GOPAL DAS Vs. REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN (FROM: JAIPUR)
REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY
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(1.)The fate of the three writ petitions, listed above, depends on answer to a question of law which may be formulated as follows : If a State Transport Undertaking does not make an application under S.68-F(1-A), M. V. Act, 1939, for a temporary permit for plying a stage carriage, till the expiry of one week from the date on which the order of approval of a scheme of nationalisation of passenger transport is made under sub-sec.(2) of S.68-D of the said Act, is it legally permissible for the authority concerned to issue a temporary permit to the State Transport Undertaking on the basis of its application made after the expiry of the aforesaid period of one week?
(2.)The undisputed facts in the three writ petitions may be shortly stated here. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, which is the State Transport Undertaking for the State of Rajasthan, prepared a scheme of nationalisation of passenger road transport on Bayana-Kalsada-Talchidi-Todabhim route (66 kilometers in length), and published it in the Official Gazette in accordance with the provisions of S.68-C, M. V. Act, 1939 (for short, the Act) in the year 1976. The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) fixed a scope of 5 stage carriages with 4 return trips on this route under S.47(3) of the Act. Two private operators were already holding two permits for plying their stage carriages on this route at the time of the publication of the draft-scheme under S.68-C. There was thus still scope left for three more stage carriages with two return trips on this route. The draft scheme of nationalisation of this route which had been published in 1976 was approved under S.68-D(2) on Feb. 28, 1980. Curiously enough, the scheme as approved under S.68-D(2) has not so far been published by the State Government in the Official Gazette under S.68-D(3), with the result that notwithstanding the order of approval, dt. Feb. 28, 1980, the scheme of nationalisation has not yet become final and cannot be treated as an "approved scheme" and the route in question cannot be called a "notified route" as envisaged by S.68-D(3) of the Act.
(3.)It is common ground between the parties that the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (for short, the Corporation) did not make any application under S.68-F (1-A) of the Act for temporary permit on this route till Aug. 1984. The three petitioners herein had, however, obtained three temporary permits under S.68-F (1-C) on and after Oct. 23, 1980. Those permits were renewed from time to time in their favour, each renewal being of four months' duration. The latest renewal of their temporary permits expired on Sept. 19, 1984. They applied for further renewal. The Corporation also applied for three temporary permits on this route under S.68-F(1-A) of the Act for the first time in Aug. 1984. The RTA considered the petitioners' applications under S.68-F(1-A) in a meeting held on Sept. 19,1984. By its order, dt. Sept. 27, 1984, the RTA rejected the applications of the petitioners and consequently refused to renew their temporary permits beyond Sept. 19, 1984. Instead, the RTA granted three fresh temporary permits to the Corporation in the purported exercise of its powers to issue such permits under S.68-F (1-A)of the Act
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