K.C. JENA Vs. THE SECRETARY, R.T.A. AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
The Secretary, R.T.A. And Ors.
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G.B. Patnaik, J. -
(1.) BOTH these writ petitions are directed against the judgment of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal dated 17th. October, 1984, one at the instance of the grantee of a permit and the other at the instance of the Regional Transport Authority and since common question of fact arid law is involved they were heard together and are being disposed of by a common judgment.
(2.) THE short question which arises for consideration in these two writ applications is as to what would be the true import and meaning of the expression such permit may be renewed for a limited period used in the proviso to Section 68F (I -D) of the Motor Vehicles Act. This arises for consideration in this case 00' the following circumstances: The Petitioner in O.J. C. No. 793 of 1985 who is opposite party No. 1 in O.J.C. No. 876 of 1985 had a permanent stage carriage permit for a period of three years with effect from 1983 on the route Cuttack to Ganjam which was to expire on 29 -8 -1983. In accordance with Section 58 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. an application for renewal was filed on 30th of April. 1983 and the permit -granting authority notified the same, as required under Section 57 (3) of the Act inviting objections. No objection to the said application was received by the permit -granting authority from any quarter but yet as no final order was passed on the same, the Petitioner in O.J.C. No. 793 of 1985 moved this Court in O.J.C. No. 2419 of 1983 for a direction to dispose of the pending application filed under Section 58 (2) of the Act. By order dated 23rd. December 1983, this Court directed that the said application for renewal be disposed of by 15 -1 -1984. Notwithstanding the aforesaid order as no communication was received, from the permit granting authority with regard to the disposal of the application for renewal an application was filed in this Court for initiating a contempt proceeding which was registered as Original Criminal Misc. Case No. 6 of 1984. and it is in course of the said proceeding it was revealed that the application for renewal has been disposed of. The contempt proceeding was thereafter dropped, but as the Petitioner did not receive a copy of the order purported to have been passed by the permit -granting authority on the application for renewal, he again approached this Court in O.J.C. No. 310 of 1984. That application was disposed of by this Court with a direction that the order be communicated to the person concerned and pursuant to the said' direction,' a copy of the order refusing renewal was communicated on 4 -2 -1984. Against the said order an appeal was filed before the State Transport Appellate Tribunal registered as M.V. Appeal No. 2 of 1984. The Tribunal on perusal of the records of the case and after hearing the parties. set aside the order of refusal of renewal by his order dated. 12 -4 -1984 and remanded the matter to the permit -granting authority for re -disposal. After the matter came back on remand the R. T. A. again refused the prayer for renewal by their decision dated 14 -8 -1984. This order was again challenged before the Tribunal in M. V. Appeal No. 32 of 1984 which was disposed of by the Tribunal by his order dated 17 -10 -1984, which has been annexed as Annexure -4 to the writ petition filed by the Regional Transport Authority ( O.J.C. No. 876 of 1985). It is this order of the Tribunal which is being impugned by both these Petitioners in the two writ applications. It would be appropriate at this stage to note that a Scheme under Section 68C of the Motor Vehicles Act has been published under notification dated 29 -4 -1978 by the State transport Undertaking namely the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation. Though objections have been received to the scheme under Section 68D of the Act and the same have been heard under Sub -section (2) of Section 68D, but final order has not been passed by the State Government by approving or modifying the scheme. During this interregnum therefore, provisions of Section 68 -F govern the field of grant of permits. The Tribunal by the impugned order came to the conclusion that the grounds on which the application for renewal has been refused by the R. T. A. are not sustainable in law and in view of the investment made by the applicant, his prayer for renewal should have been accorded. But in view of the notification under Section 68 -C of the Motor Vehicles Act and since there has been no application for the route in question by the State Transport Undertaking under Section 68F (lA) of the Act, the Tribunal held that the proviso to Sub -section (I -D) of Section 68 -F would apply. By applying the said provision, he however, directed that the applicant pursuant to his application for renewal be granted a permanent stage -carriage permit for a limited period of one month and the same may be extended from time to time so long as final publication of the scheme under Sub -section (3) of Section 68 -D of the Act has not been made. The grievance of the Petitioner in O. I. C. No. 793 of 1985 is that such an order casts unnecessary hardship on the applicant to get his permit renewed every month and also it runs contrary to the spirit of the provision contained in Section 62 of the Act and therefore, the same should be clarified by this Court. The Regional Transport Authority, who has filed O.J.C. No. 876 of 1985 however, assails the order of the Tribunal on the ground that the provision of Section 68 -F (l -D) has no application, since the State Transport Undertaking has been given permit over the route in question in accordance with Section 68 -F (I -A) of the Motor Vehicles Act.
(3.) THE impugned older of the Tribunal disagreeing with the findings of the Regional Transport Authority and holding that the applicant is entitled to get renewal on merits has not been assailed before us by the Regional Transport Authority. On perusal of the order of the Tribunal also we are satisfied that the said conclusion cannot be interfered with by this Court in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution, as the same is passed on germane considerations.;
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