MAULA BUX Vs. APPELLATE TRIBUNAL OF STATE TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
APPELLATE TRIBUNAL OF STATE TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
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(1.)THIS is an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners Maulabux and sixteen others are bus operators. They held permits for stage carriages on (1) Sikar--Losal, (2) Sikar--Singrawat, (3) Sikar--Khur, (4)Sikar--Danta Ramgarh, (5) Danta Ramgarh--Losal routes. The Regional Transport authority with the consent of all the petitioners and respondent No. 13, who was also a bus operator on the aforesaid routes, integrated all the five routes into one by its resolution No. 364 of the 18th and 20th of August 1956. The petitioners and respondent No. 13 were allowed temporarily to ply their buses on the integrated route till they were granted permanent permits. The Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, advertised the integrated route for grant of permits, and published all the applications that they received in response to their advertisement and considered them in their meeting dated the 7th of October 1958. The Regional Transport Authority granted twenty-six permits on the integrated route including seventeen to the petitioners and nine to others. The petitioners went in appeal to the Appellate Authority, but their appeals were dismissed. The appellate Authority granted one more permit to Radhakishan, respondent No. 13, thus making the total number of permits on the integrated route to be 27 in place of 26. The decision of the Appellate Authority is dated 24th July 1959. It may also be noted here that the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, while increasing the number of permits also increased the number of services on the integrated route from six to ten. The petitioners have come to this Court from the order of the appellate Authority dated the 24th of July 1959.
(2.)IN the first place, the petitioners have challenged the validity of the Constitution of the Appellate Authority for the reason that the Chairman of the Appellate authority was not a person of Judicial experience and according to the petitioners, it was necessary that the post of the Chairman of the Appellate Authority should have been held by a person having the qualification of judicial experience similar to that of the Chairman of the State and the Regional Transport Authorities under section 44 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. In the next place, the petitioners claim that the constitution of the Appellate Authority was bad for the reason that the director of Transport was one of its members, when he could not have been appointed as such, for he was the head of the transport undertakings of the State and was thus a person interested in the business of transport. The petitioners also claim that the State Government in amending Rule 108 failed to follow the procedure laid down by Section 23 of the General Clauses Act inasmuch as in the draft which they published, there was no mention of the person, who was to be appointed as Chairman of that authority and in the rule, which was framed after publication of the said draft, a specification was added that the Transport Minister was to be the Chairman of the Authority. In this connection, the contention of the petitioners is that unfettered powers were given to the government to prescribe the Appellate Authority and. Section 64 of the Motor vehicles Act was unconstitutional for that reason. In the alternative, it was contended that the State Government should have prescribed the qualifications of judicial experience for the office of the Chairman of the Appellate Authority in accordance with the spirit of the Motor Vehicles Act, as indicated by the provision of Section 44 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act by which the Chairman of the State and the Regional Transport Authorities, who perform functions similar to those of the chairman of the Appellate Authority, is required to possess judicial experience. The petitioners also contend that the Regional Transport Authority and the State transport Authority acted in disregard of the provision of the proviso to Section 48 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act in granting permits to Gajanand Verma, Inderlal Dhand, Kishnaram Jat and Chhotukhan, for none of these persons applied for a permit on the integrated route and Gajanand Varma only applied for Sikar--Losal route and Inderlal Dhand and Kishnaram mentioned Sikar--Losal--Danta Ramgarh-Khoor and Chhotukhan mentioned Sikar--Losal--Danta Ramgarh--Singrawat in their applications for grant of permits. It was also urged that the Regional transport Authority and the Appellate Authority failed to take into account the point of the adequacy of transport services in granting more permits than necessary. At the time of the hearing of the case, the learned counsel of the petitioners abandoned this point. The petitioners claim that the Appellate Authority should be declared to be unconstitutional and that the permits of Gajanand Varma, inderlal Dhand, Kishnaram and Chhotukhan should be held invalid.
(3.)REPLIES were filed to the writ petition by respondents Nos. 1 and 2 and also by respondents Nos. 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11.
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