J. - (1.) The facts in this case are shortly as follows: The petitioners are the owners of several taxies, the numbers whereof have been given in paragraph 1 of the petition. According to Section 38 of the Motor Vehicles ACT (hereinafter referred to as the ('said Act'), it is necessary to have certificates of fitness with regard to such contract carriages. The petitioners applied in January 1961 to the effect that the mechanical tests of the said carriages had been completed in November, 1960 but no report had been given of the fitness and renewals of the certificates had not been made. To this representation, the authorities did not reply. But in the meanwhile, on or about the 27th January, 1961 notices were issued to the effect that the vehicles were plying on the roads without valid certificates of fitness as required under Section 38 of the said Act, and therefore, the petitioners were called upon to show cause in writing as to why the registration of the said vehicles should not be suspended or cancelled. A sample of the notice is annexure 'P.' to the petition. A glance at the notice will show that there was no notice to show cause against the cancellation of any permits. So far as this show cause notice was concerned, explanations were given and, at the meeting of the Regional Transport Authority, Howrah, held on the 1st February, 1961 it was decided to start proceedings for cancellation of the permits. The next thing that the petitioners found was that by a resolution of the said Regional Transport Authority, Howrah, dated the 2nd February, 1961, the permits in respect of these contract carriages were all cancelled. It is against these cancellations that this application is directed.
(2.) The first point taken is that the order of cancellation was made without issuing any show cause notice or providing the petitioners with opportunities of giving explanations, as is required under Section 60 of the said Act. The second point is that the cancellation of a permit for plying contract carriages without a certificate of fitness is not a ground specified in Section 60 as a ground for the cancellation of a permit.
(3.) In my opinion, both these points have been substantiated. Coming now to the first point, I find that apart from the show cause notice, that was issued in January, 1961 mentioned above, another, set of notices were issued on the 25th January, 1961 calling upon the petitioners and other holders of permits to show cause as to why the permits should not be suspended and/or cancelled under the provisions of Sub-section (1) (a) of Section 60 of the said Act. So far as these show cause notices are concerned, the petitioners filed their explanations and after considering the same the permits were cancelled. The question therefore is as to whether the cancellation of permits on the ground of plying the vehicles without a certificate of fitness comes within Section 60 (1) (a) of the said Act. Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 60 provides that the Transport Authority Which granted the permits may cancel the permit or may suspend it for such period as it thinks fit, for the breach of any conditions specified in Sub-section (3) of Section 59 or of any condition contained in the permit. Sub-section (3) of Section 59 contains various clauses. Mr. Majumdar appearing on behalf of the respondents states that, if at all, it would come under Clause (a) which provides that it shall be a condition of every permit that the vehicle or vehicles to which the permit relates or at all times so maintained as to comply with the requirements of Chapter V and the Rules made thereunder. Now Chapter V consists of Section 70 and Mr. Majumdar hag admitted that it has no application to the facts of this case. Also, there are no rules made under Chapter V which has any relation to cancellation of permits on the ground that there is no certificate of fitness. The question of registration and the obtaining of a certificate of registration and cancellation thereof are contained in Chapter III of the said Act, namely, Sections 36 and 38. Then again, there is no condition in the permit which has been violated. In other words, there is no condition in the permit to the effect that in the absence of a certificate of fitness, the permit shall be cancelled. Therefore, it is obvious that the matter does not come within the scope of Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 60, The cancellation has therefore been effected contrary to law. This point is covered by a decision of the Allahabad High Court Puran Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh. It was held there that Section 60 authorises a Regional Transport Authority to cancel or suspend a permit. It can do so on the breach of any condition contained in the permit or of any condition specified in Sub-section (3) of Section 59 Where there is no allegation that the Transport Vehicle was lacking in any particular requirement provided for under Chapter V, then merely because a valid certificate of fitness was not available, there could not be a suspension of the permit. It must follow that the cancellation of permit is not permissible on that ground. I respectfully agree with this view. In my opinion, this is an error on the face of the proceedings.;

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