Decided on July 09,1951

Chandi Prosad Appellant
The Regional Transport Authority Respondents


Thadani, C.J. - (1.) THIS is a petition by one Chandi Prosad Mahajan under the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the matter of orders passed by the Appellate Board of the State Transport Authority, Shillong, dated 5th, 6th and 7th December, 1949.
(2.) THE facts material to the application are these. The Regional Transport Authority, Assam, caused a notification, dated 28 -9 -48, to be published in the Assam Gazette, by which it invited applications for temporary permits in respect of all permits which were to expire on 31 -12 -48. The applications were required to be made in the prescribed form which specifically refers to s. 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1939 and makes no reference to Section 58. The petitioner held 2 permits in respect of stage carriages and 2 for public carriers, which were to expire on 31 -12 -48. Pursuant to the notification to which we have referred, the petitioner applied in the prescribed form for 4 permits - -2 for stage carriages and 2 for public carriers, praying, however, in the application that the permits be granted to him for 3 years. The Regional Transport Authority ignored this prayer and issued all the 4 permits to the petitioner for 3 months only Under Section 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act. After the expiry of the duration of the 4 permits, the petitioner applied for renewal of the permits, but the Regional Transport Authority refused to renew the permit for one stage carriage and 2 public carriers, but granted a temporary permit for one stage carriage for another 3 months. Against the order of the Regional Transport Authority refusing 3 permits out of 4, the petitioner preferred an appeal to the Appellate Board which remanded the case for re -consideration by the Regional Transport Authority, Gauhati, which declined to renew the permits by its order, dated 26 -10 -49. The petitioner once again filed appeals to the Appellate Board, but his appeals were dismissed on 5th, 6th and 7th December 1949. Not only were the appeals dismissed as regards the 3 permits, but on 9th January 1950, the Secretary to the Regional Transport Authority informed the petitioner that the Appellate Board had cancelled the only permit, namely, for a stage carriage, which had been temporarily granted to him. This permit which was cancelled by the Appellate Board was valid till 31st March, 1949. It is against the refusal to renew the 3 permits and the cancellation of the 4th permit that this petition has been brought.
(3.) THE petitioner prays for Writs of certiorari and mandamus upon the Regional Transport Authority, Gauhati, directing it to issue permits for the 2 stage carriages Nos. ASK 1121 and ASK 836 and 2 public carriers Nos. ASK 1281 and ASK 1254, on the following grounds: "(A) For that as the vehicles are owned by the petitioner on behalf of the Central Government, no permit is necessary for these vehicles as such, the refusal to renew the permits is ultra vires of the Regional Transport Authority, and the petrol rationing officer was, therefore, wrong to stop allotting petrol for these vehicles. (B) For that even if it be held that permits are necessary, they were renewed by the then Regional Transport Authority in January 1949 and, though the duration was mentioned as three months, it must be held as valid for at least three years under the provisions of Section 58 of the Motor Vehicles Act. As such no question of renewal of the permits arises. The R. T. A. in its sitting on 22 -7 -49 and 26 -10 -49 acted beyond their jurisdiction. (C) For that as there was no representation against the applications, no question of non -renewal of the permits arises. (D) For that the Appellate Board has no jurisdiction to cancel a permit. It has no original jurisdiction, and as there was no appeal against the order of renewal of the stage carriage permit No. 421/48, the appellate Board has no jurisdiction to cancel it. (E) For that none of the conditions required for cancellation of a permit was present in this particular case and no opportunity was given to the petitioner to submit his explanation, nor did the Appellate Board assign any reason for it. The order is, therefore definitely ultra vires and illegal. (F) For that the Regional Transport Authority granted as many as eleven additional stage carriage permits and seven additional public carrier permits. They gave as many as eleven new applicants additional stage carriage permits and as many as seven new applicants for public carriers in preference to the petitioner. This is in direct violation of the proviso of Section 58(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, and has very seriously prejudiced the petitioner. The order of the petitioner, therefore, is illegal. (G) For that the Appellate Board assigned no reason for upholding the order of the Regional Transport Authority refusing the renewal of the permits. In fact, neither the Appellate Board nor the Regional Transport Authority had any reason for it except certain prejudice against the petitioner. The orders of the Regional Transport Authority and the Appellate Board, therefore, are not bona fide but a fraud on the Statute.";

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